Better than a book jacket blurb

Two Marines who fought in Iraq help tout Evan Wright's new book on the war in a Sharon Waxman story out of Oceanside in today's New York Times. They are photographed with the Los Angeles-based author and say he got it right, including the occasional killing of civilians, the horrors, the racist jokes and the battlefield problem of finding a place to relieve oneself. Both Marines had suffered repercussions from superiors for being quoted in Wright's award-winning series last year in Rolling Stone.

Mr. Wright won the unusually intense embedding assignment by hounding a commander in Kuwait City in the prelude to the war. The marines were not quick to warm up to a leftist rock-magazine journalist in their midst, referring to him only as "the journalist." But fairly soon they came to respect the bravery (or foolishness) of this tall, often sheepish writer, especially because Mr. Wright seemed keen to ride into the most dangerous situations...

After his first experience of shelling, Mr. Wright, like all the marines, dug his nighttime sleeping hole deep. He grew a Marine-style mustache. And after several weeks, he was one of the guys. They particularly liked that he had once made a living writing for pornographic magazines.

"His humor was the same, and he'd worked for Hustler, that was an automatic," Sergeant Espera said. "If it was up to me, I'd have had him stand post."

Wright's book, Generation Kill, comes out next week.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Books stories on LA Observed:
Bestselling books of the week in SoCal stores
The other horrible April 29 date in Los Angeles history
Expo Line misses book festival by that much
Portrait of a Bookstore to close on Tujunga Avenue
Fiction does have a winner at LA Times Book Prizes
Previous story: The face of Phil Hendrie

Next story: Nice day for LA Mag

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook