This is the story of a man living a horrible life. He works at a job he hates, with a girl-friend who attacks him. He drinks too much and continually mourns where his life has gone. Then, his life explodes. His girlfriend leaves him, and he careens wildly away from his old life, finally ending up at an army recruiting center, days after operation Desert Shield begins. The rest of the book describes his boot camp, specialist training and then Desert Storm itself.
It is an interesting perspective; it throws us to the other side of the TV screens we were all glued to that January. The fear, the doubts are related in a very real yet somewhat surreal manner.
There are places where this novel is quite humorous, and there are places where it is extremely dark. Overall, it veers towards the latter. In any case it is quite an interesting read and quite a discovery. I will definitely check out James Chapman's other books Our Plague: A Film from New York and The Walls Collide as You Expand, Dwarf Maple.