Tim and the Tin Titan



I finished reading the book this weekend. I had wanted to read it for a while and now I really had to read it before the movie came out. I am really glad I did. While not a masterpiece, it is clearly a well crafted memoir, entertaining and involving. It makes you see the glory, absurdity, ferocity and boredom of war. I am really curious to see how this will be translated to film. The director is the same as American Beauty, a movie I really like for the way it took a different look at the "ordinary" lives of people all around us. This will probably a bit of the same but cast in a military light. And if they stay true to the character of the book, Jake Gyllenhaal (who I first saw in Donnie Darko) will be a great fit for the role. And I really do hope they stay close to the original spirit. It is not an activist's book, not an "agenda" book, it's one person's war, internal and external.

Anthony Swofford is a grunt, a jarhead, who reads the Iliad and The Stranger while his comrades play poker or peruse smut mags. He doubts the validity of his involvement the Marines, defending not countries but oil companies. While he may not be a typical marine, he is one who has the background to tell a story in a compelling manner. He closes with memoirs with an extract from and Ezra Pound Canto:
Some wars are unavoidable and need well be fought but this doesn't erase warfare's waste. Sorry, we must say to the mothers whose sons will die horribly. This will never end. Sorry.

That should give you a feel for the tone of the book. Now please don't screw-up the movie version.