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House to House: An Epic Memoir of War

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One of the great heroes of the Iraq War, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia captures the brutal action and raw intensity of leading his Third Platoon, Alpha Company, into a lethally choreographed kill zone: the booby-trapped, explosive-laden houses of Fallujah's militant insurgents. Bringing to searing life the terrifying intimacy of hand-to-hand infantry combat, this stunning One of the great heroes of the Iraq War, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia captures the brutal action and raw intensity of leading his Third Platoon, Alpha Company, into a lethally choreographed kill zone: the booby-trapped, explosive-laden houses of Fallujah's militant insurgents. Bringing to searing life the terrifying intimacy of hand-to-hand infantry combat, this stunning war memoir features an indelibly drawn cast of characters, not all of whom would make it out of the city alive, as well as chilling accounts of Bellavia's singular courage: Entering one house alone, he used every weapon at his disposal in the fight of his life against America's most implacable enemy.


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One of the great heroes of the Iraq War, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia captures the brutal action and raw intensity of leading his Third Platoon, Alpha Company, into a lethally choreographed kill zone: the booby-trapped, explosive-laden houses of Fallujah's militant insurgents. Bringing to searing life the terrifying intimacy of hand-to-hand infantry combat, this stunning One of the great heroes of the Iraq War, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia captures the brutal action and raw intensity of leading his Third Platoon, Alpha Company, into a lethally choreographed kill zone: the booby-trapped, explosive-laden houses of Fallujah's militant insurgents. Bringing to searing life the terrifying intimacy of hand-to-hand infantry combat, this stunning war memoir features an indelibly drawn cast of characters, not all of whom would make it out of the city alive, as well as chilling accounts of Bellavia's singular courage: Entering one house alone, he used every weapon at his disposal in the fight of his life against America's most implacable enemy.

30 review for House to House: An Epic Memoir of War

  1. 4 out of 5

    MG

    Before picking up this book (on Kindle) some of the reviews I had read suggested that the language and demeanor of the Author were unrealistic (even "over-the-top"), meant to paint a "Rambo" portrait of him, in some self-glorifying way. Honestly, that's one of the things that piqued my interest in the book. I downloaded a sample chapter from the Kindle store, and I was hooked after 10 pages. Bellavia writes a gritty, "through genuine eyes" portrait of combat you will never see on the evening news Before picking up this book (on Kindle) some of the reviews I had read suggested that the language and demeanor of the Author were unrealistic (even "over-the-top"), meant to paint a "Rambo" portrait of him, in some self-glorifying way. Honestly, that's one of the things that piqued my interest in the book. I downloaded a sample chapter from the Kindle store, and I was hooked after 10 pages. Bellavia writes a gritty, "through genuine eyes" portrait of combat you will never see on the evening news. While the dialogue may be offensive to gentler ears & eyes, to clain this book is hyped-up bravado is unfair to the guy who was covered in blood, sweat, and sh*t. Until you have actually gone through some of what Bellavia experienced, it's hard to get a full appreciation of the sights, smells, and sounds of combat. Then, throw the house-to-house fighting in Fallujah (2004) into the mix, and it just intensifies the entire experience. In 2004, I was in Baghdad, removed from the violence of Fallujah, yet in a different war altogether. My brother experienced some of the Battle of Fallujah, and I can only testify to his story, which is similar in scope to Bellavia's. Fighting in Fallujah is remarkably similar to accounts of fighting in Stalingrad during the Second World War. House to house, heavily fortified and dug in insurgents wrecking havoc left and right. Bellavia's account is nothing less than what it professes to be, one Soldier's story of his experiences in combat in one one of the most pivotal battles in the Global War on Terror. UPDATE (JULY 2010): Through a mutual friend of mine and the authors, he was kind enough to personalize two hardcover copies for me (one for me, an Iraq/Afghan war vet, and my Dad, a Vietnam war vet). An amazing gentleman, in the truest sense.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicko

    Wow. War is hell. Words escape me. "America is not at war, The Army is at war; the Marine Corps is jammed up at the gates; and America is at the mall." Wow. War is hell. Words escape me. "America is not at war, The Army is at war; the Marine Corps is jammed up at the gates; and America is at the mall."

