Sebastian Junger is the bestselling author of The Perfect Storm and A Death in Belmont. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New York.
Junger delivers a closeup examination of the American war in Afghanistan during his travels with the military, often on the frontlines. The choice for Junger to read stems from his firsthand knowledge (and the implicit belief he can convey that orally). However, his slightly nasal tone and drab delivery make the audiobook unimpressive. He lacks the emphasis and energy to do his prose justice, thus, despite an awe-inspiring text, his narration might leave listeners bored or uninterested. A Twelve hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 15). (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for 'Fire': 'This is frontline reporting of the highest order from the dangerous, blade-sharp edge of things.' The Times 'His language, as powerful as the most abrasive undercurrent, describes an exceptional tug of war with the elements.' Alex O'Connell, The Times 'He writes like a poet who has been to meteorology school.' Ruth Rendell, Daily Telegraph 'Detail blazes through these chapters like the fiercest fire storm, yet the writing is invariably controlled, never breathless!Junger is an excellent story teller.' Sunday Telegraph
Embedded as a journalist in an infantry platoon of the U.S. 2d Batallion, Junger here tracks the unit's 15-month deployment at a desolate mountain outpost in eastern Afghanistan in 2007-08. Fighting is on foot, over rugged terrain, in a series of patrols and chaotic firefights interspersed with interminable periods of boredom. In a change from his earlier books (e.g., The Perfect Storm; A Death in Belmont), Junger here is an observer of the now, not simply a reporter of the past. Trying to capture in words the elements of combat, fear, and ennui through the eyes of the soldiers, he communicates with a level of objectivity that the soldiers cannot. Junger is there, in the moment, with them, but he can also of course pull back and give distance and perspective. Junger's work here is reminiscent of David Finkel's The Good Soldiers and Tim O'Brien's fictional The Things They Carried, yet his work is neither simple hands-on reportage nor a work of fiction. VERDICT Although ostensibly about combat in Afghanistan, War examines the raw, brutal reality of combat-period-and why men fight. More than anything else, soldiers fight for one another, and Junger paints them as humans, as heroes, as brothers. Highly recommended-not simply for those interested in military history but for all readers concerned with the human condition. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/10.]-Leslie Lewis, Duquesne Univ. Lib., Pittsburgh Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.