When you pick up a book called "War" it's pretty obvious from the outset what you're going to get: a diary style account of the Afghanistan War as seen through the eyes of Sebastian Junger, a journalist who spent 15 months with a platoon in the bloody Korengal Valley whilst on an assignment for Vanity Fair magazine. As you would expect, Junger depicts the brutality of war, filled with gunfights, explosions and ultimately death, but "War" is so much more than a book about the violence humans can inflict upon one another in what can from the outside appear to be a pointless battle. It is also a book about the nature of humans and the relationships that men form in such extreme circumstances.
The men of 173rd Airborne are clearly distinguished by Junger with their individual personalities and varyingly dishevelled appearances, but what really stood out for me was the complete honour and trust they all placed in one another. If one man makes a mistake, he doesn't just put his own life at risk, but the lives of the entire platoon, and it is this bond and reliance on each other that makes the book so interesting. On top of this, Junger also delves into the lives of the men when they go home on leave, and how their mental state is affected by everything they've been through. It's not an easy thing to read about, but it's important that people are made aware of how these men can never truly leave the war behind.
"War" is an amazing read - exciting, terrifying, humbling, devastating. There are many words that could be used to describe this book but I'll summarise in just two: "read it".