The Deserter's Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq

Front Cover
House of Anansi, Feb 1, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 252 pages

Joshua Key's critically acclaimed memoir, The Deserter's Tale, is the first account from a soldier who deserted from the war in Iraq, and a vivid and damning indictment of how the war is being waged.

In spring 2003, young Oklahoman Joshua Key was sent to Ramadi as part of a combat engineer company with the U.S. military. The war he found himself participating in was not the campaign against terrorists and evildoers he had expected. Key saw Iraqi civilians beaten, shot, and killed for little or no provocation. After six months in Iraq, Key was home on leave and knew he could not return. So he took his family and went underground in the United States, finally seeking asylum in Canada.

In clear-eyed, compelling prose crafted with the help of award-winning Canadian novelist and journalist Lawrence Hill, The Deserter's Tale tells the story of a man who went into the war believing unquestioningly in his government and who was transformed into a person who ethically, morally, and physically could no longer serve his country.


What people are saying - Write a review

The Reader Also Deserts

User Review  - debbro -

I bought this book because I have a son in the armed forces who has already been to Afghanastan and is scheduled to go to Iraq in Dec 07. I wanted to get a feel for what my son might go through by ... Read full review

The deserter's tale: the story of an ordinary soldier who walked away from the war in Iraq

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These two memoirs of soldiers who deserted the U.S. Army after serving in Iraq tell similar stories. Each man enlisted primarily for economic reasons but felt a commitment to serve his country and do ... Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Joshua Key was raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and now lives in Canada. The Deserter's Tale is his first book.

Lawrence Hill is the author of several novels and works of nonfiction, including Some Great Thing, Any Known Blood, and the award-winning national bestseller The Book of Negroes. He also wrote the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada and co-authored, with Joshua Key, The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq.

Bibliographic information