Book Review of Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker, 2016 Faber & Faber Limited, UK
Reviewer, Jason Criss Howk
Harry Parker has delivered a story that every Soldier will understand and every other citizen should strive to.
As I readied to leave my first year-long tour in Afghanistan, I was given the news that a dear friend had died. I couldn’t stop thinking about his family at home. War had become very personal to me.
As I flew to another year-long tour in Afghanistan I met two British generals at a stop in Europe, as my boss talked strategy with the two men that would soon be joining us overseas. Shortly after arriving in Kabul a phone call came in telling our headquarters that the son of one of those British officers was just severely injured. War had already gotten personal again.
If you have ever experienced an explosion and endured the medical procedures needed to salvage your body you will understand this book. You will understand this book if you are a parent that has sent their child off to war and prayed everyday for their safe return. This book will make perfect sense to the medical personnel that have struggled to save the lives of a warrior after the enemy has done their best to destroy their body.
Harry takes you on patrol where you shift between fatigue, boredom and chaos. He lets you see how Soldiers sleep, eat and blow off steam. He also honestly portrays what like is life for the men who fought against our forces in Afghanistan.
You will understand how war lingers in the minds and souls, and of course the bodies, of those who get to go back home.
I salute you Harry Parker for sharing these insights with the world. Writing is not easy and writing well is rare. You have written well.