The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq

Written by:
John Crawford
Narrated by:
Patrick Lawlor

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2005
6 hours 0 minutes
The only book about the war in Iraq by a soldier on the ground-destined to become a classic of war literature.

John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition-it had seemed a small sacrifice to give up one weekend a month and two weeks a year in exchange for a free education. But one semester short of graduating, and newly married, he was called to active duty-to serve in Kuwait, then on the front lines of the invasion of Iraq, and ultimately in Baghdad. While serving in Iraq, Crawford began writing short nonfiction stories, his account of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced in the war. At the urging of a journalist embedded with his unit, he began sending his pieces out of the country via an anonymous Internet e-mail account.

In a voice at once raw and immediate, Crawford's work vividly chronicles the daily life of a young soldier in Iraq-the excitement, the horror, the anger, the tedium, the fear, the camaraderie. All together, the stories slowly uncover something more: the transformation of a group of young college students-innocents-into something entirely different.

In the tradition of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, this haunting and powerful, brutal but compellingly honest book promises to become the lasting, personal literary account of the United States' involvement in Iraq.

'Lawlor is masterful. Every now and then, you get a narrator who's so good he becomes indistinguishable from the character he's portraying. That would be Lawlor. He manages to convey the grittiness of the country, the gruffness of the soldiers, and Crawford's simmering anger and resentment with seamless ease.' -Sandy Bauers, Philadelphia Inquirer

'A tremendous book...incredibly gripping and incredibly well-written'-Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
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Albert McHenry

This is the story of a bored national guard soldier. His is a story of young men with little supervision, large amounts of idle time, and a disdain for the people of Iraq. I am convinced it accurately portray's his experience, and is well written. But it left me with nothing but a sense of waste and loss over this misearble conflict. I hope that Mr. Crawford's next subject is more worthly of his talent.

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Annabel Link

Although Crawford's story is compelling and gives many eye-opening details about his service in Iraq, at times the details become almost tiresome. Maybe that's his point, that the soldier's life in Iraq is often boring and frustrating. His description of the numerous idiocies apparent in the decisions made by his superiors for self-serving motivations is very revealing of why this war has gone so badly wrong. Hopefully Crawford will continue to write more true stories; he may find it harder to invent anything stranger than the non-fiction in Last True Story I'll Ever Tell.

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