By: Jacob Paul Patchen
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 26, 2022
I can't imagine the hardships of war. I used to hear my grandfather and my uncles speak about their various experiences during the times they served this country, and I would cringe. I still (and always will) wish peace and protection for all the brave men and women who lay their lives on the line for the rest of us...and I will always thank them with everything I’ve got. But I also know I am too scared to ever take their place, and I am in awe of them eternally that they have the courage to do what I definitely cannot. Books like this—those books that come along maybe once in a decade—make me even more awestruck. Not only did the writer do a fantastic job portraying his characters, but he went further. He not only showed you the emotions someone felt, but he painted a multicolor portrait of every scene, every event, every moment this man experienced on battlefields, and the continuation of nightmares that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) provided on top of all the rest of the horrors.
We begin watching quietly as Sergeant JP Grimm holds his grandfather’s gun in his trembling hand. We watch him remember his beloved grandparents as he stares at a faded American flag between their two graves, and suddenly smells his grandma’s strawberry rhubarb pie fresh from the oven. Suffice to say, as the opening expires, readers are already fixated on what JP’s mind holds, and excited about the cinematic experience we are about to embark on with this character as the veil is lifted and the chapters begin.
As the path moves forward, U.S. Marine JP Grimm returns to the life of a civilian from the desert of Iraq. The man is now looking at a home, a wife he loves, and a son he finally gets to be around and watch grow up after all these months. Through no fault of his loving family, however, JP is also dealing with an “alternate” personality he owns after his heartfelt, painful experiences. He finds an inability to calm his own temper, and his level of paranoia seems to grow with each day that goes by. So not only does he have to deal with all things the war in Iraq loaded onto his shoulders, but JP must also now deal with heavy guilt when it comes to not being the loving, kind father and husband he longs to be. When the abyss he feels grows so endless that JP just can’t find a reason to stick around anymore, he places the metal against his skull and decides to end it once and for all. Whether unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how JP will look at this event, death by suicide is simply not in his cards; fate takes over.
Poetic, gritty, sharp – even if you are not a “war story” enthusiast, this is one of those novels that does not weigh a reader down with constant explanations of military tactics and terms. Although the author certainly knows what he’s talking about, he does not dwell on anything for too long; he works more on making the dialogue (whether it be from the civilian’s POV or the serviceman’s) flow perfectly, allowing the reader to be engaged during the entire novel.
This one man’s path to recovery and deliverance is a strong one, and the portrait of PTSD that this author creates with (I swear) Michelangelo’s brushes, shows jaw-dropping talent. Not a surprise, considering this is not the first book by this incredible author. But it’s certainly the one, thus far, I will remember for decades to come.
Quill says: This is one book that deserves to win the highest awards possible that the literary world provides.
For more information on No Pistol Tastes the Same (PTSD Disaster Book 1), please visit the author's website at: jacobpaulpatchen.com
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