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Garth Ennis' 303 Paperback – Feb 26 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Avatar Press Tp (Feb. 26 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592910378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592910373
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 16.6 x 25.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #145,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Masterful storytelling May 12 2008
By Jason Orszt - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know what it is, but when I finished 303 I felt like this was perhaps one of the most well-written stuff Ennis has ever done. The story's on a nameless, aged Russian colonel that starts out leading a dozen Russian Special Forces into Afghanistan to retrieve some secret documents from a downed US airplane. Interestingly, the English SAS are after it, along with the American military. It leads to some smart conversations and narratives between respectable men who seem to be in the wrong place and time of the world.

The dialogue is direct, rarely caustic or vulgarly fun like you get in classic Ennis characters; it serves for the foreboding mood created by the end of the first arc. There is a wonderful point of view on the War of Iraq and how it is to be seen historically. In fact, history is very much a strong theme hanging over the Colonel, as well as the Sargent you meet in Part two. It's built up to haunt (you'll see this in many ways, not just in apparitions) the characters, to remind them that the world seems to have outgrown them.

The art, of course, is still very much in line with the rest of Ennis' gory realism. Jacen is a cool partner to Ennis. I'd love to see more from the two, like a longer series.

I recommend this to anyone whose anyone with a brain for its universal appeal and grade-A storytelling.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A great war story April 24 2008
By Brit C Power - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is one of Garth Ennis's best novels. I found this a very enjoyable read and in my opinion the artwork is fantastic. The story is well written and thought provoking and the art style fits it perfectly. The book is a little short but it makes up for it with a really good ending. Not as light hearted as much of Ennis's work but none the worse for this.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Twisted and controversial ending July 15 2007
By R. SHARIFF - Published on
Format: Paperback
The story "303" is told from the POV of a Russian Soldier who is leading a team to investigate a private U.S. plane that has crashed in the mountains of Afghanistan. The mystery regarding the crash arises when Americans dcline offers of assistance from nighboring countries such as Britain. So, basically this piques the interest of the British and the Russians as they set out to investigate the wrecage with the Americans on the way to safeguard their secret. What ensues is a bloody battle within the three factions and the death of innocent villagers as the Americans carpet-bomb a nearby village to preserve their secret. But at the end, the old Russain soldier survives and what he discovers entails a deal between the American government and a private corporation regarding rebuilding placns for Afghnistan, Iraq and eventually Iran and N. Korea. The soldier then sets out for the United States specifically Texas with a goal of his own. That's as far as I am going to go with the plot without spoiling anything.

In this book Ennis uses the protagonist, the Russian soldier as a vehicle for exploring and commenting on the dark side of war. He comments on the present and past squirmishes between Afghanistan and the West. He also delievers a shocking and controversial ending which I honestly did not see coming. The book is well written and represents another solid tale questioning war morality a la Ennis' Unknown Soldier.

Let's talk about the art. It complements the story very well and does its job to convey the story. It gets a bit gory at times but this is after all a war story so, shouldn't come as a surprise. The art itself is clean and crisp. Jacen Burrows is a great artist and I look forward to seeing more of his work.

If you want to read a story that will leave you thinking, my recommendation is to pick this book up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
So... I gather Garth Ennis is none too fond of George W Bush Dec 18 2011
By Kid Kyoto - Published on
Format: Paperback
In this dark and twisted modern war story, a Russian special forces veteran is sent back to Afghanistan and uncovers a secret about September 11th. He then, a vintage .303 caliber Lee-Enfield rifle in hand, sets off to kill George Bush. Oh, just like in Warren Ellis' Black Summer where a superhero kills the President, Bush is never named but it's clear who he is after.

It's an obvious political fantasy from the mid-2000s filled with ham-fisted allegories and symbols (the world is redeemed by the signature weapon of the British Empire!) but you know what, it's fun. And it's good.

Garth Ennis gives us battles that are well thought out and feel realistic. The settings are interesting and there's more than a little dark humor. The art by Jacen Burrows is good traditional line art and a pleasure to see.

As for the politics, that's up to you whether or not it's a deal-breaker. I personally wish Ennis had been a bit gutsier and used some of the genuine dishonors of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars to spur his story rather than making something up. But that's just me. Despite the straw man politics 303 as a book and as a war story is a good read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Give this book a try!!! Nov. 2 2009
By Andrew L. Small - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the better one shot stories I have read in a long time. Could not put it down. Definilty a great read and you can down it in one sitting.

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