Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bookish (Not so)Goodness: These Heroic, Happy Dead by Luke Mogelson

I like short stories. They're especially good for when I'm waiting in the car. It just so happened that I had several hours to kill and had These Heroic, Happy Dead by Luke Mogelson, which I received from Blogging for Books for review, in my backpack. I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while now because, as an Army brat, reading stories about the military makes me feel at home.


Unfortunately, I was beyond disappointed with this book. Actually, I have a serious problem with this book in that it only shows the stereotypical violent, maladjusted veteran/soldier type. There is no denying that there are people who have bad personalities or who find it difficult or impossible to adjust to civilian life but that isn't the only type there is! There are also veterans/soldiers who retire or decide not to re-up and adjust perfectly well to civilian life. There are also soldiers who are good, brave, kind men. I should know; my father is one of them! I also have many friends who are military or former military who are the best kind of people. It's books like these, ones that only acknowledge the ugly side of military life, that perpetuate negative stereotypes! As an army brat, and a future soldier, this really bothers me. You should represent the good with the bad. [Side note; I realize the author is a former soldier, but that doesn't mean his representation of military life isn't skewed.]

As for the writing, it was good in its form. The stories flowed well and the open-ends were very attention grabbing. The only story I actually liked was Kids. It was this odd dance between disgust and grudging acquiescence that made me rate this book 1.5 out of 5 stars. I wouldn't recommend it and I will be getting rid of it as soon as I possibly can.

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