This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

So I didn't finish this one. In fact, I didn't even make the first 100 pages! I just couldn't continue. And I am disappointed in this author, as his book Into Thin Air is on my wish list for reading and I am no longer interested based on this book.

What I liked about this book?

The parallels drawn with Pat Tillman being born and growing up, and the conflict that was happening in the Middle East. It is a great way to learn the history of what was going on because quite honestly, I don't know it.

He chronicles the war Afghanistan had with the Soviet Union and the whole mess the US government made then, which we are paying for now. He also introduces Osama bin Laden and how he managed to become the powerhouse he came to be.

And this, I enjoyed.

The part I didn't enjoy was his writing style. It is as if he had a thesauraus near by to put every rare word he could on paper. I was so turned off by this. I found it arrogant.

The other part I didn't like will sound bad but hear me out. Krakauer's description of Pat Tillman as a person is just so over the top. It's too much. He is a saint and has done no wrong...and when he did do wrong, Krakauer speaks for Tillman by explaining how remorseful he was and that it was not typical of him.

Don't get me wrong: I don't want to take anything away from Pat Tillman *but* Krakauer, IMO, adds such a dimension of absurd idealism that it takes away from Tillman's life story and legacy. It's just an insult. And it makes me sick.

My next course of action, to learn about Pat Tillman, is to read the book his mother wrote Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman by Mary Tillman. If I want the history lesson, I'll got to wikipedia, as someone on Amazon suggested in their 1 star rating of this book.


  1. Don't cross "Into Thin Air" off your list too fast. I LOVED that book. Granted, it has been a number of years since I read it, so I don't remember if it had an air of arrogance or read like it he was sitting there with a thesaurus, but REALLY... I really liked the book. Give it a chance. You can always read the first few chapters and put it away if it bugs you, but if it is written better, you could be missing out on a great book if you don't try it.

  2. Thanks Ann. I didn't go into it in the post, but Amazon readers who didn't like it *did* say that they were fans of Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Into The Wild, so I haven't totally written it off. But most (who rated it poorly) were extremely turned off by this book, so it must be really bad writing.

    Now, overall, this book has about a four star rating on Amazon, so we haters are a minority. I read a few points that: perhaps the mother/family were not involved in this particular book and that Krakauer was not happy about this one anyway.