  3. 5 out of 5

    William2

    Quite good descriptions of fighting before and during Fallujah Iraq offensive of 11-10-2004. Hard to fathom these methodical killers though it's interesting to watch them prepare. The whole concept of command and control is key. So patient, so focused as they mow the enemy down. Thank God they're out there. Here's to hoping that one day their sacrifices will no longer be needed. (Yeah, right!) The book's only downside is the fraudulent romantic machismo the author invokes to motivate himself. "C Quite good descriptions of fighting before and during Fallujah Iraq offensive of 11-10-2004. Hard to fathom these methodical killers though it's interesting to watch them prepare. The whole concept of command and control is key. So patient, so focused as they mow the enemy down. Thank God they're out there. Here's to hoping that one day their sacrifices will no longer be needed. (Yeah, right!) The book's only downside is the fraudulent romantic machismo the author invokes to motivate himself. "Combat distilled to its purest human form is a test of manhood." (p. 112) Oh really? Ernst Jünger—see his Storm of Steel—would have been an excellent model for the author; his writing never devolves to sentimentality. That said, if strangers were out to gun me down I suppose I'd employ every trick in the book to survive. There are no clichés on the front lines. Hooah!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    My son-in-law wrote this book. It is a compelling read about a topic I usually shy away from.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ~Theresa Kennedy~

