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The White Donkey: Terminal Lance por…
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The White Donkey: Terminal Lance (edição 2016)

por Maximilian Uriarte (Autor)

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875240,527 (3.98)8
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 hopes 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.… (mais)
Título:The White Donkey: Terminal Lance
Autores:Maximilian Uriarte (Autor)
Informação:Little, Brown and Company (2016), Edition: Illustrated, 288 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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The White Donkey: Terminal Lance por Maximilian Uriarte

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The White Donkey, by Maximillian Uriarte, is disclaimed as a work of fiction, though one doesn’t have to squint too hard to see the memoirist aspects to the tome. Uriarte, who both wrote and illustrated the novel, served two tours in Iraq, which lead to the creation of Terminal Lance, an irreverent webcomic that is the United States Marine Corps as Piled Higher and Deeper is to academia or Dilbert was to the office. The White Donkey is an extension of that webcomic (or, as Uriarte describes it, the webcomic was an offshoot of White Donkey), and it follows Portlander Abe Belatzeko through the process of enlistment, training in Hawaii and California, deployment to Iraq, and then a return to civilian life in Oregon.

It weighs heavily on the reader. Belatzeko is an outsider in the intensely-fraternal culture of the Corps; an agnostic, mild-mannered teetotaller in a society that is as traditionally masculine as you can get. From the get-go he’s disillusioned with the reality of the life he signed up for – boredom, pointless regulations, incompetent officers, sleepless nights. His deployment to Iraq delivers him none of the glorious combat opportunities he may have been seeking, but a handful of scattered gunshots, explosions, and bad kebabs.

And the disillusionment only grows. After Belatzeko’s closest friend is killed in a random, senseless IED attack, he basically begins to unwind, the breaking point being the endless inquiries over what kind of action will get the men ribbons. The unwinding continues as he returns to civilian life in Oregon. He struggles to reconnect with the friends and family who supported him, and is constantly oppressed by the awe-struck civilians who only seem to care about if he killed anybody. Guilt and alienation take a heavy toll on Belatzeko, who is soon dealing with alcoholism and suicidal thoughts.

Uriarte, in the afterword, discusses the importance of addressing issues of PTSD, which no doubt is related to the 22 veterans who kill themselves every day. The White Donkey doesn’t offer much in the way of solutions (other than to suggest that USMC computer surveys are completely useless), but I found it an immensely valuable tool. It could very well be this generation’s Deer Hunter.

I loved the artwork itself, which typically only uses one color per environ – greens for Hawaii, reds for California, beige for Iraq and blue for Oregon. If you’re looking for insight into the Iraq War itself, though, there’s basically none. Uriarte keeps the scope narrowly-focused on his protagonist, and that protagonist is thoroughly uninterested in anything resembling a strategic big picture, or of Iraq beyond the bases. But it certainly offers us a mirror. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
I believe, it was ok for one time, but I do not think if I want to listen it again. Narrators and other sounds were in line with the mood of the audiobook.


Egyszer jó volt de nem hiszem, hogy több alkalommal meg akarom hallgatni. A narrátor(ok) és az egyéb hangok amúgy összhangban voltak a könyv hangulatával. ( )
  andras79 | Oct 14, 2017 |
My original The White Donkey: Terminal Lance audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

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.

Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Aug 5, 2016 |
I'm not entirely sure that I understand everything that went on in Uriarte's The White Donkey: Terminal Lance (a lot of the military jargon was lost on me, and it wasn't always easy to distinguish between characters as many of them looked the same), but I think Uriarte manages to give the reader a normally unseen aspect of what it's like to be a Marine, and how that can affect you, regardless of how much action you see. The writing and art is good (even tho, as previously mentioned, it was sometimes hard to distinguish between some characters), but I probably won't read anything else by Uriarte based on his Terminal Lance online comic strip. Just isn't entirely my thing, but for military enthusiasts, I think this would be a great book.

I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review. ( )
  tapestry100 | May 5, 2016 |
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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 hopes 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.

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