If one is feeling generous, one will read "Hotels, Hospitals and Jails" and think, here is a man working out his demons. Those not feeling generous will agree Swofford is a wreck, while thinking that only the trading on his name -- he is the author of the 2003 Gulf War memoir "Jarhead" -- resulted in the publication of a memoir as scarily constructed as this one.
And about that publication: the book is published by Twelve, which puts out only twelve books a year. They are usually the cream, including books this year from Christopher Hitchens and Christopher Buckley. That Swofford's book was released as is is curious, and makes one want to know, beyond market forces, the reasons.