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.
Great reporting but I am not sure the unabridged versions is the way to go. Cuts were needed to help the flow. At times I lost the time line. The author has an amazing view and tremendous language in the way he described the events around him. He painted the picture with his words. The narrator saved it for me and I thought he was a great choice. I wanted a bit more opinion from the author. The epilogue saved the book for me because we finally got a complete view rather than a partial piece.
When I saw Mr. Filkins inverviewed on TV, I thought the book would have analysis. Maybe I need to read between the lines better. The book is a series of experiences he had living in war torn Iraq for 4 years. I do understand better now, but it was a number of years ago now.
Exceedingly well read with great sensitivity, intelligence, and honesty.
Straight forward compelling account that provides some insight into the incredible quagmire and clash of cultures in the Middle East.
A lucid and revealing depiction of utter chaos.
Listening to The Forever War one canes to realize the complexity of solving the problem of the war the US have gotten into. You can help some people some of the time but you cannot help all the people all of the time. We have opened a Pandora's box and it is a mess.
a non-military perspective
Read this very well written (and read) book on a recommendation and I wasn't disappointed. I appreciated the perspective from a non-military / non-political reporter on the ground, among the people and among the fighters. It filled in the blanks for me between what we get on the news and what we get from our government. Most important was the viewpoint of the people themselves regarding religion, their predicament, the Americans and their bleak futures. Ugh.