House to House: An Epic Memoir of War

House to House: An Epic Memoir of War

by David Bellavia, John Bruning

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House to House: An Epic Memoir of War 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some books are well written and destined to be classics, like "Company Commander" or "Helmet For My Pillow." This is one of those books. I have read so many combat memoirs and interviewed so many soldiers in my career and hobby that I started thinking I've heard it all..Bellavia's accts are so well written you cannot stop reading and you feel as tho you are there. I've never read an account of hand to hand combat so moving, so detailed it was disturbing. Thank you Iraqi & Afgan vets, it's an eye opener for those that think this was an air war and occupation duty. Thank you David Bellavia.
Roborag More than 1 year ago
Staff Sergeant David Bellavia's account of the Fallujah War is an incredible feat of determination symbolizing the theme to not let even the worst situations get the best of you. The book features blood, gore, cussing, and banter, all of which bring the war experience to life. Rather than deny the truth of war, David Bellavia puts it on our front doorstep with an incredibly realistic description of his missions. The book features themes of courage, fear, brotherhood, and duty while staying away from politics making it an uncorrupted war experience. David Bellavia is not stuck up; he makes and recognizes his errors even as the leader of his comrades. His Silver Medal-account of the house-to-house experience brings the reader into the battle zone of David Bellavia. This book is most appropriate for high school students and adults. Even though it contains an extensive amount of cussing, the book is informative on the Iraq War-effort, and details the extreme measures these men have to take to complete their mission. The frightening missions they face from wading through human excrement to slip past detection, to stumbling across massive IED's show the fearlessness of the infantrymen. David Bellavia's memoir of the accurately reveals the truth of the War in Iraq. The house-to-house mission is the hallmark of this book and David Bellavia's career. The men are assigned a mission to clear 12 houses in Fallujah. Inside the 10th house David Bellavia and his comrades come under heavy fire and are forced to retreat amongst the tracer fire and darkness. Outside David Bellavia is furious, questioning himself "Do I have the balls? Do I have the nuts to do what my f***ing heart wants me to do?" His journey begins as he finds the strength to take back his honor and manhood alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It starts out a little slow, about chapter 6 the action starts. It is funny, suspenseful, and sad all in one. The epilogue made me cry. If you love 1st person war accounts, this is a must read.
funrunner1977 More than 1 year ago
Wow. I just finished reading "House to House" and I am stunned. This book means so much to me as a soldier. The raw grittiness of an infantryman in combat has been captured perfectly. The language is rough and real and the portrayal of human sacrifice is touching. The book is a borderline masterpiece in my book and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to know what its like in combat...as hard of a question as that is to answer. The book proper was perfect, but the prologue is extremely moving and really brings the work home as the author reflects on what his service means to him, his family and in particular that old lady on the streets of Fallujah. Don't understand that last part? Get the book and you will.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's set in 2004 in Fallujah (Iraq) and takes real world accounts into the invasion of the city by the 2/2. It's a real easy read with a very down to earth, raw human element. This is a great book to gain insight on the stresses that one must face while engaging in combat while walking the fine line of being a soldier as well as a leader and the personal demons and discipline one must contend with while trying to navigate between what's real and losing one's mind. Its a powerfully gripping read that is flawless from start to finish. It gives new prospective of what our men are really faced with. Selfless even when knowing their fate is at the mercy of those they are fighting alongside and the enemy. Highly recommend!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great read. The book jumps right into the action, there is no long drawn out beginning. The chapters move quickly and I found myself very involved with the details. You can get a good feel of the surroundings and the authors feelings. You will have a new appreciation for those who fight for the United States.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Staff Sgt. Bellavia 'Bell' spent six years in the United states infantry. After coming home he wrote this book describing his last and costly mission of all, taking fallujah, a city deep in the heart of Iraq. Follow Staff Sgt. Bell from patrolling the streets of Baghdad to the after math of the battle. This was a outstanding book and was full of suspense all the way through. This book is not part of a series but there is a book called my men are my hero¿s which is based on the same battle only following a marine. If you like war books you will like this book. This book really reflects the gritty and realistic features of war, so there is a lot of gory details and bad language. If you have a week stomach or bad language offends you I would not read this book. This book kind of reminds me of the movie Black Hawk Down. I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope you will to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have two brothers in Iraq. Since they have shipped out I have read many books from the war in Iraq. This is by far the best I have read. I couldnt stop reading it. Finished it in less than two days. YOU MUST READ!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great look inside a combat infantryman's life in Iraq. Anyone who likes non-fiction books about war, read this! It gives you the point of view from an enlisted infantryman 'S/Sgt David Bellavia, United States Army' about his time in Falluja, Iraq, one of the bloodiest battles since Veitnam. I highly suggest reading this novel. Wonderfully written to get you as close to being there as you can through a book, S/Sgt. Bellavia gives you insight into what our brave men and women go through on a daily basis. Hooah!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book shows those who don't know what is going on in Iraq the truth from a Mechanized Infantry Sqaud Leaders perspective. From the moment I picked it up I could not put it down. It is so raw and gritty it puts you right in the fight. A must read for all Military, Retired, and Civilians. Thanks SSG Bell!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book the very day it came out. If you're interested in knowing what's going on in Iraq then this is a must read. You'll truely appreciate what these men and women are doing for this country. Brilliantly written with such detail it feels like you're fighting right along side them. Once I started I couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do you talk about the Iraq War without truly knowing the facts? Then this book is a must read -- written by a very brave and dedicated infantry soldier, with John Bruning. You won't be the same after you have read it, but you will respect the US armed forces.
Anonymous 17 days ago
Can put it down.
Anonymous 5 months ago
