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WAR | [Sebastian Junger]

WAR

Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat - the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.
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Audible Editor Reviews

In listening to Sebastian Junger read War, the book he both experienced and wrote, you will periodically find yourself standing or sitting stock-still while the powerful narrative sinks in. Junger does not pull any punches in his writing, and his reading carries with it the anxiety and the pure fear he experienced embedded on five occasions with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. This six-mile long valley — "the Afghanistan of Afghanistan”, according to Junger — has sustained 70% of all U.S. bombing in Afghanistan. Junger’s respect for the soldiers of U.S. Army’s 2nd Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade can be heard as he contrasts the jocularity of the men (the platoon was all male) and periods of stultifying boredom with the split-second responses every soldier maintains to react to snipers, ambushes, and IED attacks.

Junger tells of the bravado and the extraordinary human connection to one another the soldiers display. Each soldier — and even Junger — knows that the next instant might bring death. That knowledge is ever-present as Junger describes surprise attacks by Taliban and on Taliban with vivid intensity.

Junger’s reading lets you join in on the soldiers’ humor that strengthens bonds and, for the moment, relieves the reality of life in one of the world’s most unforgiving terrains, even without a vicious enemy potentially lurking behind the next boulder. His tone captures the men’s loneliness and the existential angst inevitably affecting them all until the next firefight comes — as most of them do, in an instant and seldom with warning.

Listeners will enjoy Junger’s description of the physically huge soldier, Vandenberg, who has his fellow soldiers in awe of his sheer bulk and strength. Vandenberg is a source of good-humored testing and honest admiration, and you can hear the catch in Junger’s voice as he tells of Vandenberg’s nearly fatal wound and the tenderness with which the soldier reached from the cot where he lay to grab the hand of his also severely wounded buddy, while both waited to be helicoptered away for more intensive medical care.

Junger describes the brutality of war experienced by young American soldiers and shares examples of bravery and camaraderie that occur on almost a daily basis amidst deprivations unimaginable to civilians — which will make you want to stop every person in military uniform to thank them for their service. You’ll also want to thank Sebastian Junger for writing War and— — most especially — for reading it with honesty and compassion. —Carole Chouinard

Publisher's Summary

In his breakout best seller, The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger created "a wild ride that brilliantly captures the awesome power of the raging sea and the often futile attempts of humans to withstand it" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat - the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another.

His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2010 Sebastian Junger (P)2010 Hachette

What the Critics Say

"Junger mixes visceral combat scenes-raptly aware of his own fear and exhaustion-with quieter reportage and insightful discussions of the physiology, social psychology, and even genetics of soldiering. The result is an unforgettable portrait of men under fire." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    DVS 04-29-12
    DVS 04-29-12 Member Since 2004
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    "Hard Eged and Real"
    Would you listen to WAR again? Why?

    This is a book that brings truth, sometimes uncomfortable truth to the current conflict in Afganistan.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was very moved by the story. I celebrated the platoons victories, I morned their losses, I better understand their lives


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul port charlotte, FL, United States 10-22-11
    Paul port charlotte, FL, United States 10-22-11 Member Since 2012

    sully320

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    "Another Winner for Junger"

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory H. 01-06-11
    Gregory H. 01-06-11 Member Since 2008
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    "A modern work for the history buffs"

    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!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray 01-05-11
    Ray 01-05-11
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    "Listen to the book -Watch the Documentary"

    After listening to the book I watched Restrepo the documentary film based on the book. Then I listened to the book again and enjoyed it even more!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 05-18-10
    Kevin 05-18-10
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    "A bit loose and not too heavy"

    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.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan G. 03-09-15
    Ryan G. 03-09-15
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    "Truly amazing"

    Want to know why we do it, want to know why we risk it all and the psychology behind it? Read this book!!!! ...seriously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nopawn Flagstaff, AZ, United States 09-08-14
    Nopawn Flagstaff, AZ, United States 09-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Sebastian Junger and/or Sebastian Junger?

    Probably not


    Would you ever listen to anything by Sebastian Junger again?

    Not if Junger narrates it himself. Junger is a journalist, he uses words for a living essentially. This book is horribly written compared to books that have been written by soldiers themselves.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I understand that Junger is not an actor or does not narrate books as a profession. With that said he reads the words almost as if he has never seen them before, much less actually written them. He pauses mid sentence and inappropriate times. His intensity will increase when not necessary etc.


    What character would you cut from WAR?

    Audible, this is a ridiculous question for a work of non-fiction. Please look at your system for book reviews and improve it.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not the worst book I have ever read in this genre but out of 30 or so titles I've read it's probably in the bottom three. I very much appreciate that Junger risked his life to be able to expose this to the world. It seems like after he got back to his safe and comfortable environment that he just rushed through the writing of the book. It is too bad he didn't just slow down and do a better job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tina 01-18-14
    tina 01-18-14 Member Since 2014

    researcher, mad off-roader, desert girl

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    "Riveting, disturbing, will leave you pensive"

    I've read hundreds of books that either deal with combat, combat vets as characters in various fiction novels. This book is riveting. While Junger describes the men he is embedded with, the battle actions and consequences, it is his growing realization of the unexpected consequences of war on participants. From the mundane to the insane, and then to the realities that No One Talks About. The excitement of war. And the delayed reactions. When the impersonal to mortally personal.
    This book is riveting because Junger, not the best reader, becomes your reality after a while and all you are left with the sensations of war.
    Should be mandatory reading for every voter, every civilian, every servicemember and essays required from lawmakers and decisionmakers.
    You owe it to what we Americans come from to listen/read this book.
    It will pass quickly, but will echo in your thoughts for months to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 07-20-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

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    "Exhaustion is largely mental"

    This is several articles written for a magazine, put together to make a book. I enjoyed the first couple of hours. After a couple of hours it seemed I was getting the same story with a slight variation. Like another reviewer said, I did get confused on the timeline.

    WARNING
    No, I am not going to warn you about the gore and horror of war, although that is in the book. You may not come away with a proud, patriotic feel for our troops. Junger tells us that many guys join the army because they are losers in our society. They don't fight to protect our country, they fight because that is what they like to do. They don't care about the causes, if they weren't in the army they would be unemployed, working low wage jobs or in jail. This is not me talking, this is Junger. I will not comment on my opinion, but believe you should listen to the book and decide for yourself.

    Junger narrated this himself and I think he did a fine job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lola Marcos Detroit, MI USA 06-03-13
    Lola Marcos Detroit, MI USA 06-03-13

    citymouse

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    "Must Listen/Read"
    What did you love best about WAR?

    It's honesty and Junger's willingness to get close to his subjects.


    What other book might you compare WAR to and why?

    I can't think of another book like this which makes it so important.


    What about Sebastian Junger’s performance did you like?

    Being the author and narrator, there was no confusing what the author's intended inflections were.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Every passage was incredibly moving. I found myself bookmarking a whole lot and truly savouring Junger's words.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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