Iraq, late 2007. Lieutenant Matt Gallagher arrives just as US policy shifts from lethal operations to counter-insurgency. He encounters a world where nothing is as it seems. Friends are enemies, reconciliation is war, roads are bombs and silence is deadly. Nothing left to do except 'embrace the suck'...
...and blog about it. Matt Gallagher's response was to write an on-line journal (called Kaboom) which quickly went viral. Read by thousands of soldiers who recognised its unflinchingly honest portrayal of the real war, as well as high-ranking Pentagon officials and interested parties around the world, Kaboom was shut down by the US Army in June 2008. Now you can read the whole story, based on that brilliant, acerbic, banned blog. Kaboom paints a shockingly original and uncompromising portrait of a savage war the world is still struggling to understand.
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At turns hilarious, maddening and terrifying - Washington Post
Brutally honest - Wired.com
As funny as it is harrowing - Entertainment Weekly
[Kaboom is] surely the Jarhead of the second Gulf war -
Insightful, colorful, and at times irreverent... An excellent snapshot of a junior officer embroiled in a counterinsurgency fight... An exceptionally engaging read - Military Review
A sardonic, unnerving, one-of-a-kind Iraq war memoir... Kaboom resonates with stoical detachement from and timeless insight into a war that we are still trying to understand - Smoke
Gallagher's writing is raw and uncensored, and also very good. In the midst of a war we're still struggling to understand, it's a privilege to understand very well at least one person's part in it - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Gallagher's compelling work... offers the reader an unfiltered, brutally honest look into the life of a young lieutenant struggling to bring some semblance of security and stability to a very unsecure and unstable place - Bangkok Post (Thailand)
Gallagher’s Kaboom, simply stated, will likely be remembered as the quintessential memoir of his generation’s combat experiences, particularly in Iraq. Not only does it successfully combine the finest authorial innovations of blogging with finest aspects of traditional memoir writing, but it easily and slyly avoids the traps of each as well. It is unabashedly self-centered and self-aware, but manages to sound anything but self-absorbed. It is full of pop culture references, clever writing, and the cynicism that accompanies his generation without sounding for a second like it is contrived or flimsy. In a word, his work is authentic, a rendering of wartime experiences that has been experienced by nearly his entire generation of warriors but has not been matched by his generation of writers - SmallWarsJournal.com
Gallagher's unbridled candor recounting his time in Iraq is shocking, frightening and at times, deals with the mundane rigors of army life, but is ultimately to be commended... A compelling read... Kaboom allows the reader to ride alongside an officer's day to day life in a war zone - Portland Book Review
About the Author
Matt Gallagher joined the US Army in 2005 and received a commission in the armoured cavalry. Following a 15-month deployment in Iraq, Gallagher left the army in 2009. He now lives in New York City.