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Fire by Sebastian Junger

Fire (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Sebastian Junger

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569917,472 (3.44)93
Authors:Sebastian Junger
Info:W. W. Norton (2001), Edition: 1ST, Paperback, 224 pages
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Fire by Sebastian Junger (2001)



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Junger is a terrific journalist. He writes on a level that you can understand even if you don't know much about the subject at hand. He also is able to present a very balanced look at his subjects. This was most apparent in his joint article on Cyprus. By the time I finished, I was disgusted with both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. Neither was willing to budge toward a peaceful solution and the result is complete stasis. It reminded me a lot of our current Congress! All the articles were very informative, but at the same time very accessible. ( )
  AliceAnna | Aug 10, 2014 |
I was dinking around in my records and discovered I had listened to this book in 2006. For the life of me I don't remember a damn thing about it and can't find any notes (an anomaly) except I marked I had enjoyed it. I'm not sure whether that says more about the book or me. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Junger's one of the best adventure/war journalists working today, as this collection of articles demonstrates beyond any doubt. ( )
  wanack | Jul 18, 2010 |
Not quite as engaging as the Perfect Storm, but well worth the $2.95 I paid for it (gotta love Adelaide STreet sales). An interesting look at the more dangerous occupations around. ( )
  skinglist | Jan 10, 2009 |
There are a couple things I didn't realize when I first picked up this book. One was that I thought this was a story about fires, as the title suggests, or perhaps other natural disasters and although the first two essays are about fires and the people who risk their lives putting them out, this is only a small portion of the book. Another thing I didn't realize was that this is a collection of essays ranging over the years of 1992 to 2001 rather than being one cohesive tale.

I think part of the interest to this book is the author's progression from very green writer who actually went into journalism before having an actual job or credentials to do so, to a semi-seasoned correspondent. I thought that the first essay would be the end for me. Written much like a science textbook, this story of a fire and firefighters was written in a very dry and educational type manner that made my eyes roll back in my head (part of the problem I was never more than a C student in biology was my absolute boredom with the texts.) His second fire essay, written two years later had a more human take that I found to be much more appealing. From here the essays progress in quality and also take on a variety of issues ranging from whaling (from the non-PC whaler's point of view) to the questionable ethics of the diamond trade in Sierra Leone. The majority of the essays cover human conflicts and wars between countries I had previously only heard of in passing.

These stories are not my typical reading fare. I tend to avoid the subjects of politics and religion like the plague and never, ever watch the evening news. Despite my usual aversion, these essays did hold my interest to a point, although they did not do much for my faith in humanity in general. I find it horrifying and troubling that people can do such things to one another.

Taking this book for what it is supposed to be, I think it is well done. However, I don't expect I will go out searching for other essay collections such as this as the format and content didn't really appeal to me. ( )
2 vote Jenson_AKA_DL | Nov 26, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
The ten pieces in this collection of magazine articles, one of which won a National Magazine Award for Reporting, have the authentic tang of dispatches from the front. ... Most remarkable are Junger’s accounts of such places where all moral referents are severely out of alignment, having only hours before shifted from everyday life and begun a whirling descent into madness. ... Deeply affecting stories of a ruthless world, natural and man-made, that will leave you stunned and distraught.
added by Roycrofter | editKirkus' Reviews (Aug 1, 2001)

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Sebastian Jungerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, ScottContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393010465, Hardcover)

The events explored in Fire focus on "people confronting situations that could easily destroy them," and as he demonstrated in The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger is skilled at breaking such situations down to their core elements. In this exciting book, he reports on raging forest fires in the Western U.S, war zones in Kosovo and Afghanistan, the deadly diamond trade in Sierra Leone, the plight of travelers kidnapped by guerrillas in Kashmir, the last living whale harpooner on the Caribbean island of Bequia, and the Greek-Turkish conflict on Cyprus. There is also a fascinating chapter on John Colter (explorer, fur trader, and member of the Corps of Discovery led by Lewis and Clark) in which he comments on the need for some to seek adventure as a means of escape from our relatively safe modern world: "Life in modern society is designed to eliminate as many unforeseen events as possible, and as inviting as that seems, it leaves us hopelessly underutilized.... Threats to our safety and comfort have been so completely wiped out that we have to go out of our way to create them." Junger has a keen grasp on this mentality (in fact, he exhibits it himself), and in Fire he clearly explains the fears and difficulties involved in reporting on dangerous events from foreign countries: "You have two weeks to understand a completely alien culture, find a story that no one has heard of, and run it into the ground. It never feels even remotely possible. But it is." And he has done it well in this thrilling book. --Shawn Carkonen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:34 -0400)

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"For readers and viewers of The Perfect Storm, opening this new work by Sebastian Junger will be like stepping off the deck of the Andrea Gail and into the inferno of a fire burning out of control in the steep canyons of Idaho. Here is the same meticulous prose brought to bear on the inner workings of a terrifying elemental force: here is a cast of characters risking everything in an effort to bring that force under control." "Few writers have been to so many desperate corners of the globe as has Sebastian Junger: fewer still have provided such starkly memorable evocations of characters and events. From the murderous mechanics of the diamond trade in Sierra Leone to the logic of guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan and the forensics of genocide in Kosovo, this new collection of Junger's nonfiction will take you places you wouldn't dream of going to on your own."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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