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Cover image for Fire
Format:
Title:
Fire
ISBN:
9780393010466
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, ©2001.
Physical Description:
xv, 224 pages ; 25 cm
Contents:
Fire (1992) -- Blowup : what went wrong at Storm King Mountain (1994) -- The whale hunters (1995) -- Escape from Kashmir (1996) -- Kosovo's valley of death (1998) -- Dispatches from a dead war (1999) -- Colter's way (1999) -- The forensics of war (1999) -- The terror of Sierra Leone (2000) -- The lion in winter (2001).
Summary:
"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."--Jacket.
Genre:
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Library
Call Number
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909.829 Junger 2001
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909.829 J95
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909.8 JUNGER
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909.829 JUNGER
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Summary

Summary

For readers and viewers of The Perfect Storm, opening this long-awaited 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.


Author Notes

Sebastian Junger was born in 1962 in Belmont, Massachusetts. He received his BA degree from Wesleyan University in Cultural Anthropology in 1984. He is a freelance journalist who writes for numerous magazines, including Outside, American Heritage, Men's Journal, and the New York Times Magazine. As an underemployed journalist who assigned himself stories and worked as a stringer for the Associated Press in Bosnia, Junger was fascinated by the dangers that people face regularly while doing ordinary jobs.

Junger was working as a climber for a tree removal service when the storm occurred that provided the inspiration for his first book. The Perfect Storm (1997) is a carefully researched account of the wreck of the swordfishing boat Andrea Gail, The wreck took place during what one meteorologist called a "perfect storm"--a storm with the worst possible conditions. In order to relate the story of a disaster that left no survivors and had no eyewitnesses, Junger used a combination of sound research, technical detail, and personal insight to reconstruct the final hours. After the publication of this book he was nicknamed the new Hemingway. In 2000, this book was made into a film starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg.

He wrote several books such as War which is about his time spent with a U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan. At the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 his documentary Restrepo won Grand Jury Prize for a domestic documentary.

Junger's book, Tribe, made the New York Times Bestseller list in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Danger junkies rejoice! The Perfect Storm king returns with no, not a new booklength narrative, but a collection of previously published magazine articles. Junger spent the last few years documenting some of the world's toughest places: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, as well as nonmilitary hot spots like American wildfires. His reporting on wartime atrocities for Vanity Fair is well known, and his wilderness stories for adventure magazines like Outside and Men's Health have brought him an enormous extra-book readership. Junger's newest can be considered a sort of early Greatest Hits volume, wherein Junger's disaster-zone reporting will whet the appetites of risk voyeurs everywhere. Consider his interview with Afghan guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud ("After we'd spent half an hour ducking the shells, the commander said he'd just received word that Taliban troops were preparing to attack the position, and it might be better if we weren't around for it"), or his Kosovo klatch with Serbian paramilitaries ("The men grinned broadly at us. One of them wasn't holding a gun in his hands. He was holding a huge double-bladed ax."). But Junger is more than a dispassionate adventure-monger; he is an observer awed by the courage of "people confronting situations that could easily destroy them." Whether describing the trials of airborne forest firefighters or the occupational hazards of old-fashioned harpoon-and-rope whale hunting, Junger challenges readers to reconsider their fondness for ease: "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. And that is where the idea of `adventure' comes in." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus Review

Run-for-cover writing from scary places, by Junger (A Perfect Storm, 1997), a man with an appetite for the ragged edge of life and the ability to write about it with restrained power. 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. Junger might be considered a bit of an adrenaline junkie because of the situations he puts himself into, but as for being in someone's gunsight: "there was nothing exciting about it, nothing even abstractly interesting. It was purely, exclusively bad." What comes across here is the writer's overpowering sense of awe at the events he describes. He writes with a pressure-cooker urgency, though with the lid firmly in place: no screeching high notes here, but the steady, awful thrum of things going out of control and death standing by. He tells of the intimations that smoke-jumpers feel when the woods they are in are about to explode into flame, and of the survival instincts followed by a man kidnapped with a group of trekkers by Kashmiri guerrillas who allow him alone to live. A good number of the pieces are situated in Kosovo, where the slaughter of Albanians by Serbians is without mercy or bounds. 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. Sierra Leone is a good example: being shot by a diamond-smuggling, AK-47-toting, drug-crazed teenager is just a daily precaution one guards against, like typhus or dysentery. Deeply affecting stories of a ruthless world, natural and man-made, that will leave you stunned and distraught. Author tour


Booklist Review

The author of The Perfect Storm (1997) now offers a collection of 10 previously published magazine articles, which all deal, in one way or another, with people confronting situations that could easily destroy them. Junger believes that people are drawn to those situations out of "an utterly amoral sense of awe," which completely overrides more mundane concerns. Nowhere is this theme more evident than in the fascinating essay "Blowup," an account of a swift, furious wildfire in Colorado that claimed the lives of 14 elite firefighters. Survivor Brian Haugh recalls that as he ran for his life, aware that everyone behind him had already died, he was still mesmerized by the sight of the great wall of fire, its light "a weird blood-red that fascinated him even as he ran." Other topics include the diamond trade in Sierra Leone, war crimes in Kosovo, and a hostage crisis in Kashmir. The publisher's marketing campaign will generate some demand, but the essay format will limit this title's appeal. Still, the topics are compelling, and the writing is fine. --Joanne Wilkinson


Library Journal Review

Recovering from an injury received while climbing and cutting down trees, Junger got the idea to write a book about "men in dangerous jobs." Although he was sidetracked, in part by The Perfect Storm, he has returned to his original concept with Fire. In this collection of articles some published in Vanity Fair gathered from his ten-plus years on the front lines, in the trenches, and wherever else he might get close to danger, Junger seems to be in his element, both physically and in the writing. The true stories range from disastrous fires to disastrous wars, from whaling controversies to land disputes, all told with Junger's unfailing eye for detail, which often lends the pieces a disturbing authenticity. As with The Perfect Storm, Junger makes sure to get the whole story from as many sides as possible; he leaves nothing out, including his own passionate opinion. Recommended for all public library collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/01.] Rachel Collins, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. xiii
Fire (1992)p. 3
Blowup: What Went Wrong at Storm King Mountain (1994)p. 43
The Whale Hunters (1995)p. 57
Escape from Kashmir (1996)p. 73
Kosovo's Valley of Death (1998)p. 95
Dispatches from a Dead War (1999)p. 111
Colter's Way (1999)p. 147
The Forensics of War (1999)p. 155
The Terror of Sierra Leone (2000)p. 175
The Lion in Winter (2001)p. 199
Massoud's Last Conquest (2002)p. 223
Afterwordp. 245
Acknowledgmentsp. 249