Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails

Anthony Swofford. Hachette/Twelve, $26.99 (278p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0673-6
In his return to memoir, Jarhead author Swofford explores his troubled relationship with his father and the long hangover that followed publishing a bestseller. After serving in the Marines during the Gulf War, Swofford attended the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. Every writer dreams of what happened next: Jarhead was made into a Hollywood film. However, celebrity only encouraged Swofford to indulge his passions for heavy drinking, good cocaine, and random sexual encounters. Meanwhile, he faced his father’s declining health and the shadow cast by his older brother’s death from cancer. Swofford opens with a swaggering declaration of his partying and sexual prowess, a tone that transforms even thoughts of suicide into chest pounding. Other sections, like his response to a vicious letter from his father, read more like therapy than literature: Swofford just hasn’t found his way to address the subject. A different, and far better, writer appears when Swofford leaves the Oedipal battlefield for a trip to the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, and in the vivid reconstruction of his paternal grandparents’ romance in the Deep South before WWII. It’s the journalism rather than the memoir that makes this book worth reading. Agent: Sloan Harris.(June)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Show other formats
Ebook - 978-1-61969-089-9
Ebook - 978-1-61969-090-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61969-439-2
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-4555-0672-9
Hardcover - 371 pages - 978-1-4555-1351-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-61113-454-4
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4555-0674-3
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