“The Good Thief”

I’m a couple of chapters into Hannah Tinti’s The Good Thief, a book that’s been staring at me from my bookshelf for months now.  It seems to be written in the old-fashioned story-telling tradition of a Robert Louis Stevenson adventure — which I read on the jacket cover and is turning out to be exactly true.  It feels familiar, like it’s written in the same style as the old children’s adventure stories I used to read (and love), but with more style and polish.  I’m enjoying it a great deal, and it seems like the perfect story to be engrossed in after finishing War.

By the way, I definitely recommend Sebastian Junger’s War for anyone who wants to understand what really happens on the front lines in Afghanistan.  This is just one journalist’s story, for sure, but you feel like you’re right there in the Army camps with the soldiers, waiting for what’s going to happen next —- and there is always something horrible coming next.  I wasn’t crazy about the structure (he’s a bit all over the place and could have used better editing) but he goes into the science (physical and mental) of combat:  fear, response time, reactions of men in life/death circumstances, etc…  A great insight into modern warfare and the men/boys we send to fight the fight.