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Breath taking combat reportage,
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This review is from: War (Paperback)
Any one who has read The Perfect Storm will know that Sebastian Junger's great skill as a writer is to prioritise the human elements of the story, thereby juxtaposing ordinary individuals reacting to extraordinary circumstances - as he does in War, the companion piece to the superb documentary Restrepo that follows a platoon of young American Airborne soldiers on a fourteen month deployment in the lethal Korengal valley in Afganistan.
Junger establishes a strong rapport with the troops and they open up to him in sometimes profoundly moving exchanges. It is the human elements of the book that are more interesting than the actual combat moments. The psychology of battle, the loss of comrades and the effects of prolonged exposure to combat is compellingly told and the studies on the effects of war on soldiers are fascinating and provide a real insight into the long term psychological damage.
Having been shot at and almost blown up by an IED, Junger experienced close quarter contact with the enemy on numerous occasions, and it is that immanence that makes the account so engrossing. Other books on modern warfare like Patrick Bishop's 3 Para and Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down rely on second hand accounts to tell the story, but Junger lived it and almost died for it and that is what makes this brilliant account a cut above the rest. Highly recommended.3 ParaJarhead: A Solder's Story of Modern WarRestrepo [DVD]Armadillo [DVD]Black Hawk Down