Readers of The Perfect Storm know that its author, Sebastian Junger, is no stranger to danger. Likewise for the readers of Junger’s A Death in Belmont, where the author maintained that the carpenter working on his childhood home was in fact the Boston Strangler. But this is War (Twelve), the title of Junger’s new book, and in addition to the dangers described, add in the courage on display — and the boredom, and the heat, and the cold, and the sheer exhaustion of Americans doing battle in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Between June 2007 and June 2008, Junger made five trips to Afghanistan, where he was embedded with a 30-man company stationed on high ground in the treacherous Korengal Valley — an area, accessible to Pakistan and a past mujahideen smuggling route, which Junger described in Vanity Fair as “one of the deadliest pieces of terrain in the world for U.S. forces.”
War is Junger’s gripping account of life with that 30-man company. Restrepo is the documentary Junger and British photographer Tim Hetherington have made based on video footage that Junger shot during those weeks spent in Afghanistan.
War the book has already reached The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list. Restrepo won a grand jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. And for more on War and Restrepo, go to sebastianjunger.com. But to meet Sebastian Junger, be at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Laurelwood on Tuesday. — Leonard Gill