Hilcia's Reviews > War

War by Sebastian Junger
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's review
Dec 11, 11

bookshelves: my-bookshelf, non-fiction, contemporary, 2011-read

Sebastian Junger's prose and writing style in War was gripping enough to basically haul me into reading this book in one sitting. His focus is on the brutal experience of soldiers, grunts, and the bond created while in combat. How not only their training, but that bond keeps them fighting and going back into danger, and how the excitement of combat effects their lives there and later on. All are thoroughly examined while Junger follows a single platoon from Battle Company through a harrowing and brutal 15-month tour in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley (2007-2008).

Mr. Junger is surprisingly apolitical in his approach to the story as are the soldiers -- quite refreshing. Well documented are the battles and patrols, the men's deprivations, loyalty, grief, love, edginess, tension, as well as the excitement and highs from combat and the boredom that sets in throughout their time in the Valley. The soldiers become individuals to the reader, and after a while I wanted to put faces to the names. Of course I had to watch Restrepo, the 2010 Sundance award winning documentary by Junger and Hetherington to do just that. It helped watching the documentary after reading the book.

My one problem with the book itself is in the way it's organized, it doesn't flow well at times and at others it becomes repetitive. Particularly when Junger is using sections of his research about combat soldiers to make his point. Regardless, War is a fascinating read as the reader gets a journalist's perspective on the soldier/grunt's daily experience of combat, plus, plus, plus...


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Quotes Hilcia Liked

Sebastian Junger
“Combat isn't where you might die -- though that does happen -- it's where you find out whether you get to keep on living. Don't underestimate the power of that revelation. Don't underestimate the things young men will wager in order to play that game one more time.”
Sebastian Junger, War

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Suzie (new)

Suzie Quint I hadn't considered reading this (even though I read and enjoyed Fire) because, as you point out, no one seems to be able to write about this stuff without a political slant and I'm pretty sick of being force fed someone else's views (regardless of which side it is). I may have to add this to my TBR pile for when I'm in the mood.

Hilcia Susie, I can tell you this is not political and it doesn't have a political slant to it. No sides. Nicely done by Mr. Junger. Frankly, I was stunned that I read this book in one sitting, it was that engaging. And yes... you have to be "in the mood" to read it. I didn't think I was, but I began skimming the beginning of the book and was hooked. Surprising, but I'm so glad I read it. :)

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