Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Men Win Glory Review

Several weeks ago I started and quickly finished Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman:  I read most of it en route from Raleigh to San Francisco.  Most of Krakauer's books have been completely captivating to me:  his subjects are always engrossing and his research is beyond thorough.  I LOVED Into Thin Air and also really enjoyed Into the Wild.  Haven't read Under the Banner of Heaven yet, but I hope to soon.

This particular book chronicles the life of Pat Tillman, an Arizona Cardinals player who walked away from a lucrative NFL career to serve in the Army post-9/11.  There are a number of chapters devoted to Afghanistan's history, the 2000 presidential election, and 9/11, which some of the reviews online criticized as filler material, but I thought it was imperative to understanding the war and Pat Tillman's reasons for serving. 

Krakauer's political views aren't well-disguised and I could see how that would be an issue for some readers, but ultimately I thought the book was a worthwhile read regardless of political ideology.  Pat Tillman was a fascinating guy with incredibly strong values.  The last 1/3 or so of the book is devoted to the circumstances of and fallout from his death and I would think it would be easy for most writers to let that narrative be the main story, but Krakauer doesn't let that happen.  Instead, he lets Pat Tillman shine all the way through, making this an incredibly compelling book.

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