War - Staff Pick by Eddie E.
I recommend the audio version, although it is available in other formats. Reserve it in the catalog.
It is a potent reminder of what we ask servicemen to do in Afghanistan. I found it moving, troubling, and worth considering along with more remote notions like "our policy in the region". ~Eddie E.
WAR is not a book about the war in Afghanistan. It's a profile of some of the men who fought a part of the war in Afghanistan. Junger was embedded with a frontline unit and followed them over their eighteenth-month deployment. Because the work includes personal impressions as well as traditional reporting, the author chose to record the work himself. He's a capable narrator, and his gritty and, at times, wearied tone exactly suits the book. The only flaw--and it's a minor one--is that he runs out of breath on long sentences and his voice drops off markedly. He gives the reading an intense level of emotion without artifice. It all sounds real, especially when he's quoting men from the unit. R.C.G. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
BookPage Reviews: Audio of the Month
We’re in the Korangal Valley— “sort of the Afghanistan of Afghanistan: too remote to conquer, too poor to intimidate, too autonomous to buy off”—with the Second Platoon of Battle Company. It’s hot and dusty, with lots of tarantulas, no running water, no cooked food, no women. And it’s wildly dangerous. War, Sebastian Junger’s brilliant, eloquently spare, affectingly narrated account of his time embedded with the platoon from 2007 to 2008, is not about the moral implications of the war in Afghanistan or its long-term success; it’s about what it feels like to be a young man in combat, to endure excruciating boredom and anxious waiting and to feel the adrenaline-soaked exhilaration of lethal engagement. Junger explains, with pinpointed perception, how young men fall in love with combat, with the intense devotion to their comrades, with the sense of purpose and self-worth that “the ragged choreography of a firefight” gives them, why “one of the most traumatic things about combat is having to give it up,” and why it’s so hard for many to adjust to a seemingly dull and frivolous civilian life. Powerful stuff—and important, too.