Dust to Dust

Dust to Dust : A Memoir

3.72 (353 ratings by Goodreads)
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"A wonderful book, original in concept and stunningly written."
--Ward Just

"Elegiac, funny, wistful, deep, and wonderfully human, Dust to Dust moved me to laughter and tears, sometimes simultaneously."
--Karl Marlantes, bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War

Tim O'Brien meets Annie Dillard in this remarkable memoir by debut author Benjamin Busch. Much more than a war memoir, Dust to Dust brilliantly explores the passage through a lifetime--a moving meditation on life and death, the adventures of childhood and revelations of adulthood. Seemingly ordinary things take on a breathtaking radiance when examined by this decorated Marine officer--veteran of two combat tours in Iraq--actor on the hit HBO series The Wire, and son of acclaimed novelist Frederick Busch. Above all, Benjamin Busch is a truly extraordinary new literary talent as evidenced by his exemplary debut, Dust to Dust--an original, emotionally powerful, and surprisingly refreshing take on an American soldier's story.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 147.32 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 430.91g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Ecco Press
  • Hopewell, United States
  • English
  • 10 Black and White Photos
  • 0062014846
  • 9780062014849
  • 1,749,696

Review quote

"Dust to Dust is a wonderful book, original in concept and stunningly written, a soldier's memoir that is about soldiering and much else besides. The last two dozen pages are a tour de force, a breathtaking meditation on loss and remembrance, dust to dust."--Ward Just
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Back cover copy

Dust to Dust is an extraordinary memoir about ordinary things: life and death, peace and war, the adventures of childhood and the revelations of adulthood. Benjamin Busch--a decorated U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer who served two combat tours in Iraq, an actor on The Wire, and the son of celebrated novelist Frederick Busch--has crafted a lasting book to stand with the finest work of Tim O'Brien or Annie Dillard.

In elemental-themed chapters--water, metal, bone, blood--Busch weaves together a vivid record of a pastoral childhood in rural New York; Marine training in North Carolina, Ukraine, and California; and deployment during the worst of the war in Iraq, as seen firsthand. But this is much more than a war memoir. Busch writes with great poignancy about the resonance of a boyhood spent exploring rivers and woods, building forts, and testing the limits of safety. Most of all, he brings enormous emotional power to his reflections on mortality: in a helicopter going down; wounded by shrapnel in Ramadi; dealing with the sudden death of friends in combat and of parents back home.

Dust to Dust is an unforgettable meditation on life and loss, and how the curious children we were remain alive in us all.
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Review Text

"Beautifully told. . . . There is not one bad sentence in this book. . . . I cannot wait to see what [Busch] writes next." Library Journal (starred review)
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Rating details

353 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 27% (96)
4 33% (116)
3 27% (95)
2 11% (39)
1 2% (7)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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