Sebastian Junger, who blasted into fame with [b:The Perfect Storm|108229|The Perfect Storm A True Story of Men Against the Sea|Sebastian Junger|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1171580454s/108229.jpg|1887699], goes to war and creates an instant non-fiction classic.
covering a year+ in Afghanistan's most fiercely-challenged valley, the Korengal, enough material was covered to create not just this excellent book but also the movie 'Restrepo.' although eighteen months is not enough to provide the epic sweep of WW2 memoirs covering boyhood to post-war outcomes, for its actual coverage material, Junger was clearly the man to choose, he who could combine a brilliant top-university stylist's characterizations with working class hero sensibilities. Junger is apparently still welcome in the bar where he got the Perfect Storm stories, and that is not necessarily the case for every best-seller author-- a lot of authors, for example Hunter J. Thompson, were eventually hated or reviled by the topic of their work as being exploiters of a kind.
anyway this is 300 pages of war. extremely insightful and powerful, plenty of material. unquestioned five star. *****
as the photos show, the height of the trees themselves in the valley function as a sort of optical illusion; they are quite tall, making distances seem closer.
we learn about extremely huge men who can carry 100kg up mountainsides, and readers at war, and mystics, and snipers and revenge and blood and sweat and tears.
this is an M249 (iraq war)