Summary and book reviews of Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel

Thank You for Your Service

by David Finkel

Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel X
Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2013, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2014, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding - shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, it takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the chilling realities of war.

No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel shadowed the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous surge, a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed all of them forever. Now Finkel has followed many of those same men as they've returned home and struggled to reintegrate - both into their family lives and into American society at large.

In the ironically named Thank You for Your Service, Finkel writes with tremendous compassion not just about the soldiers but about their wives and children. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it possible, or even reasonable, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And in moments of hardship, who are soldiers expected to turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? These are the questions Finkel faces as he revisits the brave but shaken men of the 2-16.

More than a work of journalism, Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding - shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, it takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the chilling realities of war.

1

Two years later: Adam drops the baby.

The baby, who is four days old, is his son, and there is a moment as he is falling that this house he has come home to seems like the most peaceful place in the world. Outside is the cold dead of 3:00 a.m. on a late-November night in Kansas, but inside is lamplight, the warm smell of a newborn, and Adam's wife, Saskia, beautiful Saskia, who a few minutes before had asked her husband if he could watch the baby so she could get a little sleep. "I got it," he had said. "I got it. Get some rest." She curled up in the middle of their bed, and the last thing she glimpsed was Adam reclined along the edge, his back against the headboard and the baby in his arms. He was smiling, as if contentment for this wounded man were possible at last, and she believed it enough to shut her eyes, just before he shut his. His arms soon relaxed. His grip loosened. The baby rolled off of his chest and over the edge of the bed, and here came that peaceful moment, the...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

David Finkel maintains his objective distance as a professional journalist – this isn't a polemic against war or the way the United States cares for its veterans - but there really isn't much good news to report in this ongoing story. It is, however, a very important book that helps readers understand the human cost of war, and the ongoing problems our returning soldiers and their families face.   (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Full Review (930 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

Fortune
The Good Soldiers by David Finkel is the most honest, most painful, and most brilliantly rendered account of modern war I’ve ever read.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Told in crisp, unsentimental prose and supplemented with excerpts from soldiers' diaries, medical reports, e-mails, and text messages, their stories give new meaning to the costs of service.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. The truly astonishing aspect of Finkel's work is that he remains completely absent from his reportage; he is still embedded. A real war story with a jarring but critical message for the American people.

Author Blurb Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award
Thank You for Your Service is one of the best and truest books I have ever read. David Finkel cuts through all the spin, the excuses, the blowhard politics and mind-deadening metrics to discover the cost of war for the soldiers who fight it and the families they come home to.

Author Blurb Katherine Boo, National Book Award–winning author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers
I'm urging everyone I know to give Thank You for Your Service just a few pages, a few minutes out of their busy lives. The families honored in this urgent, important book will take it from there.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

PTSD and TBI

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are being called the "signature injuries" of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. These conditions are closely related, but are, in fact, vastly different.

PTSD is a psychological response to a traumatic event. While most associate the term with military combat, any overwhelming life experience can trigger it, especially if the event feels unpredictable or uncontrollable. It can affect anyone who experiences, witnesses, or cleans up after a catastrophe. Those with PTSD most often see symptoms develop soon after an event, but sometimes it can take weeks, months or years before they occur. People with PTSD find their symptoms do not decrease and may even get worse over time. ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by David Finkel

If you liked Thank You for Your Service, try these:

  • Waiting for Eden jacket

    Waiting for Eden

    by Elliot Ackerman

    Published 2019

    About this book

    More books by this author

    From the National Book Award finalist, a breathtakingly spare and shattering new novel that traces the intersection of three star-crossed lives.

  • A Disappearance in Damascus jacket

    A Disappearance in Damascus

    by Deborah Campbell

    Published 2018

    About this book

    In the midst of an unfolding international crisis, renowned journalist Deborah Campbell finds herself swept up in the mysterious disappearance of Ahlam, her guide and friend. Campbell's frank, personal account of a journey through fear and the triumph of friendship and courage is as riveting as it is illuminating.

    Winner of the Hilary Weston ...

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Miracle Creek
    Miracle Creek
    by Angie Kim
    Miracle Creek, the debut novel from Angie Kim, hinges on the mysterious explosion of an oxygen tank....
  • Book Jacket: Courting Mr. Lincoln
    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    by Louis Bayard
    19 out of 21 of our First Impression Reviewers rated Louis Bayard's latest novel, Courting Mr. ...
  • Book Jacket
    Transcription
    by Kate Atkinson
    Over her two-decade-plus career, Kate Atkinson has reinvented herself as a writer several times by ...
  • Book Jacket: Exhalation
    Exhalation
    by Ted Chiang
    Exhalation is an assemblage of nine short stories and novellas written by Ted Chiang, a computer ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Women Rowing North
    by Mary Pipher

    The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of Reviving Ophelia.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Guest Book
    by Sarah Blake

    "An American epic in the truest sense…"
    Entertainment Weekly
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Her Kind of Case
by Jeanne Winer

A highly-recommended emotion-filled legal drama with three starred reviews!

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Miracle Creek

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie...

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I T S Form O F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.