Praise for Shooting Ghosts
"The dueling-piano spirit of SHOOTING GHOSTS works because its authors are so committed to transparency, admitting readers into the dark crevices of their isolation. Both are sharp minds whose self-awareness keeps their stories from slipping into banality and their lives devoted to something beyond war.”
-Wall Street Journal
“SHOOTING GHOSTS is unflinching, yet it is not stoic. It is sensitive, yet not sentimental. ... If you want to know what Trump’s decision means for the lives of thousands of Americans now serving in Afghanistan, SHOOTING GHOSTS is a good place to start…. SHOOTING GHOSTS is no easy story of uplift, but one of hard-won wisdom. Brennan and O’Reilly have tamed, if not broken, their addiction to war. Now if only the United States government could do the same.”
"A courageous breaking of the code of silence to seek mental health for veterans and the war-scarred."
"Brennan and O’Reilly strip away any misplaced notions of glamour, bravery, and stoicism to craft an affecting memoir of a deep friendship."
—Publisher's Weekly, (starred review)
“A majestic book that describes the parallel tracks of a warrior and a photo journalist from different continents, who meet in the hell of Afghanistan and then, separately and together, find their tortuous journeys home. Beautifully written, reminiscent of All Quiet on the Western Front, and What It Is Like to Go to War, Shooting Ghosts ultimately is a hopeful book that shows that recovery always involves a pilgrimage of rediscovering community and reconnection.”
—Bessel van der Kolk, MD, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
“An extraordinarily honest and courageous book that takes the reader on a journey through the darkest days of despair, then along the path to rediscovering purpose in life. It reveals what it means to be human, and is a testament to the healing powers of friendship.”
—Emma Sky, senior fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, and author of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq
“Peering into the hellish abyss of trauma-induced madness, a marine and the photojournalist sent to photograph him tell how their lives and experiences intertwined on parallel paths of violence, despair, and, ultimately, reinvention. While the two men had different missions and experiences, their stories mingled, compared, and contrasted in Shooting Ghosts make for a remarkable and memorable book.”
—Santiago Lyon, former vice president of photography at the Associated Press, winner of two World Press Photo prizes and the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents
“Shooting Ghosts should be mandatory reading for all of us families and loved ones who are ‘grateful for the service’ of our armed forces. It perfectly captures the aching dissonance veterans feel when they return to a home front they have longed for, but where no one can see their wounds. It's also a sobering reminder that while war correspondents don’t carry weapons, they bear witness to the same traumatic events of war.”
—Lee Woodruff, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing