Based on Captain Matt Gallagher’s controversial and popular blog, which the U.S. Army shut down in June 2008, Kaboom is a sardonic, unnerving, one-of-a-kind Iraq war memoir. “At turns hilarious, maddening and terrifying,” providing “raw and insightful snapshots of conflict” (Washington Post), Kaboom resonates with stoical detachment from and timeless insight into a war that we are still trying to understand.
“Without a trace of sentimentality, Mr. Gallagher draws the reader into the everyday complexities of leading 44 soldiers from every strata of American society … Mr. Gallagher is too modest, and too ironic, to tout his own accomplishments, so I’ll do it for him: He is a classic representative of the U.S. military, a force that imposed its will, both physical and moral, to shatter al Qaeda in Iraq and quash the Shiite-Sunni civil war and that is now withdrawing with honor … Gallagher’s platoon served in chaos and brought order. His book tells us what a grind it was. Victory over the insurgency wasn’t foreordained; it took the work of gritty soldiers and leaders.”
–Bing West, The Wall Street Journal
“As funny as it is harrowing.”
– Entertainment Weekly
“Gallagher is the voice of this war.”
“In this hauntingly direct war memoir, a cocky West Coast frat boy becomes a reflective leader in the later part of the Iraq conflict. Not long after his 2007 deployment, Lt. Gallagher had become a much-read blogger, but his blunt account ran afoul of the higher-ups. In this blog-like memoir of his year-plus in Iraq, he provides an episodic, day-by-day account of life during wartime, covering everything from the fear of shooting innocent citizens to the impact of a Dear John letter on a unit. Gallagher employs a close eye and enormous compassion.”