Colby Buzzell is the author of My War: Killing Time in Iraq and served as an infantryman in the United States Army during the Iraq War. Assigned to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team in 2003, Buzzell blogged from the front lines of Iraq as a replacement for his habitual journaling back in the states. In 2004 Buzzell was profiled in Esquire's "Best and Brightest" issue and has since contributed frequently to the magazine. The Washington Post referred to his article "Digging a Hole All the Way to America" as "A Tour de Force Travelogue," and his article "Down & Out In Fresno and San Francisco" was selected for The Best American Travel Writing 2010. His work has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and on This American Life. He currently lives in San Francisco, California, and has no plans whatsoever of staying there.
My War: Killing Time In Iraq
"My War by Colby Buzzell is nothing less than the soul of an extremely interesting human being at war on our behalf in Iraq."
- Kurt Vonnegut
"I remember reading Colby's journal entries on the internet when he was filing them from Iraq. I was amazed at how heavy the material was but what really knocked me out was how sharp and vividly intense his writing was. My War is the real deal reportage from the ground. There's no way any reporter could have brought this back. If you care about our brave soldiers in the fray and want to get an insight into what it's really like out there, My War is essential reading."
- Henry Rollins
"Endlessly surprising...delightfully profane... an unfiltered, often ferocious expression of his boots-on-the-ground point-of-view of the Iraq war."
- Arianna Huffington
"If, in 20 years time, people want to know what it was like to fight in Iraq, they can pick up 'My War' and find out. It tells what it's like to be a grunt fighting in the Sunni Triangle - with more power and authority than the best 'embedded reporter' could manage. It is something of a triumph for blogs over traditional media."
- Nick Cohen
"My War is breathtaking. His self-awareness is total and unromantic, his instinct for what matters unrelenting, his writing lyrical, heartbreaking, hilarious, and essential. We can read a thousand dispatches from Iraq, but we will never know the war-or ourselves-like we will after reading My War."
-Robert Kurson, author of Shadow Divers
"Incredible accounts of combat from a grunt's-eye-view."
-Rolling Stone Magazine
"The most extraordinary writing yet produced by a soldier of the Iraq war"
"My War is perhaps the finest and most genuine writing to come so far out of the war in Iraq, uncompromising in both its criticism and its praise, willing to admit the ugliness of violence and the exhilaration that it breeds."
-War, Literature & the Arts Journal
"Buzzell's account of military life as a grunt in Mosul, My War: Killing Time In Iraq, is like no war diary written before. Blunt, brutal, foul-mouthed, and immediate.
-The Times UK
"In gutsy, sometimes profane prose, he takes you on a soldier's-eye view of the front lines of the war."
"Remarkably blunt, honest and often hilarious."
"Striking....Buzzell tells the story of his year in Iraq with a steeliness that's both sincere and chilling."
"Profound, profane....told with irresistible gallows humor and anger devoid of self-consciousness. Give[s] us a much deeper understanding of the war."
-Atlanta Journal Constitution
"My War" is the story of a young grunt trying to survive boredom and death in a war zone...What you soon realize about this stranger at the bar, Colby Buzzell, is that he can knock you off your barstool at a moment's notice with soul-jarring observations and darkly comedic insights into what it really means to be fighting and idling in this war."
-L.A. Times Magazine
"Funny, often surreal "What the @!%# am I doing here?" account of military life...(Grade: A-)"
"Raw, sardonic, and thrashingly honest, My War is a stellar grunt's-eye view of the Iraq war."
"Buzzell's My War, written in a style reminiscent of Hunter S. Thompson and Allen Ginsberg, is fueled by an antiauthority, punk-rock attitude."
-Poets and Writers magazine
"Military recruiters won't be handing My War to prospective soldiers, who would do well to read one grunt's account of what they could be getting into."
"Several other books have come out during the war... What makes "My War" stand out is the author. The way in which a punk-rock skateboarder navigated the Army gives him a compelling voice and take on the Iraq war."
"My War: Killing Time in Iraq... the most charming and funny of the memoirists"
-New York Magazine
"The war in Iraq may be far from over, but it has already produced a small crop of books by soldiers who fought in it... Colby Buzzell is perhaps the best storyteller, and without a doubt the funniest."
"My War is all about immediacy, and it's an invaluable reference to the current war"
"Sensational book... Buzzell is in the habit of telling it like it is, a skill he uses to great effect in this tragi-comic account of 'Joe' (Infantrymen) life in Iraq... In My War, he records his experiences with a mixture of irreverence and awe, like a latter day Holden Caufield who suddenly finds himself behind enemey lines"
-The Big Issue (U.K.)
"Provid[es] more truth than CNN or the army could or would."
"Captivating memoir about the year [Buzzell] spent serving as an army 'trigger puller' in Iraq....though the combat scenes are exciting, this book is actually more engrossing as a portrait of the day-to-day life of a young American soldier."
"Reminiscent of Michael Herr's Dispatches."
-Wall Street Journal
"While deployed as an Army machine gunner in Iraq, the iconoclastic Buzzell kept an anonymous blog that chronicled his wartime experiences. His cynical but captivating memoir expands on those viscerally frank (and sometimes profane) postings."
"[A] book that stands quite tall in the literature of that conflict to date."
"This is a book you NEED to read."
"A brilliant read."
"Gripping memoir... My War proves that the best blogs really can become the best books."
"My War: Killing Time in Iraq is a fresh and unique memoir, bridging the gap between the professional soldiers and the disillusioned... Colby Buzzell has written one of the strongest and most creatively constructed memoirs to date... My War is still one of the best memoirs written about the Iraq War... It is recommended to junior officers and NCOs who want to understand the new type of soldiers they are leading into combat..."
-National Museum U.S. Army Book Reviews
"If military recruitment is down now, wait till the kids read this book."
Lost In America: A Dead End Journey
"Defiant... this is an exploration of our nation at its most raw and browbeaten." -The Daily Beast
"Buzzell's voice--tough, jaded, sardonic... speaks for a generation unmoored by economic stagnation and diminishing opportunity." -Columbia Journalism Review
"A gift for seeing the seamier side of life as an adventure in a lower key... Buzzell is a useful mix of scholar and tramp, serving as an interesting travel guide... a shrewd observer of some things the rest of us would otherwise miss." -Malibu Magazine
"In a voice that is blunt, sarcastic and viscerally honest... searching for what was once the American dream... Buzzell writes with a jolting, unique voice." -The Providence Journal
"A witty, fearless, sharp-eyed chronicler of America in decline. Buzzell exhibits a Henry Miller-like talent for the memorable character sketch." -Kirkus Reviews