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Fire CD: Fire CD

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  1,134 ratings  ·  107 reviews
For readers and viewers of The Perfect Storm, opening this long-awaited new work by Sebastian Junger will be like stepping off the deck of the Andrea Gail and into the inferno of a fire burning out of control in the steep canyons of Idaho. Here is the same meticulous prose brought to bear on the inner workings of a terrifying elemental force; here is a cast of characters r ...more
Audio CD, 112 pages
Published October 2nd 2001 by HarperAudio (first published January 1st 2001)
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Although the book is entitled "Fire" and the first part is comprised of an introduction to the essay on fire jumpers and forest fire fighting that immediately follows, the balance of the book is a series of Sebastian Junger's essays from wartorn or conflicted areas of the world. Junger is a talented journalist and writer; I deliberately use these two different words: "Journalist" in that he notices things well and, it seems to me, records events accurately while walking the fine line between "ju ...more
W. Brad "Zorknot" Robinson
This is a collection of essays, not a cohesive book. I have to say that each essay left me wanting more, which is kind of good and bad. The title essay is on smoke jumpers, and it had a lot of information and good stories, but if you're looking for a book on smoke jumping or even things that are related to fire, you might be disappointed.

That said, the other essays are amazing in their own right. Junger tells of the many dangerous situations he's been in and the political situations that caused
Steve Lowe
Even after reading the other reviews of this book, even after reading the sort of vague introduction by Sebastian Junger about dangerous jobs, I STILL was caught by surprise when the stories in this book changed from fighting wildfires to the last remaining whale harpooner on the planet.

I loved the wildfire stuff, which was the first 50 or so pages. It's fascinating and I could have read on and on about the science of wildfires, the men and women who fight them, the technology and practices they
I was at the library looking for the author's newer book, War. It wasn't there, but I did see Fire - an account of fire fighters on the lines fighting forest fires. I always wondered about why these fire people run toward fires while I would run away - and although I've seen coverage of devastating fires, I imagine to see them up close as a wall of flame must be an experience for ultra-human people.

I guess I should have read the small print - the book is a collection of essays - granted the firs
It is really a collection of essays that he collected while writing for various magazines. Originally he had this book in mind first, then he wrote the piece, “A Perfect Storm” for a magazine, revisited that piece and turned that into his first book.
Chapters of special interest were: “Fire”, “The Whale Hunters”, and “Dispatches from a Dead War”. In “Fire” he clearly explains what life is like for smoke jumpers and brush fire fighters out west. You hear the stories of these forest fires, Junger t
Brian Bova
Enjoyed all the stories except for the one on Whale Harpooning. At the end of every story it seemed to just end while I was waiting for more to each one. Least liked book from Junger Ive read.
This book is a collection of several articles that I believe were previously published elsewhere. The common denominator to the collection is 'adrenaline'. The title article is about fire-fighters working in western US with the usual Junger attention to detail about the people who do this work. Other articles are about war zones - Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia - again told from the perspective of the people fighting. There were a series of articles written with another author about Cypru ...more
I think I picked up this book because I wanted something different. something to check off a few more areas of the world about which I've read. I hadn't read or seen A Perfect Storm (not my thing), so I didn't have preconceived notions of what this would entail. That was both good and bad. I definitely enjoyed many parts of this book, and I learned a lot. But some sections, especially recounting massacres in Kosovo and Cyprus, were just hair-curling. I generally look askance at books that make m ...more
"Fire" is a collection of essays that Sebastien Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm" wrote as a reporter for various periodicals, including Harper's, National Geographic, and Vanity Fair.

The common theme among these stories is the examination of dangerous occupations and situations, and Junger takes us up into the Rockies with smokejumpers, visits Caribbean islanders who still hunt whales with hand-thrown harpoons from rowboats, explores the division of Cyprus between Greeks and Turks, examine
After reading this, you might start to think that Sebastian Junger is either suicidal or severely sadistic. Fire is a collection of articles that have appeared in other publications and some have been expanded upon for this collection. All are true and deal with the dangerous situations that Junger has exposed himself to in order to get a story. Some topics include American forest firefighters, the last true harpoon whale hunter in the world, the conflict between Turkey and Greece over the islan ...more
Scottie Shelton
Per Amazon (who always puts it best):

"Sebastian Junger reports on raging forest fires in the Western U.S, war zones in Kosovo and Afghanistan, the deadly diamond trade in Sierra Leone, the plight of travelers kidnapped by guerrillas in Kashmir, the last living whale harpooner on the Caribbean island of Bequia, and the Greek-Turkish conflict on Cyprus. There is also a fascinating chapter on John Colter (explorer, fur trader, and member of the Corps of Discovery led by Lewis and Clark) in which he
torn between the three and the four, I started off at 3.8ish or so, backslid through some of the fire fighting details, whale hunters, kosovo, and then colter's way was short and sweet, sierra leone competent, and then afghanistan section timely and excellent.

in some ways the develompent of Junger, from interest in high-risk professions (blue-collar danger) cf. The Perfect Storm to his eventual War, and managing to "get the story" on Massoud, Afghanistan.

Modern society...has perfected the art o
Really enjoyed the forest fire related essays, the first two, going to see how the other ones are.

Whaling in the Caribbean was still really awesome, definitely a totally different culture from any I've ever known. I enjoyed the historical context of how whaling came to the area and what it means from a larger global perspective, both economically/politically and environmentally.

Would have really appreciated an update on the Kashmiri hostages...although, I'm assuming it didn't end well for them.

I kind of wish the whole book really was about fire, but the title and cover are a little misleading. The first two chapters are about wild land fire jumpers. He wanted to be a fire jumper, so he spent time with them and clearly has a passion for the work. Instead of the adventure of firefighting, he opted for a career in adventure journalism, which makes up the rest of the book.
The quality of the essays is fairly inconsistent. He writes in the compelling introduction that the unifying theme of
I'm not entirely sure why this collection of articles by Sebastian Junger is entitled "Fire," but I'm guessing it is a metaphor for what it is like to put yourself in various dangerous situations.

The first story, which is about putting out forest fires, was actually the weakest. There was a bit too much back story, and not enough of what was going on in the here and now (which is the early 1990's in this case).

I found it most interesting to read the articles that revolved around the Taliban in
While I couldn't get through The Perfect Storm, Fire was amazing.

As with so many of my book purchases, an npr interview with the author had me excited about the publication of the book, but I didn't rush right out and buy it as soon as it was published because I figured that if I waited a few weeks, it would show up on the bestseller lists (which would mean a significant discount). After the raging success of The Perfect Storm, I didn't see how it could be otherwise.

If the book ever did make an
Okay, so, I have to admit that I read all of this book *except* (in the interest of time) the section on Cyprus. I can only assume that the title is meant to suggest a metaphorical linking of various sorts of "fires" that must be put out (though they never do seem to be put out - maybe that's the unarticulated message of this book?), but I was generally frustrated by the brevity and superficiality of the essays, both of which attributes seemed incommensurate with the quality of the prose. Still, ...more
Did not read it all- have no interest in the war chapters. However, what this book reminded me of is what a good writer Junger is. He really holds your attention and makes it worth reading. I wish he had taken the first two chapters on forest fires and done a whole book out of it. There were enough substories there to expand.
Meh. Working title could have been "SEBASTIAN JUNGER IS A BADASS". I was disappointed to find that it was a collection of essays and not entirely about firefighting, and the range of topics was just a little too loose and a little too "man, I'm hard" self-serious for me to really get into.
This collection of essays about natural disasters and war and dangerous occupations taught me a lot of detail I didn't know. Having experienced running from a forest fire once, I related to that more than I'd like, but the wartime essays were insightful in a new way, and the author's reflections on fear and risk were pretty good. They felt strange insofar as his being in all of the situations was entirely voluntary, which I think greatly changes a person's interpretation. The ability to leave at ...more
Anna Engel
The chapters about the forest fires were very interesting but Junger must have run out of material. I'm not into war journalism, which comprised the remaining chapters, so I stopped reading.
While I found most of the book riveting -- especially the stories about the smoke jumpers, Northern Alliance, and Whale Hunters -- I thought that some of the other stories were not as compelling.
Jun 01, 2014 Kelli marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
We love selecting a few books on tape (or cd) from the library in preparation for spending HOURS in the car and normally pick cheezy thrillers for simple amusement. This collection of Junger's previously published articles exceeded expectations. He writes on topics ranging from smoke jumpers in the Pacific Northwest to the African diamond trade to Middle East war zones to old-fashioned whaling. It's a bit disjointed, but that worked for us as we were able to listen to a chapter or two, take a br ...more
Anyone who sees this shouldn't be discouraged from my two stars rated because the book is well-written. I knew that Junger started out intending this book to be about dangerous jobs and that intrigued me. Well, his first reporting of dangerous jobs turned out to be PERFECT STORM, a great book; FIRE started out to be more about dangerous jobs but he got waylaid by his passion for foreign reporting. I was most interested in the sections on firefighting, including his chapter on the Storm King wild ...more
Sebastian Junger is brilliant- and his collection of essays here is top notch. This book is a collection of his previous work in the 90's of various publications. I especially enjoyed the articles that were not about war, fire, whale hunting, the stories about kosovo and afghanistan were also very good, but by the end of the book were sort of running together as my mind was glossing over, I think your brain can only take so many horrific stories of war before it stops listening (my mind anyway). ...more
I was fascinated by the stories of fighting wildfires, but once it went to war reporting it was sadly all too easy for me to zone out. I'm not sure why I have this problem, but I also have issue reading books portraying war. One of my reader blocks.
I'm a fan of Junger in general, and there were some great pieces in this collection of short stories and some that I ended up glossing over or skipping over after I started. The initial piece covers some of his early work with the people that fight forest fires, compelling, interesting and informative. The other stories cover Terrorism, Whaling, Exploring, and more. The overall theme is the need for some to seek adventure as a means of escape from our relatively safe modern world. For a decent q ...more
Why do some of us need risky behaviors? I am not talking about risk-taking for a casino bet, but deliberately putting one's life in harm's way. Junger captures it: "It was there that he functioned at the outer limits of his abilities, a state that humans have always thrived upon." This book looks at those who fight forest fires, fight the wars in the Middle East and who have fought the elements because they NEED to. Like his earlier book "The Perfect Storm" and his most recent "War", Junger can ...more
Rich Albright
A tribute to those who risk their lives saving others.
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Sebastian Junger is an American author and journalist. He graduated from Concord Academy in 1980 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University in cultural anthropology in 1984. He received a National Magazine Award in 2000 for "The Forensics of War," published in Vanity Fair in 1999. In 1997, with the publication of his work, The Perfect Storm, he was touted as the new Hemingway, ...more
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