    One of the greatest war memoirs ever written. Shares the truth of the battlefield. How men get the "diarrhea slicks" because of the stress of urban warfare. Toward the end of the book he shares a story about when he is fighting for his life, a much taller, older Afghani solider, in flip-flops. They fight for minutes, which drag on like hours. After he has basically killed his opponent and David is weeping in exhaustion, and they are draped over each other, in the last part of hand-to-hand combat One of the greatest war memoirs ever written. Shares the truth of the battlefield. How men get the "diarrhea slicks" because of the stress of urban warfare. Toward the end of the book he shares a story about when he is fighting for his life, a much taller, older Afghani solider, in flip-flops. They fight for minutes, which drag on like hours. After he has basically killed his opponent and David is weeping in exhaustion, and they are draped over each other, in the last part of hand-to-hand combat, the other man strokes the cheek of the much younger American, who was the more able opponent. As he is dying. "He was forgiving me," David Bellavia writes. I swear that image... I cried.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    4 Stars for House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, a no-nonsense, unvarnished account of war at the Army squad level in Fallujah, 2004. Bellavia tells it good and bad, he doesn't pull any punches on how raw, dirty, horrific, primeval, ugly combat really is. This is not a book for the weak stomach. If you want to have an inkling of what infantry combat was like in Iraq, this is the book. Also quite sad to think the bravery and blood in this fight was for naught as we left Iraq before the job was 4 Stars for House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, a no-nonsense, unvarnished account of war at the Army squad level in Fallujah, 2004. Bellavia tells it good and bad, he doesn't pull any punches on how raw, dirty, horrific, primeval, ugly combat really is. This is not a book for the weak stomach. If you want to have an inkling of what infantry combat was like in Iraq, this is the book. Also quite sad to think the bravery and blood in this fight was for naught as we left Iraq before the job was done.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    It took me a bit to put the words together in my head what I wanted to say in my review of House to House. I absolutely loved it, that was never a question. My confusion was how to convey how much I loved it and what a book like this means to me. House to House is the memoir of David Bellavia's time as a soldier in Iraq and in particular his and his unit's experiences in the second Battle of Fallujah, which took place in November of 2004 and was arguably the bloodiest battle in the Iraq war. The It took me a bit to put the words together in my head what I wanted to say in my review of House to House. I absolutely loved it, that was never a question. My confusion was how to convey how much I loved it and what a book like this means to me. House to House is the memoir of David Bellavia's time as a soldier in Iraq and in particular his and his unit's experiences in the second Battle of Fallujah, which took place in November of 2004 and was arguably the bloodiest battle in the Iraq war. The Army was in the Battle of Fallujah! I honestly didn't even know that prior to reading this book. The tiniest bit that I've read on the battle was in the main stream news, and of the information I've seen on it in the past it is all about the US Marines' involvement in the battle. As a matter of fact I didn't know a fraction of the information about the Iraq war that was provided in this book. Laid out in a manner that is in your face and impossible to ignore, David Bellavia tells us what it is like for a soldier to be in the middle of battle and you feel every word of it. I don't pretend to know what it's like for a soldier in the middle of a war because I've read a book or in particular this book. I know this book wasn't written for SSG Bellavia to thump his chest and show the world he is "the man". I especially know this wasn't written for the American people to show pity or feel sorry for our soldiers. This was written to open the eyes of the reader to see what it takes to be a soldier in the US Army infantry and the values that these men hold dear. Their cause is just, they go off to war to serve their country. But what they are truly fighting for is the man on their left side and the man on their right side who has become their brother. This point was gotten through to me crystal clear. Not once did I get the impression that David Bellevia was showing off, or blasting his own horn, as after this battle he would have every right to do. He constantly told how proud he was of his men, how honored he was to serve with Fitts, Faulkenburg, Iwan, Simms, Cantrell and on several different occasions indicating how other soldiers both his subordinates and his superiors were his heros. In fact, the amount of modesty in this man astounded me. He was recommended to receive the Medal of Honor for events that took place in this book. But in SSG Bell's description of these events he is not bragging but almost criticizing himself for how he handled himself. At no point in this book did he mention any of his awards that he's received as a soldier. Which include a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. This book wasn't written for others to recognize him as a hero, but for us to recognize his fellow soldiers and what they've endured, proven and sacrificed. House to House is written in a crude in-your-face manner, which is sure to grab anyone's attention. This is definitely not for the faint or delicate of heart as just about every other word is referring to some kind of violent act, killer weapon or an f-bomb (which is part of the reason I loved it so much, it was real dialogue). I would and have recommended this to anyone interested in reading a story of true life military heroism at it's most horrifically described.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I listed this on my "Action" shelf though that's not the primary reason for reading it. Combat is nasty, dirty, "uncomfortable", dangerous and in general not appreciated by the general public. America's soldiers have acquitted themselves with courage throughout our history. I think veterans may get something more from this than non-veterans but it's a look inside urban combat for anyone who will read it. I don't know if any veterans of WWI are still alive, they'd have to be well over 100. There a I listed this on my "Action" shelf though that's not the primary reason for reading it. Combat is nasty, dirty, "uncomfortable", dangerous and in general not appreciated by the general public. America's soldiers have acquitted themselves with courage throughout our history. I think veterans may get something more from this than non-veterans but it's a look inside urban combat for anyone who will read it. I don't know if any veterans of WWI are still alive, they'd have to be well over 100. There are however still those who fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and of course the conflicts that have taken place and are taking place in the Middle East. There are also those who've gone to war in places they can't talk about...places where we never officially were. But getting killed in a covert operation is no less dead. The men you'll meet here are infantry, the backbone of the military. Don't sneer at the soldiers who wear infantry blue. The infantry are the front line, the mud slogger, grunts, they get the nasty jobs where people don't come home the same as all American soldiers. Recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Once in a while I pick up one of the memoirs (mostly war) to read. This was a good read about brave men and women who served our country. At the same time it reminds me of how lucky I am to live in America. The ending gets very emotional. When Staff Sergeant David Bellavia went back afterwards just made me cry. I don't know or could comprehend what they go through but I thank them for things they do. Once in a while I pick up one of the memoirs (mostly war) to read. This was a good read about brave men and women who served our country. At the same time it reminds me of how lucky I am to live in America. The ending gets very emotional. When Staff Sergeant David Bellavia went back afterwards just made me cry. I don't know or could comprehend what they go through but I thank them for things they do.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Book

    A visceral, harrowing account of the battle of Fallujah. Mr. Bellavia clearly had a movie adaptation in mind, or else he views his own actions through the prism of a movie formula: meet the soldiers, extended battle scenes, and an outro to describe what happened to everyone. There is something appealing, in a lizard-brain, Neanderthal-survival-instinct manner in reading about the gritty horror of war, all with the evil vs. good backdrop. The details are intense and the frenetic writing style doe A visceral, harrowing account of the battle of Fallujah. Mr. Bellavia clearly had a movie adaptation in mind, or else he views his own actions through the prism of a movie formula: meet the soldiers, extended battle scenes, and an outro to describe what happened to everyone. There is something appealing, in a lizard-brain, Neanderthal-survival-instinct manner in reading about the gritty horror of war, all with the evil vs. good backdrop. The details are intense and the frenetic writing style does match the battles they find themselves caught in. As I read this, I started to consider how books like these, which position the American supersoldier as the key actor in foreign wars, appeal to both the antiwar and pro-solider crowds. They satisfy a base instinct and provide material both for critique and affirmation for American supremacy. To hear my full thoughts on this dynamic, listen to the episode here: https://bookclubbed.buzzsprout.com/15...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is an Army NCO infantryman's account of some of his experiences in Iraq in 2004 and particularly about his platoon's part in the battle of Fallujah. The author does not pull any punches. He tells of his and his squad's experiences in war in all it's gory, disgusting, and savage specifics. This is not the sanitized version you see on tv; this is how the actions really unfold from the pure joy in killing another human being to the nonstop diarrhea to the lengths one must go in hand to hand co This is an Army NCO infantryman's account of some of his experiences in Iraq in 2004 and particularly about his platoon's part in the battle of Fallujah. The author does not pull any punches. He tells of his and his squad's experiences in war in all it's gory, disgusting, and savage specifics. This is not the sanitized version you see on tv; this is how the actions really unfold from the pure joy in killing another human being to the nonstop diarrhea to the lengths one must go in hand to hand combat to the death. The author is also honest on his personal shortcomings which is refreshing. This is a must read for aspiring infantrymen to see what it is really like. With it being written by a NCO infantryman comes the standard prejudices: everyone that is not an enlisted infantryman is below him and basically a pussy (although he softens on this stance to figure out that having the tank guys around at least is a welcome help), the officer corps is complete crap and they are not real soldiers (he softens on this in some moments later on in the book), etc. This is not a book about overall military strategy or about whole brigades or battles. This is a intimate look at this sergeant's squad level experiences, a little bit on squad level tactics, and what being an infantryman in this day and age entails. In that respect, this book shines brilliantly in its no holds barred honesty. 4.5 stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna Erishkigal

    Puts you into the firefight unlike any story I have ever read... This is a MEMOIR, told in the first-person to the best of the storyteller's recollection, helped along by a ghost-writer who put the story into a narrative-enough form to make it understandable for a non-military audience who has never been 'over there.' It put you right into the middle of the action, starting far enough back with a lesser-battle to help you get a feel for Sergeant Bellavia and the other soldiers who worked with him Puts you into the firefight unlike any story I have ever read... This is a MEMOIR, told in the first-person to the best of the storyteller's recollection, helped along by a ghost-writer who put the story into a narrative-enough form to make it understandable for a non-military audience who has never been 'over there.' It put you right into the middle of the action, starting far enough back with a lesser-battle to help you get a feel for Sergeant Bellavia and the other soldiers who worked with him, and then moves you forward right to the battle of Fallujah. I've read many war memoirs, WWII, Vietnam, and a few more recent books, but this is the only one which put me into an ARMY INFANTRY unit. Usually you hear about Special Forces, or fighter pilots, or snipers, because the public perceives those fights to be sexier. Meanwhile the infantry is fighting house-to-house, hand-to-hand, in the most dangerous and filthy and intimate way possible. This book raised many questions (such as, why didn't our military powers-that-be just turn Fallujah into glass if the civilian population had fled, or place a higher value on a mosque-used-to-store-weapons than a soldier's life?). No matter WHAT your feelings about the war, this memoir raised my appreciation for what our soldiers go through.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

    Focused mainly on the U.S.–Iraqi offensive of November 2004, including a lengthy detailed hand-to-hand denouement, this is a compelling modern war memoir. The author details the techniques and tactics (including insurgents made nearly unstoppable by epinephrine and other drugs) in a narrative story that works in the very human interior experience. The depth of this reflection surfaces rage and panic, faith and fear, missteps and hallucinations. With a second life as a journalist embed, a lengthy Focused mainly on the U.S.–Iraqi offensive of November 2004, including a lengthy detailed hand-to-hand denouement, this is a compelling modern war memoir. The author details the techniques and tactics (including insurgents made nearly unstoppable by epinephrine and other drugs) in a narrative story that works in the very human interior experience. The depth of this reflection surfaces rage and panic, faith and fear, missteps and hallucinations. With a second life as a journalist embed, a lengthy epilogue covers the cost to family life and a decision to turn from warrior to father-husband.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Mercer

    **There is a glossary at the end! Wish I knew this before reading!** This book was so interesting yet so different from all the other war books I've read. I find it incredible that the author can detail kills made without a visible threat. In other, more recent, war stories the authors have talked about all the red tape and how they have to document every single kill. Anything unprovoked would lead to an investigation. It seemed to be the opposite philosophy in the Iraqi war - that they should ki **There is a glossary at the end! Wish I knew this before reading!** This book was so interesting yet so different from all the other war books I've read. I find it incredible that the author can detail kills made without a visible threat. In other, more recent, war stories the authors have talked about all the red tape and how they have to document every single kill. Anything unprovoked would lead to an investigation. It seemed to be the opposite philosophy in the Iraqi war - that they should kill anything that moves. I was so surprised that the author admits how he constantly questions himself in battle and beats himself up for what he considers poor decisions. He is so brutally honest and yet funny to break up the tension. I loved how he took the time to focus on each man that he was working with to explain the sacrifice they were making for their country. I have to look up and see if this author has written anything since 2007 when this book was published. He was so plagued by sadness and grief and I would love to know whether he ever got his life back on track and started living in the present. This was such a great read. I totally recommend it if you can handle gruesome details. I think it's important to read these types of stories so we are educated about how some of our men and women are really doing fighting for our freedoms.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    While the person David Bellavia portrays himself as in this book is not always likeable, (too Duke Nukem, too Universal Soldier, too hardcore, pumped-up-gung-ho-HOOAH!) it is still an absorbing insight into the house by house style warfare engaged in the Iraq War, 2004, Fallujah. The book is a good read, I won't take that away from it, but I did drop a star because I couldn't always stand Bellavia's agro junkie attitude. I did feel, however, that after his 'incident' alone in the house in Fallu While the person David Bellavia portrays himself as in this book is not always likeable, (too Duke Nukem, too Universal Soldier, too hardcore, pumped-up-gung-ho-HOOAH!) it is still an absorbing insight into the house by house style warfare engaged in the Iraq War, 2004, Fallujah. The book is a good read, I won't take that away from it, but I did drop a star because I couldn't always stand Bellavia's agro junkie attitude. I did feel, however, that after his 'incident' alone in the house in Fallujah, he matured and calmed down a bit. Had himself a reality check.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Feels like it's more patting on the back than non fictional.. a little beefed up maybe? Not bashing, I'm a veteran as well.. Feels like it's more patting on the back than non fictional.. a little beefed up maybe? Not bashing, I'm a veteran as well..

  17. 4 out of 5

    Audiobook Accomplice (Gillian)

    By: Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, John Bruning / Narrated By: Ray Porter Raw. Fierce. Brave. …And Ray Porter? Is that you…?!? My Full Review By: Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, John Bruning / Narrated By: Ray Porter Raw. Fierce. Brave. …And Ray Porter? Is that you…?!? My Full Review

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zac

    All I can say is this mans account of fighting hand to hand with the enemy is as real as it gets.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Britt Bonanno

    Finished it in a week. Great read. Very descriptive and honest.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Thamert

    During my time in the Army I knew one of the soldiers who was listed in the book as the S.A.W. gunner that SGT. Bellavia pulled back from the doorway as the insurgents were shooting at them. It was cool to read about what the soldiers in Fallujah had to go through just to clear out some of the houses. This was a great page-turner and I finished it in only two sittings. I also watched the documentary "Only the Dead see the end of War" because the same soldiers in the book are also in part of the During my time in the Army I knew one of the soldiers who was listed in the book as the S.A.W. gunner that SGT. Bellavia pulled back from the doorway as the insurgents were shooting at them. It was cool to read about what the soldiers in Fallujah had to go through just to clear out some of the houses. This was a great page-turner and I finished it in only two sittings. I also watched the documentary "Only the Dead see the end of War" because the same soldiers in the book are also in part of the documentary.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peter Martuneac

    I feel like I read a different book than others have. Bellavia writes well and endured terrible hardships in Fallujah, let’s get that right. But his accounting of the battle was juvenile and felt like he was just hyping himself and his squad up. I can’t tell you how many times in the book he takes shots at the Marines in this battle, calling into question their capabilities and effectiveness. It seemed to me like he was using his status as a decorated veteran of the battle as a platform purely t I feel like I read a different book than others have. Bellavia writes well and endured terrible hardships in Fallujah, let’s get that right. But his accounting of the battle was juvenile and felt like he was just hyping himself and his squad up. I can’t tell you how many times in the book he takes shots at the Marines in this battle, calling into question their capabilities and effectiveness. It seemed to me like he was using his status as a decorated veteran of the battle as a platform purely to lob insults at a rival military branch and to build himself up. And that decoration is also what sticks out to me. Again I want to stress that I’m not questioning his bravery. I do however question the actions that got him his medal. He admits in the book to having felt inadequate following his first taste of combat in the city (can’t remember exactly why, I think he hesitated to fire and felt like less of a man). The next day, he and another squad mate are to attempt to clear a house that’s firing on their squad’s position. His buddy tells Bellavia to wait until he can retrieve the shotgun. But Bellavia feels like he has to prove his manhood and clears the house by himself, an *incredibly* stupid choice. There was no reason NOT to wait for his squad mate to return. His actions feel more like a desperate gambit for a cool war story than a fight for life like other recipients of the Medal of Honor. A situation into which he thrust himself rather than one in which he had no choice. If you’re looking for a hero from the Second Battle of Fallujah, may I suggest looking up to Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal. When Marines became trapped in a building, he grabbed a squad of Marines and assaulted the structure. He not only cleared the house of enemy insurgents, fighting with a pistol and KA-BAR, but was shot 7 times and used his body to shield a wounded Marine from grenade shrapnel. He then refused any medical attention until the other Marines were seen to. As a 1st Sergeant he was under no obligation to charge into direct combat but he did so anyway. Now *that’s* a hero.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Wow... I had just finished Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House when I began reading House to House. I felt it was important to dive into the Iraq war from a soldiers perspective. Plus I have read many novels about Vietnam, WWII, and WWI, and wanted to get a better perspective on Urban Combat. House to House did not disappoint. It was intense, real, at times funny, sad, and gave great perspective. House to House is an account of the battle at Fallujah. This was the turning point of t Wow... I had just finished Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House when I began reading House to House. I felt it was important to dive into the Iraq war from a soldiers perspective. Plus I have read many novels about Vietnam, WWII, and WWI, and wanted to get a better perspective on Urban Combat. House to House did not disappoint. It was intense, real, at times funny, sad, and gave great perspective. House to House is an account of the battle at Fallujah. This was the turning point of the war when insurgents were the cause of most of the fatalities, and the Bush administration was under fire for the losing war. There was turnover in the upper levels of the military and government, unrest in the new Iraqi government, and the emergence of disciplined angry Muslim extremists who fought a new type of battle. Its no secret our newest threat ISIS was formed in 2003 under Al-Zawqari's lead in Iraq. House to House is a soldier's account of going face to face with this new enemy. At times this is difficult to read. As a woman, I found it particularly painful reading towards the end of the book. I felt great compassion for David Bellavia's wife and children. I also felt sad that he had to address the media's role in the treatment of our veterans who come back from war. These men and women are just following orders. They have no say in the decisions that are made, and just try to do their jobs. Although Abu Ghraib and the treatment of captured terrorists are a great stain on our country, they do not represent the majority of American citizens and soldiers. No soldier should have to return home to hatred and civil unrest. They should be rewarded and treated like heroes. I highly recommend House to House.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rodney

    Amazing book. I've read other reviews that compare Bellavia's work to Tim O'Brien. It is a solid comparison, but Bellavia gives more of a vivid picture of not only combat but the suffering that each solider goes though on the battlefield. The book contains one of the most violent description of two men fighting to the death. The terror/rage/pain described will haunt me. Often times you hear people pay lip service to supporting to troops and thanks to all what veterans do. After reading this, there Amazing book. I've read other reviews that compare Bellavia's work to Tim O'Brien. It is a solid comparison, but Bellavia gives more of a vivid picture of not only combat but the suffering that each solider goes though on the battlefield. The book contains one of the most violent description of two men fighting to the death. The terror/rage/pain described will haunt me. Often times you hear people pay lip service to supporting to troops and thanks to all what veterans do. After reading this, there are no words of thanks which can do justice to the suffering endured. Even those of us who served in the military have no concept of what the few have endured. There in lines one of the ironic facts of military service. Almost all the fighting is done by a very small minority of specific MOS. I enlisted and survived basic training, but after reading this I realize that I had a job wearing a US Army uniform. I would not know what to say to these soldiers. Amazing read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Eisenberg

    In House to House, David Bellavia recounts his experience of the Battle of Fallujah, the most costly and hotly-contested battle of the second Iraq War. Ballavia provides a vivid description of urban, house-to-house warfare, and I found the book to be a very quick and intense read. I was also pleasantly surprised to find information that was new to me (such as the magnitude of the US's fire superiority; the degree to which the opponent can threaten our troops despite their fire inferiority; the a In House to House, David Bellavia recounts his experience of the Battle of Fallujah, the most costly and hotly-contested battle of the second Iraq War. Ballavia provides a vivid description of urban, house-to-house warfare, and I found the book to be a very quick and intense read. I was also pleasantly surprised to find information that was new to me (such as the magnitude of the US's fire superiority; the degree to which the opponent can threaten our troops despite their fire inferiority; the amount of troops/resources our army is willing to commit to the killing of just 1 insurgent; and the stellar, almost indestructible quality of some of our weapons and vehicles). I was also impressed with Bellavia's apparent honesty---his willingness to be forthcoming about his own faults/failures lends credence to the accuracy of the book's content as a whole.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    The book is hard to put down. This book details the experiences of Sgt. Bellavia. He is a team leader in the early years of the war in Iraq, and the story builds to when his unit is sent into Fallujah. Beware, because this book contains graphic war images and plenty of curse words (but I suppose that is what you experience being in the military :-) Bellavia and his company fight house to house, and the story climaxes when his team enters a house to clear it and encounter a number of Terrorists w The book is hard to put down. This book details the experiences of Sgt. Bellavia. He is a team leader in the early years of the war in Iraq, and the story builds to when his unit is sent into Fallujah. Beware, because this book contains graphic war images and plenty of curse words (but I suppose that is what you experience being in the military :-) Bellavia and his company fight house to house, and the story climaxes when his team enters a house to clear it and encounter a number of Terrorists who have set up and prepared the house specifically to defend against the infidels. Once again, I couldn't put the book down, it was a very fun and fast read. I haven't experienced that since reading 'Blackhawk Down'.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The language in this book took some time for me to get used to. There is a glossary and abbreviations are spelled out when introduced, but it's challenging to enjoy casual reading when you have to constantly look things up. The material itself was also difficult, but that's to be expected given the subject matter. The content is a play by play of events without much personal analysis offered. I would have been interested in hearing more about the emotional aspects, but that was not the motive of The language in this book took some time for me to get used to. There is a glossary and abbreviations are spelled out when introduced, but it's challenging to enjoy casual reading when you have to constantly look things up. The material itself was also difficult, but that's to be expected given the subject matter. The content is a play by play of events without much personal analysis offered. I would have been interested in hearing more about the emotional aspects, but that was not the motive of the author. Overall it was a good read. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the life of a soldier. it didn't seem like much was held back, but I wouldn't really know if it were.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Craig Fiebig

