The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows Book Pdf ePub

The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows

by
3.931,602 votes • 273 reviews
Published 10 Jul 2012
The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows.pdf
Format Hardcover
Pages240
Edition16
Publisher Doubleday
ISBN 0385536208
ISBN139780385536202
Languageeng



In the tradition of Michael Herr’s Dispatches and works by such masters of the memoir as Mary Karr and Tobias Wolff, a powerful account of war and homecoming.

Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. Days and nights he and his team—his brothers—would venture forth in heavily armed convoys from their Forward Operating Base to engage in the nerve-racking yet strangely exhilarating work of either disarming the deadly improvised explosive devices that had been discovered, or picking up the pieces when the alert came too late. They relied on an army of remote-controlled cameras and robots, but if that technology failed, a technician would have to don the eighty-pound Kevlar suit, take the Long Walk up to the bomb, and disarm it by hand. This lethal game of cat and mouse was, and continues to be, the real war within America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But The Long Walk is not just about battle itself. It is also an unflinching portrayal of the toll war exacts on the men and women who are fighting it. When Castner returned home to his wife and family, he began a struggle with a no less insidious foe, an unshakable feeling of fear and confusion and survivor’s guilt that he terms The Crazy. His thrilling, heartbreaking, stunningly honest book immerses the reader in two harrowing and simultaneous realities: the terror and excitement and camaraderie of combat, and the lonely battle against the enemy within—the haunting memories that will not fade, the survival instincts that will not switch off. After enduring what he has endured, can there ever again be such a thing as “normal”? The Long Walk will hook you from the very first sentence, and it will stay with you long after its final gripping page has been turned.

"The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows" Reviews

Jill
- The United States
5
Sat, 14 Jul 2012

If I could give a book 10 stars, this would be the book. And maybe I'm biased, I know the author personally. But, I also work treating veterans for PTSD and a range of other emotional and behavioral difficulties. And in the three years I've been working at the Veteran Hospital, I have read many many books about veterans, combat, PTSD, I've seen the movies and the documentaries, both fiction and non-fiction. And I have to say, without a doubt, this book is the best, most thought-provoking, most honest story of war and the aftermath, that I have come across.
Throughout the narrative, the author constantly vaccilates between the past and present, a struggle I have seen of so many war-torn veterans, those who often have a difficult time making the past/present separation, responding to their civilian life the way they would while at war. The abundance of emotions that the author has fought to make sense of resonate throughout, and in such a way, that it sucks the reader right in with him, I felt the Crazy.
Thank you Brian, and Welcome Home.

Holly
- Wellman, IA
4
Fri, 05 Oct 2012

Very personal account of a soldier's love affair with and devastation by warfare. Had the feel of poetry from the gut. He talks a lot about a sense of brotherhood among soldiers, and reflects some about the damage done to Iraqi people's lives in the pursuit of... whatever it was America was pursuing in Iraq. A happy ending? An honorable departure? I don't know and he doesn't seem to consider it his business to worry about it much either. In his work removing roadside bombs, he does notice and try to avoid gross injustice-- such as when his unit was expected to destroy workshops of Iraqi craftsmen on reports that crude weapons may have been made in one of them (his unit found no evidence of this and left without wreaking the expected havoc). It was also the story of how, in the moment it takes to step off a curb, his brain and life were overtaken by "the crazy," and it is the story of the long and confusing process of diagnosing and treating it. Running and yoga provided some reprieve, but still he found himself overcome by craziness, such as when he stood in a check-out line at a grocery store in his hometown and planned out how to kill everyone in order to get out of the store faster. How, I wondered, did such a preoccupied brain manage to write such a poignant memoir? I choose to take it as a hopeful sign that Brian Castner is re-taking his mind and his life from the occupying force of "the crazy."

Ben
- The United States
5
Fri, 08 Jun 2012

Brian did a great job. I must admit that we've been friends for a while, however that doesn't mean that I wouldn't tell him his book sucked if I thought so. It's a great account and is true to form. Scooter is guts and loyalty and this book has them both is spades.

High Plains
- Greeley, CO
5
Tue, 13 Oct 2015

What a beautiful, tragic book.
An absolute must-read if you liked The Hurt Locker or Brian Turner's excellent Here, Bullet.
Excerpt:
When I deployed for the first time [my wife] asked her grandmother for advice. Her grandfather served in Africa and Europe in World War II. Her grandmother would know what to do.
"How do I live with him being gone? How do I help him when he comes home?" my wife asked.
"He won't come home," her grandmother answered. "The war will kill him one way or the other. I hope for you that he dies while he is there. Otherwise the war will kill him at home. With you."

Let me just warn you, this book is not, like so many other books about veterans, a story of redemption. Yes, there is a brief moment when Castner seems to overcome his crazy, just for a second. But it comes back, and the odds against him are insurmountable. After he describes panicking in an airport and mentally planning who to shoot first and where to go in order to escape, it's hard to imagine that he'll ever be all the way better. After he explains just a touch of the physics behind explosions and why they can destroy a brain without destroying the body around it, it's hard to think that he's ever going to be the way he was before. After he says that his wife wants him to cheat on her just so that she could leave him, you kind of give up on the idea of him having a normal life.
Castner has written a book that is deeply personal and brave. He reveals that something inside of him has been fundamentally and irrevocably broken, which can't be an easy thing to talk about for a man whose career and whose survival depended so long on being tough and mentally calm. More than that, he does a great job of connecting the past with the present and making the reader understand that the problem, for him, is that there's no longer a difference.
~Peter

Sorayya
- The United States
5
Sun, 30 Sep 2012

There's a Sufi poet, Waris Shah, who has a line that goes something like this: "The people who say - those who go away to war will return - tell lies."
The Long Walk, Brian Castner's remarkable chronicle of his war (three tours in Iraq and then home) is testament to this. The people who leave for war are not the people who return. The reality is heart breaking and true, regardless of the specific war. Castner suggests much the same thing in this excerpt:
My wife is alone in our full bed too. Her husband, the father of her children, never came back from Iraq. When I deployed the first time she asked her grandmother for advice. Her grandfather served in Africa and Europe in World War II. Her grandmother would know what to do.
"How do I live with him being gone? How do I help him when he comes home?" my wife asked.
"He won't come home," her grandmother answered. "The war will kill him one way or the other. I hope for you that he dies while he is there. Otherwise the war will kill him at home. With you."
War literature such as this, though, gives me terrible pause. If it's so awful for those lucky to survive and return home, is it even possible to describe what it's like to be fighting and dying as an Iraqi?

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