I can honestly say that I’ve never read prose infused with this degree of poetry. The beauty of both the writing and the soul of the writer make a hellish world not only endurable but grist for the mill of procuring a superior human being, as if possibly heaven can only be gotten to by way of hell.
Our media today is saturated with violent images that leave us numb and disaffected. Mr. Miller’s approach, on the contrary, to scenes far more violent and disturbing still, not imagined, but actually lived, is to carve out a better soul for us with them. I experienced a very delicious state of Zen reading his book, at once more immersed in the events of the story than I’ve ever been with anything in my own life, and at the same time, more detached. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called this the psychology of flow and optimal experience usually only experienced by artists. Thanks to Mr. Miller’s craftsmanship, this state is now available to you too.
For those who’ve drank down the gritty, uncompromising war films that followed in the wake of Platoon and a new era in Hollywood of refusing to glamorize this material, who thought for the first time they were being shown what war and its aftermath are really about, I’m afraid to burst your bubble. By comparison, those were childish, amateurish efforts at best to convey that war is hell. See what a difference experiencing the phenomenon is in the hands of a true master who doesn’t have to worry, as do Hollywood studios, about offending the little old lady from West Chester in the back row, who just doesn’t have the constitution for this much honesty.