Friday, May 30, 2008

Rogue Warrior

Oh this was a guilty pleasure, indeed. Let me give a little background on the Rogue Warrior:

Richard Marcinko was a real-life Navy SEAL grunt-cum-officer. Rogue Warrior has become a bit of a franchise and the rest of the books are supposedly fictional, but this first one is supposedly autobiographical. I've done no research on this, so I can't say how truly biographical it is.

I'll say that it's a tall tale he tells. And his writing style is, well, the closest I can compare it to would be Kinky Friedman. Think Kinky Friedman with less style (if that's possible) and about twice as much vulgarity. None-the-less, I couldn't stop reading it. But you know, I make it sound like Rogue Warrior is as baseless as Kinky's work, but this is not quite accurate. There is a good bit of wisdom in Rogue Warrior, but the writing style is simply awful... yet engaging!

Now, I simultaneously read three Rogue Warrior books (Rogue Warrior, Rogue Warrior: Detachment Bravo, and Rogue Warrior: SEAL Force Alpha) and because the 'sequels', though fiction, follow the same vein as the autobiography, it all gets a bit confusing. I did start with Rogue Warrior and shortly after began one of the other books, and I distinctly remember thinking that the autobiography was a much better read. But in the end, it all blends together because it's the same thing over and over, so I won't bother making separate entries for the other Rogue Warrior novels.

Again, I'm making it sound like this is trash, but it's not... but it is! Were this total fiction, I don't think I would be so interested, but because Richard Marcinko was the real-deal, and I imagine the stories somewhat reflect some of his misadventures while in the Navy, I was very engaged.

If you've ever been associated with the military in any fashion, I think you would enjoy at least the first Rogue Warrior. In fact, if you can tolerate gratuitous profanity, I think anybody would enjoy Rogue Warrior. On a recent roadtrip, to keep me awake, my wife started reading one of the three books to me, and she got hooked... and she's the type that reads Karen Kingsbury and watches Gilmore Girls.

So anyway, I wouldn't say this is a must read, but if you like a little bit of Kinky Friedman-type junk with a bite, go for it!