Book Review: Dishonor
Kora Sadler, the head of our local MeetUp writer's group, offered each of us a blind date with a book. She had asked unknown authors for books to review. She received about ten and kept them wrapped except for a few words about genre and content. Our task was to pick a book, read it, follow a format, and write a review of 250 words or less by December 13.
I shut my eyes and pulled out of the pile the first book I got a reasonable hold on. It would be my first blind book date, and we hit it off. Here's the review, slightly over budget, but well ahead of deadline:
Dishonor [deliberately not capitalized on the cover]
One Soldier’s Journey from Desertion to Redemption
Dilemma Mike Publishing, Omaha, Nebraska
Lewis E. Jenkins
28 November 2017 (Original review of first edition)
The cover well symbolizes this memoir. It is evocative, plain, and precise.
The book shows the author, David Mike, as a young soldier being plucked from the fire of drug doing and dealing, and deposited into the frying pan of the military justice system for desertion. He flops out of the pan, but eventually he’s caught again and sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The journey he takes into and out of the fire is as interesting as the one into and out of the pan. It ends when he stops running toward whatever looks good at the moment and turns to a God who, as he eventually sees, has been pursuing him all his life.
Mr. Mike’s writing style is direct, like a soldier, and there is a lot of fascinating detail both physical and emotional. The narrative flows well, and I found it honest, if a little heavy on the routine of his experiences. But that routine is part of the book’s ambiance: Military prisoners are still in the military and—especially in prison—the cost of not paying attention to everything is usually high, as we find out. The author includes his court-martial as taken from official transcripts. His comments about what the structured life of a military prisoner does to one’s mind were especially interesting.
This is Mike’s first book; there are a number of typos plus a few grammar and craft issues. I've read military memoirs and biographies all my life. This is not just another one. I enjoyed it and will certainly read it again.
I did read it again. And I have re-read selected parts as well. It still moves. Mr. Mike has kindly said that when a second edition comes out it will address some of my notes, which may bump my rating up a bit.