The warts-and-all memoirs of a soldier who excelled at the difficult job of being both a warrior and a healer.



Retired combat medic recounts his 20-year career, from the burning oilfields of the Gulf War to the treacherous outposts of Afghanistan.

With his stomach snarled in knots and sweat stinging his eyes, Thibeault jumped from the Army aircraft, the jolt of his open parachute giving way to a gentle descent back to earth. It was 1990, and he had survived his first jump at Airborne School. Less than a year later, the rookie medic would find himself in Operation Desert Storm, treating Syrian soldiers whose limbs had been blown off. Thibeault decided to leave the active Army to study nursing, but discovered he still yearned to “be green.” So he joined the Army National Guard. Now a seasoned combat medic and registered nurse, his skills would be tested when sent to Afghanistan in 2004. In rapid-fire style, the author describes helping save the life of an Afghan girl who swallowed insecticide. While in many ways a typical military autobiography, Thibeault’s account is noteworthy for the frank way he describes the grittiest aspects of his experience. Whether it’s the rotten stench of Kabul, prostitutes in Korea or eating monkey paw soup in Ecuador, the author’s honest depiction of what he encountered gives the text a high degree of authenticity. His candor reaches a painful climax in his own struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “I had a rage inside me,” he writes. “It felt like fire was constantly shooting out of my hands.” The book’s timeline is difficult to follow, but aspiring healthcare professionals will glean lessons from a man equally at home in an Army field hospital or an inner city clinic. Thibeault is sometimes critical of his military experiences, but he concludes that being a medic is “the best job in the world.” Ultimately, the book is two journeys: an insider’s account of battlefield medicine, and the author’s own catharsis as he recalls the wounds he dressed for others and the trauma he faced himself.

The warts-and-all memoirs of a soldier who excelled at the difficult job of being both a warrior and a healer.

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1934922651

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2012

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.


A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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