This book offers some interesting insight into both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through the eyes of a journalist who has been there. It really amounts to a series of individual war stories from his personal experiences. There is very little integration between these stories. Some stories take you aback, some disgust you, and some enlighten you about these wars in these countries. The sum total, however, is not the awesome experience I was expecting and I am disappointed to have used an extra credit on a book that was good...but just good.
The author dominates his dialog with stories about how incompetent our soldiers are and how ungrateful the Iraq populaton is. Every now and then he throws in comments from the Iraqi like how they appreciate us removing the tyrant Saddam Hussein - apparently a weak attempt to balance his political bias. He spends lots of time with insurgents and protrays their comments as common in Iraq. He treats suicide bombers with sympathy. Make no mistake about it, this is not a neutral work. If you want to read about all the bad stuff and little of the good stuff, then this book is for you.
Avid audiobook addict!
If you're looking for a book with a normal beginning, middle, and end this isn't it. The stories are excellent first-hand accounts of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars from a very brave and very skilled journalist. Unlike most other books on Iraq, it isn't totally obsessed with bashing you over the head with the author's political perspective. It's almost impossible to follow, though, as it jumps around like crazy. Most of the individual stories are excellent--basically if you like reading excellent quality real life war correspondent journalism, you'll love this book, but if you're looking for a more regular story, then skip it. As for the double-price--these stories are really unique and so worthwhile, but don't bother unless you really enjoy reading real life non-glamourized war stories.
I listen to a lot of books about Iraq. This one is the best one I know of. I dare say I can't imagine listening and not coming away with a mixture of awe and bewilderment that cuts to the quick of the subject. I feel deeply grateful to the author for sharing his experiences in such a raw, poetic, clear fashion. I wish it were longer.
I like to read but listening is better.
This was one of the best books I've read in sometime. Filkins was actually in the wars in the ME for over a decade. Perhaps this is why he has such a rational view of it all. It was great to hear from a balanced voice: he doesn't demonize either side. He points out the negatives and the positives of both sides. Filkins must be one of the great writers living today. From the introduction to the epilogue this story is dramatic and engaging. You get the feeling Filkins could write the story of your life and it would be a best seller. As always, Robertson Dean is perfect for a book such as this. Hard to imagine how this could have been done any better.
Linda in Omaha
I'm not usually a fan of war books or movies, but this one was real. Gives a glimpse of the realities of war. Made me even more sensitive to the fact that these are not just brave soldiers, but regular young Americans fighting in foreign countries with families left behind hoping and praying for their safe return.
This is a terrible book. With a title like "The Forever War" I was expecting some type of analysis, insight, opinion, hypothesis, or anything that took some thought. When I think of the conflicts that are going on in the world I think of the forever war as the global conflict we face against terrorism or Islamist extremism. This book doesn't even get close to that topic, or even that depth of thought. Instead this book is a bunch of short stories from a journalist that spent some time in the middle east. Any number of people could have written a similar book, and it probably would have been more interesting. This book is a compilation of a bunch of journal entries from a reporter recalling his time in Afghanistan and Iraq. I literally had to force myself to continue listening, and there was no underlying theme, intelligent compilation or point to this book. It is merely a reporter writing a book. Save yourself the money and get a book that took some thought to write.
The book is worth listening to but not at the cost of two credits it is worth only one credit. For two credits I was really hoping that it was something that would blow my mind only one other time I spent two credits for a audio book and that was the life story of Frank Sinatra now that was a story that was worth two credits