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By Sebastian Junger

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By Sebastian Junger
Read by the Author
Hachette Audio, (2010)
An Unabridged Recording on 7 CDs
ISBN: 978-1-60788-198-8
Genre: Current Events, Military History

Also available in Large Print

Reviewed by Harry S. Chou - June 16, 2010

What does it feel like to fight in a war? What are the physical, psychological, and spiritual effects? Even if you've fought in other wars and know what it feels like to be perpetually tired, on edge, and scared and exhilarated at the same time. But, were your experiences the same as those who are currently fighting in Afghanistan? If you want to get as close to the feel for what the American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan are experiencing - without actually going there yourself? Look no further than Sebastian Junger's new book WAR.

While it is impossible to ever accurately depict the smells, the feel of bugs crawling on your skin, the burning sting of a bullet, the soul tearing homesickness, or the gut wrenching nightmares that can so easily plague a solider, Junger does do an admirable job. So much so that this book will easily have you in tears, especially if you have a son or daughter who is overseas fighting what has become an interminable war. You may also be surprised to find that this book is, in many regards, exciting and surprisingly uplifting despite all the trauma and horror that it depicts.

Junger is an award winning author and journalist. In writing this book, he drew upon his personal experiences as an embedded reporter with the 2nd Platoon of the 173rd Airborne brigade in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. He spent almost fifteen months in Afghanistan, between 2007-2008, working and living with the same platoon. He went on patrol with them, survived firefights with them, and ate the same MREs. He experiences the unexpected highs of battle and the very real lows that can occur when nothing much is happening.

Throughout this book, Junger lets us see the war through the eyes of the soldiers fighting it. More important, he lets us see what these soldiers see, feel, and think about while they go about their daily activities. This audio edition of WAR is read by Junger himself, and includes photos and video footage that were taken while he was in the Korengal Valley. It also includes a conversation with the author. No matter what your opinions are about the war - you should read or listen to this book. It will open your eyes to what the war is like on a visceral level, and help to give you an understanding of what life is like for the soldiers fighting, and dying, in this far off land.

In addition to this audio edition, this book is also available in both large print as well as standard print editions. There is also a companion movie that is scheduled for release this summer, entitled, Restrepo.

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