Sebastian Junger’s “War”

I’m 1/2 way through this book and enjoying it very much.  There’s nothing quite like getting an embedded journalist’s view from the inside and Junger does a great job giving both the big picture and the minute detail to make you feel like you “get it.”  If you’ve never been in this kind of combat danger, you’ll be shocked.  This group of soldiers on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border gets shot at almost everyday, they’re never, never in a ‘safe zone’ even when they’re sleeping.  Junger reports what he sees happening to these guys, but he also uses scientific facts about human body’s reaction to this level of danger, and this is fascinating.  It makes you wonder how any of these guys can come home to a ‘normal’ life after being in combat.

The only complaints I have are that the characters are not developed enough for me to care as much as I want to.  I find myself wanting to know a few of these men really well and let the others fill in around them.  There is one soldier (O’Byrne) to follow, but even though he shows up consistently enough to follow his thread, I still need to know more. My other issue is with the constant shifting from past to present tense, and not in any kind of pattern.  It’s a bit confusing for the reader.

On the whole, I recommend the book.  It’s worth the read.