No Pistol Tastes the Same - Book Review

No Pistol Tastes the Same

Author: Jacob Paul Patchen
Genre: Fiction - Suspense
Publisher: Independently published
Date Published: May 24, 2022

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Book Review of :  No Pistol Tastes the Same


Jacob Paul Patchen’s latest novel, “NO PISTOL TASTES THE SAME,” is a gripping portrayal of a tormented soldier and his struggle with PTSD. The protagonist, Sergeant JP Grimm, returns home from a rough tour in Iraq to find life on the home front not as emotionally comforting as anticipated. His memories of combat live large in his mind. They repeatedly trigger a moral conflict that rips at his self-image, relationships, and spirituality. Most of Sergeant Grimm’s mental situation results from a kill or not to kill predicament of a young Iraqi kid wearing an explosive device. The result of his response, hampered by his moral compass, triggers a combat tragedy that crushes him emotionally. Can you leave behind the guilt and anger when you leave the war?

To make Sergeant Grimm’s response even more emotionally complicated is the realization that the young suicide bomber appears to be close to his son’s age.

The deadly scene of the root of Sergeant JP Grimm’s PTSD is well written and vividly described. The terrible situation becomes virtually palpable as you read the actions of those around him and his burden of being the one to kill this child suicide bomber.

One of the great myths of war is that the emotional trauma of the bloodletting, the shame, the anger, and the guilt can all be left behind, Patchen observes in this stirring yet sadly familiar story that his protagonist survived through a few months of combat, but found survival after his return, even more trying as he teeters between life and death by his own hands.

The book describes Grimm’s tragic life and his downward spiral of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He writes with a simple eloquence that brings the story alive. As a PTSD combat survivor, I felt the emotional struggles of guilt were very realistically worded and emotionally charged.

Patchen’s novel speaks of a very relevant topic as we teeter on the precipice of yet another deadly period of turmoil between nations. At the tribal and national level, war represents a failure of its leaders to do their job of maintaining peace between rivals. Their failure results in the killing, maiming, and bloodletting of its youth to force a rival to bend to the will of the other. War at first is seen as a kind of extreme sport, a proof of manhood, but once entered into, it evolves into a true hell. Inhibitions and morals must die in order to create killers.

NO PISTOL TASTES THE SAME exposes the tremendous power of our relationships to hurt and heal.  I highly recommend NO PISTOL TASTES THE SAME for anyone who has a loved one with PTSD from any cause.  

Reviewed by: James B.

About Jacob Paul Patchen

Jacob Paul Patchen is an author and poet from Cambridge, Ohio who earns his inspiration through experience. Jacob uses a combination of wit, grit, and untamed honesty to take on the powerful things in life, like humor, family, love, learning, and war. Jacob is a 5-star author, award-winning poet, inspiring blogger, and combat veteran.

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