    Terrifying, enlightening, horrifying, worrisome. Bellavia's book evokes every possible gut-wrenching, mind-numbing emotion possible. I cannot believe what it takes for someone to serve in the infantry, to serve one another ... and us, our country. I've read enough history to trip over most poetic descriptions evoked by men in the desperate struggle of combat. SSgt Bellavia's is among the best: "This is the infantry. War's a bitch. Wear a Helmet." WARNING: This writing is too gruesome for anyone w Terrifying, enlightening, horrifying, worrisome. Bellavia's book evokes every possible gut-wrenching, mind-numbing emotion possible. I cannot believe what it takes for someone to serve in the infantry, to serve one another ... and us, our country. I've read enough history to trip over most poetic descriptions evoked by men in the desperate struggle of combat. SSgt Bellavia's is among the best: "This is the infantry. War's a bitch. Wear a Helmet." WARNING: This writing is too gruesome for anyone with an average familiarity with squeamishness. The graphic detail was hard to read for one whose work risks, using that word advisedly, paper cuts and getting yelled at.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    Intense, proper look into the early years of American infantry in Iraq sweeping house to house in an epic testiment from this Staff Sergeant. The whole book covers 3 days as far as his missions, but encompasses the neverending American spirit & the lifelong honor of heroes that serve our country each & everyday. I couldnt put this down & highly recommend this book if you enjoy reading about military/conflict or american history, except if you have loved ones currently abroad serving in the line Intense, proper look into the early years of American infantry in Iraq sweeping house to house in an epic testiment from this Staff Sergeant. The whole book covers 3 days as far as his missions, but encompasses the neverending American spirit & the lifelong honor of heroes that serve our country each & everyday. I couldnt put this down & highly recommend this book if you enjoy reading about military/conflict or american history, except if you have loved ones currently abroad serving in the line of fire...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Staff Sergeant David Bellavia brutally and fearlessly details the life of the infantry man in the bloody battle of Fallujah in 2004. His profane and honest storytelling forces himself and the reader to confront the challenges, fears and reality of modern urban combat. Why I started this book: Recommending professional reading for the US Army. Why I finished it: I couldn't put it down. Powerful, and insightful. Sensitive readers beware: Combat, blood, guts and gore, not to mention language. Staff Sergeant David Bellavia brutally and fearlessly details the life of the infantry man in the bloody battle of Fallujah in 2004. His profane and honest storytelling forces himself and the reader to confront the challenges, fears and reality of modern urban combat. Why I started this book: Recommending professional reading for the US Army. Why I finished it: I couldn't put it down. Powerful, and insightful. Sensitive readers beware: Combat, blood, guts and gore, not to mention language.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    An interesting memoir of house to house fighting during the first two days of the Fallujah assault, albeit written by a wannabe tough guy who delights in telling his readers just how wracked by emotion and self doubt he is. If you can get past the author's annoying writing style (and where the hell was his co-author on that??), there's some useful stuff here on the character of modern urban assault and doctrinal flexibility. An interesting memoir of house to house fighting during the first two days of the Fallujah assault, albeit written by a wannabe tough guy who delights in telling his readers just how wracked by emotion and self doubt he is. If you can get past the author's annoying writing style (and where the hell was his co-author on that??), there's some useful stuff here on the character of modern urban assault and doctrinal flexibility.

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