Narrator: Adam McArthur, Benita Robledo, Eric Lopez, Grace Lee, John Glouchevich, John Glouchevitch, Kiff Vandenheuvel, Macleod Andrews, Maximilian Uriarte, Maxwell Hamilton, Nick Jones
Published by Blackstone Audio Inc, Hachette Audio on 28 June 2016
Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Military, Non-Fiction
Source: Publisher, Submitted
New York Times Best Seller
A graphic novel of war and its aftermath.
A powerful, compulsively pause-resisting, vivid, and moving tribute to the experience of war and PTSD, The White Donkey tells the story of Abe, a young marine recruit who experiences the ugly, pedestrian, and often meaningless side of military service in rural Iraq. He enlists in the hope of finding that missing something in his life but comes to find out that it's not quite what he expected. Abe gets more than he bargained for when his journey takes him to the Middle East, in war-torn Iraq.
This is a story about a marine written by a marine, and the print version was the first graphic novel about the war in Iraq from a veteran. The White Donkey explores the experience of being a marine as well as the challenges that veterans face upon their return home, and its raw power will leave you in awe.
Full list of narrators includes John Glouchevich, Grace Lee, Benita Robledo, and Eric Lopez.
©2016 Maximilian Uriarte (P)2016 Hachette Audio
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Publisher, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Downpour.com Buy from Amazon.com Buy from OtherAdd to Goodreads
Terminal Lance is Maximillian Uriarte’s very popular webcomic about life as Marine. This book, The White Donkey, was originally a graphic novel following two of the comic’s recurring characters, Abe and Garcia. The book’s audio treatment is good. And short, less than three hours. Sound effects abound. Each character has a different voice. There’s some background music. Essentially it’s a radio play. And a very good one.
Abe and Garcia go from training to battlefield to post-traumatic stress. They learn that being a soldier is hard: physical exhaustion, loneliness, bullies, and a wide range of leadership competence. The absurdity of military bureaucracy is on full display. So is the weirdness of military life. Sometimes, for example, you’re sighting your rifle at an enemy, waiting for the order to shoot. While you’re sweating out life and death, a white donkey at the side of the road stares at everything impassively. Including you.
And as the reader, you really are there. The production is enveloping. The changing actors and sound effects generate a lot of sensory information. Though fictional the events of the story feel more like life than plot. It reads like a soldier’s narrative. And that’s a good thing. It’s not excessively dramatic, or reflective, or lyrical.
The busy-ness of the actors and sounds got in the way as I listened, but I got used to it. That’s one reason I wish the book were longer. It seemed like I had only just gotten involved in the story, and it had ended. The extra audio elements belong there, like pictures to words in a graphic novel. This was produced professionally and it shows. Among the many readers are Kiff Vandenheuvel, Grace Lee, Benita Robledo, Eric Lopez, and the author.
One final note: the portrayal of post-traumatic stress here can be hard. But it feels real, which is all the more unsettling.
My review is 4 stars instead of 5 only because the ending doesn’t sit right with me.