Review

Final Fantasy I & II: The Dawn of Souls (GBA)

Character advancement is the big thing--your guys gradually become more kickass and develop new abilities, and you're constantly hunting for new equipment. The endless quest to become slightly more powerful without any useful purpose is most well-known to the public in such manifestations as Worlds of Warcraft, Everquest, and the Presidential elections.

Final Fantasy I: 7 swords out of 10
Final Fantasy II: 8 chocobos out of 10

Operation Enduring Freedom VII

It's a pretty obvious topic if I'm going to start writing reviews.

8 rifles out of 10.

The Ultimate Terrorists

More light reading for my OEF enjoyment.

A perfect stocking stuffer for the nascent counterterrorist agent, I give it 8/10 mushroom clouds.

Endurance

I love the ocean. From land. Inside a building. Through a window. With a cup of coffee in my hand. I can barely imagine an undertaking like this, much less the determination and faith of the men to go on through with things through their many setbacks.

If you are already disinclined to visit Antarctica, this book will not help.

Nine icebergs out of ten.

Been Reading

Been reading some more, courtesy of a trip to Waldenbooks.

First up, Tricky Business, by Dave Barry. Hardcover, found for $5.99 on clearance. Shweet. His first book, Big Trouble, was dark and hilarious. This is darker, and still quite funny, though with not quite as many laugh-out-loud-even-though-I'm-reading-in-a-room-by-myself moments. Subject matter involves gambling, drug money laundering, high school bands that never take off, and psychotic mothers. It features much of the style that made Big Trouble so entertaining--a diverse cast of characters who are all having a really bizarre day.

Second, and still in progress, is Generation Kill by Evan Wright, which follows the Marines of the 1st Recon BN on their frankly insane high-speed run to Baghdad. It is full of genuine Marine language and vulgarity and whatnot, and gives a very good picture of what it was like for the grunts on the ground, complete with the exploits of some truly disturbed officers that were running things. This came highly recommended to me by one of my drinking buddies from DLI, a Marine corporal, and it has lived up to expectation so far. It doesn't do anything to glorify the violence or the mission--far from it--but it does help the reader understand how the Marines somehow find glory there anyway.

[Edit: Check out the original Rolling Stone articles starting here which Wright eventually compiled into the book.]

Also, it reinforces something that I already suspected: Marines are crazy, and Recon are the craziest of the crazy. I'm glad we have people like that.

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