Fiction - Military
262 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2018
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Author Biography

Dana Turk is a 30 year Military Veteran, Retiring in 2001 he spent the next ten years working in various areas of private sector and civil service jobs. At sixty years old, Dana decided to write about his life in the service. Deeming an autobiography to be a waste of good paper and ink, he set out to tell his story more as a historical fiction of the conflicts, changing cultures, and the results of the decisions we make during our lives. The Baggage we carry.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Baggage! by Dana L Turk is a spellbinding novel that fans of military fiction will adore. Crafted with a lot of wisdom and compassion, it offers wonderful lessons on courage, loyalty, friendship, family, and pain. This is a beautifully told story that revolves around five friends — David, Terry, Dizzy, Jonathan, and Kip. The reader is introduced to their world; young people growing up in Colorado and eventually joining the Marines. But what awaits each of them in the Marines is uncertain. In this spellbinding novel, the author explores what binds them together, the choices they make and what drives them, their joys and pains, and the losses they suffer. Follow them in this exhilarating tale and discover their sense of humanity as they face battles, beginning in Viet Nam and going to the deserts of the Middle East.

I wasn’t sure I would read this book beyond the first page when I read the author’s comments about life and his allegory of the baggage, but, as I read on, I quickly got the feeling this would be a great story. Yes, the pace picks up pretty fast and the development of the characters becomes something that grabs readers' interest. Dana L Turk writes well and he has the gift of making readers believe his characters and story. The plot is intelligently imagined and written with great mastery. The prose is beautiful and it is imbued with a lot of wisdom and insight. Baggage! by Dana L Turk feels real and it is a compelling read. I couldn’t put it down. This is a novel with many layers and a philosophical depth that is as astounding as it is fitting.

Edith Wairimu

What if? is the question that sets the background for the compelling story, Baggage! by Dana L. Turk. We all have a past that contains times in which we wish we had made different decisions. Other times, we wonder how life would have turned out if we had chosen different paths. Baggage! is such a story. The book chronicles the lives of friends from different backgrounds. They all meet while in school and they all come from different social circles, some popular, others geeks and others just fall in between. The bond between them, however, is so strong and grows stronger as the years pass. They continuously share pain, challenges, and joy as they navigate through life.

In Baggage!, Dana L. Turk takes an interesting view of the way we look at life. We wonder how life would have turned out if we had made different decisions, and the baggage we carry as we live through the consequences of the decisions we made in our youth. Turk brilliantly interlaces these consequences with the events happening around us, events sometimes beyond our control. The lives of the five friends, David, Terry, Jonathan, Dizzy, Kipp, and Felecia, are a depiction of society today, a society bogged down by what-ifs and that does not delve truly into seeking the answers to these questions that plague our minds. In conclusion, Baggage! by Dana L. Turk challenged me to get rid of the weight that slows me down and steals my joy, while keeping in mind that every decision I make counts. Truly, a wonderful book!

Ray Simmons

I liked Baggage! by Dana L. Turk. I liked it because it is dedicated to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and I am a proud member of that group. I liked it because a lot of the situations eerily reflected similar events, people, and places in my own life. I don't know why, but I like to see that. I like to see what other people might have done in a situation I was in. The writing of Dana L. Turk reflects an ability to deliver strong emotional content. If the author couldn't deliver on those powerful emotions, it would be a waste of time to read this book. But since he can, Baggage! is something most discerning readers won't want to miss. It is powerful in a very modern and American way.

The characters are the chief attraction in Baggage!, along with the writing that brings them to us in such an original and glowing format. These characters have tough lives and they are in tough situations, and Dana L. Turk shows them to us in ways that have us right there on the front lines of their lives, sharing their pain. The plots are taken from real American life. I saw some scenes from my own life in some of these scenarios, and if you have been alive long enough you will probably see some from yours. That is good writing at its best. Showing you your own life and truth through someone else's eyes.