For over a year (2007-2008), author/narrator Sebastian Junger and British photographer Tim Herrington embedded with the U.S. 173rd Airborne brigade in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. War is based on their experience with that unit and provides the story behind the film, Restrepo. Having already seen Restrepo (which is an excellent film), I was hesitant to listen to War thinking it would feel redundant. However, while Restrepo focused more on the men of the 173rd Airborne brigade and their experiences as soldiers, War offers Junger an opportunity to share his own perspective as a journalist. I found War to be a very compelling listen. Junger's narration makes the events he describes feel immediate and one can sense the emotional attachment he formed to the brigade during the time he spent in a very dangerous area of Afghanistan, where some members of the brigade unfortunately lost their lives. I found his description of the brigade's interactions with Korengal Valley locals to be especially interesting, and how the U.S. soldiers attempted to bridge the cultural divide via translators and offering humanitarian aid. This is a fascinating audiobook and I recommend it to anyone interested in U.S. foreign affairs and Afghanistan.
This is a book that brings truth, sometimes uncomfortable truth to the current conflict in Afganistan.
The best thing about the story is its realism. It is not attempting to glorify or condem, but to present an unvarnished reality. You as the reader then need to make your own assessment of why we are there. The book tells of a platoon of soldiers serving at the "pointy end of the spear" in Afganistan. It takes you thru their daily lives, how they survive from day to day, fight against bordom, the terror of combat, the brotherhood of soldiers.
The narrator was also the book author. He is defintely a writer. His naration is toward the wooden, but as you know he is also the author, his style is a part of the realism. I would best describe as being told a story, by a friend while sitting at a bar enjoying the evening. He is not trying to sway or convince, just tell his truth.
I was very moved by the story. I celebrated the platoons victories, I morned their losses, I better understand their lives
I read "The Perfect Storm" and " A Death in Belmont" prior to listening to "War". In fact, I've read "Storm" three times over the years. Junger's prose is straightforward and powerful. He lets the images and the stories speak for themselves and does not impart partisanship or rhetoric. In "War", he does not pass judgement on whether the war in Iraq is justified or not. He creates portraits of individual soldiers who form a life and death bond with one another. This is another one of Junger's workds that I will listen to again
Basically, if you like to hear about heroic struggles from WWII on the history channel, this book will make you realize that the intrepid spirit of overcoming adversity and overwhelming odds is still alive and well. This book takes the reader behind the propaganda and into the very real world of modern combat. WAR gives the perspective of the modern American soldier Without being too political by way of striking a perfect balance between being interesting and relevant. A MUST READ!!!
Was pretty good. The narrative felt a bit random, it was easy to lose track of the timeline. It may be particular to individual sensitivities but for me it wasn't as "raw" as I was led to believe. The philosophical overtone felt thrown on to add more weight to what was otherwise a fairly objective viewpoint. All in all still a good read and visit to the men on the fringes of the battlefield.
After deploying multiple times, this book brings back fond memories of dear brothers. The author creates vivid images of what the surroundings are like as well as the intimate nature of war. A gripping read and heartbreaking experience.
My nephew did a tour in Iraq and he thinks this book comes as close as any work can to describe the experience of modern warfare.
Like the movie that accompanies it, the immediacy of this book is both profound and profoundly challenging. Going into it and coming out of it I craved some meaning and global, political, and existential context. While in the story I forgot that desire though, and just listened, rapt, to a very well written, meticulously examined, usually inaccessible, passionately performed story of one moment in time.