SSgt Bellavia expertly transports us into modern day warfare. As a Vietnam Veteran I will say that I feel that this book is the closest rendition of a conflict/combat experience that I have read yet. Thank you David for having found the courage and determination to share (no matter the personal cost to yourself) with us.
B-loNY 6 months ago
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found the Iraqi war memoir House to House by David Bellavia to be very intense and vivid. His well written descriptions of combat in Fallujah tells of the lethal fighting that took place as the infantry battled from house to house for control of the city. These men had to deal with so much, from intense heat, unsanitary conditions to booby trapped buildings, all the while fighting fanatic militants who appeared to have no fear of death. Most of the action in this book is centered on the events of November 2004. As they breach an opening into the city and then start the slow process of clearing each street, alley, house and stairway. I was so impressed with the positive, professional attitude of these soldiers, they had come to do a job and they buckled down to it accepting these terrifying conditions as part of the job. Of course, there was plenty of course language, some actual humorous moments, but underneath it all these soldiers were fierce in their brotherhood, they protected, watched out for and cared for each other.The author¿s defining moment of combat was a terrifying one. Alone in a dark house against an unknown number of drugged up fanatics, he has to use every bit of his training and experience to survive. A life changing experience of danger that¿s unforgettable to read about.David Bellavia has managed to convey to me a striking picture of combat, his account enabled me to experience a small amount of what these men go through. I have always had enormous respect for veterans, and this book totally justifies that respect.
brianinbuffalo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Gripping" is the best word to describe a book that brilliantly captures the horrors of combat. Bellavia's book is stunning in every respect. The narrative grabs readers by the eyeballs in the earliest chapters and doesn't release its grip until the final touching pages. In the interest of full disclosure, Bellavia's wife was one of my communications students back in the mid 1990s. But we haven't kept in touch except for an occasional Facebook exchange. When Deanna suggested that I read "House to House," my low tolerance for war epics made me hesitant. But I can honestly say this is one of the best books I've read in the past couple years. The graphic accounts of the fighting in Fallujah are brilliantly told. Even readers who know little about modern warfare will be drawn into a story that speaks volumes about loyalty and unity. "House to House" is written in a way that allows to readers to get into the minds of soliders as they grapple with some harrowing experiences that most of us can barely fathom. It's even laced with humor. One of my favorite passages of any book I've read in years comes at the beginning of Chapter 17 when Bellavia laments: "You know things are not right with the world when you share a spiritual moment with a damn journalist." In summary, many of the searing vignettes in this book will stay with me for years.
dludwig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Riveting and difficult to put down. The issues the author raises about redemption and the difficulty of putting oneself at peace after killing make one realize how so many souls have suffered throughout history as a result of our wars.
lamour on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you would like to know what it is like to wage warfare in a city today, read this book. Bellavia describes in minute by minute detail a few of the battles he and his men waged in Fallujah, Iraq in November 2004. The mind numbing fear and noise of battle come through clearly in his account. The insurgents they faced in Fallujah were often high on drugs to the point that even when wounded and missing limbs they continued to attack.As well, one cannot help but note the intense love and caring Bellavia's comrades have for one another and the anger they feel when one of their group is killed. He also addresses how his participation in the War affected his family life and his future when he left the Army. This is a first rate account of a soldier's experience in battle.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just a searing and amazing book. I saw him giving a talk about his book in a bookstore, on C-SPAN. It was back in 2007, when the book was out in HC. I was so memorized by his talk that I vowed to buy the book when it came out it paper. And I did. I didn't read it until now, because I got one of my RL book groups to read it as the January selection.The passion and honesty of his presentation made it seem like he spoke for an hour or more on one breath. It was fast and it took you to the events he talked about, the horror of war, the men he fought with, those who lived and those who were lost. That same vitality comes across in the book. I read it in one sitting. The book is a series of connected stories about their life in Iraq and the battles they get into. There are lots of descriptions of battles, and weapons. It is gory, brutal and quite frank. Not for the faint of heart or those who require sugar-coating. The major part of the book is about his unit going into Fallujah to clean out the insurgents after they killed and hung the bodies of 4 American contractors from a bridge.He doesn't really go into politics, other than to say he is upset at how the media portrays the war. He is also critical of those in the military who are living a cushy life in the rear area, while the troops are in danger. They get very little in terms of support, comfort, or even basic necessities. He is full of pride for his men and their courage, and unapologetic at the killing and destruction, though he does recognize the enemy as human. There is a good bit of introspection, but not at the time of the events, and not enough to keep him from acting and staying alive in the heat of battle. He believes in his men, in the US, and in the ability to change the world for the better with a gun in his hand, and our flag on his shoulder. Not a popular sentiment in the world today. But unlike the scumbags in Washington who believe the same, Bellavia truly believes good will come of it. He didn't lie or manipulate us into this war, and he is willing to put his life and his body on the line to back up what he believes. Unlike the cowards in Washington.
lanes_3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is quite a gripping account of some of what went on in Falluja in 2004. I really got into this after watching Black Hawk Down. That got me in the right frame of mine to really picture these scenes from Iraq. It is quite graphic and very intense, but it really gets you into the action.
shannonkearns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
an interesting memoir about the fight for fallujah. this was most interesting because of the in-depth nature of the commentary and the ways in which his experiences there shaped and changed him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly enjoyed this book and the passion that was put into not it. Another story of those brave men and women who sacrificed so much in Iraq.
BigSix More than 1 year ago
Great book. Staff Sergeant Bellavia's account of fighting in Fallujah is real. The book reads like you're on patrol with him and his men going house to house looking for bad guys.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago