Saturday, August 22, 2009
"The Forever War" by Dexter Filkins
My grade: A-
As the name suggests, this book is about war; mostly, it is about the war in Iraq, and a little bit on the Afghanistan war as well. This is not a novel. Filkins is a reporter, who reported from Iraq for The New York Times. This book is compiled of short bits and stories of what Filkins encountered while abroad.
It is definitely difficult to keep all the facts in mind as reading this book. It goes back and forth constantly, and the overall structure of it - small disconnected stories - is not necessarily conducive to one grand idea. It does, nonetheless, paint an excellent picture of what was happening in Iraq when war arrived, the chaos that reigned, and the effects it had on people, politics and the general life. This book is at times terribly graphic and always difficult to read, due to the nature of the subject.
If you have read "The Kite Runner", don't be put off by the first chapter of this book, even when the stories are exactly the same. I'm not sure what the relationship of the two authors is, but the resemblance ends after the first chapter, when Filkins leaves Afghanistan and goes to Iraq. I recommend this book to everyone, but be prepared - this is definitely not a fast read.