This is essentially Dauphin’s thoughts on the war told in a series of events and anecdotes. There are some scenes that you can’t help but be affected by, such as the story near the beginning of the book about the guy trying to save his kids arm. As far as it being a glimpse into the world of the military field hospital, the book is brutally honest about what really happens to soldiers.
While the events can be moving the book as a whole is pretty inaccessible. It is jargon filled and some paragraphs feel more like a jumbling of letters then actual speech. I know the military loves its acronyms but when writing for a general audience the author should try and pull back on that a little bit. This book felt more like listening to the raw tapes of a military doctor talking then an edited work. There is no pacing in the stories and as a whole the book feels like it jumps all over the place.
This is one of those cases where a ghost writer should have stepped in and worked with Dauphin. In the hands of a skilled writer this could have been a riveting and emotional tale but as it is the book feels like an amateurish attempt at a memoir.