Review: “Starved for Bullets” by Ryan Goodrich

“Starved for Bullets” by Ryan Goodrich

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 22 July 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Pulling readers beyond their comfort zones and into the darkest corners of modern warfare, Sgt.Goodrich, medically-retired U.S. Marine, asks us to look at unspeakable truths from the battlefield, cultural differences, religion, and the shaky hand that is American politics through unflinching eyes as reality spews from the pages. Fifty mesmerizing poems and prose recount the struggles military members endure when death stares them in the face and what happens when red lines fade into the darkness of the desert. Interwoven with inflexible truths and grotesquely beautiful imagery, this collection of scars will resonate long after the final bullet is spent.

Review: A couple of years ago, I read The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko. In that review, I discussed the conflict that comes upon a person when they hear a song or see a dance (some performance) that is so moving but not joyous, and at the end you know you should applaud but are just too emotional for such a jubilant outburst. So do you applaud or not?

Although Starved for Bullets did not connect with me on the same depth that The Scar did, it was only because the topic of the latter was nearer my heart. (The Scar dealt with a character with crippling anxiety, which I’ve dealt with, but I’ve never been a soldier, so Starved for Bullets couldn’t resonate on that level.)

Even so, this book was still powerful in what it was.

Now, poetry isn’t usually my thing. So I am not qualified to rate it on anything other than my visceral reaction to it. And that reaction found it amazingly raw. Like our author was bleeding on the pages, because we know this wasn’t someone trying to think what it would be like to live as a deployed soldier but someone that had, and that is always powerful to read. There was a lot of darkness and a lot of anger, but you could understand it.

I found “Superman Ultimatum” to have the imagery and feelings that affected me the most, while “Silent Dark” was the harshest in many ways. (To me, at least.) And I will say, only a mind with a darkly twisted sense of humor, as it were, would come up with “The Night before Death,” but I actually liked that macabre about it.

So like with The Scar, this one must be applauded. It was ragged, rough, and raw to read along with, but the ability to evoke that in the reader is worthy of praise. 5 Fireballs.

5 Fireballs

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