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

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

ISBN13: 9780385536202
ISBN10: 0385536208
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"With a degree in electrical engineering, Castner served as an air force officer in Saudi Arabia in 2001, and Iraq in 2005 and 2006, where he earned a Bronze Star. He then trained military Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in tactical bomb procedures. Castner's chilling account of those years is, he feels, 'as correct as a story can be from someone with blast-induced memory lapses.' He details daily rituals and routines, and the Humvee expeditions, seeking improvised explosive devices (IED) with robots. When robots fail, there is the Long Walk, wearing the bomb suit ('eighty pounds of mailed kevlar'). Castner edges through this world of hidden dangers, suicide bombers, and scattered body parts. Throughout, he splices in scenes of the aftermath — his return to his wife and family in the U.S., where he is told he has post-traumatic stress disorder. Haunted by what he calls 'the Crazy' ('it's grey spidery fingers take the top of my head off to eat my brain and heart... every night'), he sees constant reminders that blur reality ('IEDs on Interstate 90'). The intercutting of these two different narratives effectively conveys how a disturbing mental condition can erupt in the aftermath of nightmarish war horrors. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Bob Mecoy Literary Agency. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

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.

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About the Author

BRIAN CASTNER, a graduate of Marquette University with an electrical engineering degree, served three tours in the Middle East as an officer of the U.S. Air Force—two of them as the head of an EOD team in Iraq. In 2006, he received a Bronze Star for his service. Upon returning to the United States following his service, he consulted as a independent civilian contractor, training military EOD units on tactical bomb-disposal procedures prior to their deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives in Buffalo, New York, with his wife and children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

ReaderKate, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by ReaderKate)
Brian Castner wanted to be an astronaut but trained as an explosives specialist. The Long Walk describes his training, the exacting, often terrifying, and frequently tedious work of dismantling bombs during the Iraq war. He also vividly describes the psychological consequences of blast-induced brain trauma as well as traumatic stress. Castner is such a skillful writer, his account develops both naturally and suspensefully. As I read, I experienced both deep sympathy and a strong curiosity about how he would end this memoir. I'm hoping he will write more books.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385536202
Author:
Castner, Brian
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Subject:
Biography - General
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.7 x 0.99 in 0.7775 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Children's » General
Featured Titles » Biography
History and Social Science » Military » Gulf Wars
History and Social Science » Military » Iraq War (2003-)
History and Social Science » Military » Recent Military History
History and Social Science » Military » Special Forces

The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385536202 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With a degree in electrical engineering, Castner served as an air force officer in Saudi Arabia in 2001, and Iraq in 2005 and 2006, where he earned a Bronze Star. He then trained military Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in tactical bomb procedures. Castner's chilling account of those years is, he feels, 'as correct as a story can be from someone with blast-induced memory lapses.' He details daily rituals and routines, and the Humvee expeditions, seeking improvised explosive devices (IED) with robots. When robots fail, there is the Long Walk, wearing the bomb suit ('eighty pounds of mailed kevlar'). Castner edges through this world of hidden dangers, suicide bombers, and scattered body parts. Throughout, he splices in scenes of the aftermath — his return to his wife and family in the U.S., where he is told he has post-traumatic stress disorder. Haunted by what he calls 'the Crazy' ('it's grey spidery fingers take the top of my head off to eat my brain and heart... every night'), he sees constant reminders that blur reality ('IEDs on Interstate 90'). The intercutting of these two different narratives effectively conveys how a disturbing mental condition can erupt in the aftermath of nightmarish war horrors. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Bob Mecoy Literary Agency. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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