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Fire Hardcover – September 24, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The stories are well written and have the effect, intended or not, of becoming bits of autobiographical sketches of the author. I enjoyed this aspect, and it raised my general enjoyment of the collection. The amount of knowledge a reader may possess on a given topic will also determine how interesting the stories will be to a given person. With all the information that we are receiving daily about Afghanistan, his story, "A Lion In Winter", may have less impact than it might have had if the nightmare of September 11 had not happened. I am not suggesting the story is poorly done; rather its informative value may have been overtaken by current events.
These stories will also take you to the sites of forest fires, to Kosovo and the author's first person accounts of the evil he witnessed, to The Caribbean, and to Sierra Leone. Most of these articles have themes and endings that make the fate of The Andrea Gale much less graphic and unsettling.Read more ›
"Fire," however, falls short of its billing. The title and cover lend one to believe Junger will follow the lives of a fire crew battling a blaze, as he did with commercial fishermen facing "The Perfect Storm." But this book is actually old news. The chapters are reprinted articles (some outdated in information and some redundant in their research). The scenes are vivid and full of engrossing detail, yet lose some of their power in the retelling and in the disjointed stitching of mismatched pieces. I felt that his chapter "Colter's Way" would've made a nice lead up to the more current stories, and his chapter about his own boyhood brush with danger could've set the book's pace with a personal touch. Instead, "Fire" broke out in too many places and I lost my zeal to keep reading. Halfway through, I had to consciously choose to continue. I hope Junger brings us some fresh stuff next time around. Until then, I'm feeling only lukewarm.
The only drawback is that Junger's pieces are the original magazine articles and are not expanded upon for the book. The focus of each article also tends to be very narrow, especially in the foreign pieces. Junger lacks the depth of master correspondent like Thomas Friedman, and the book is fairly slight at just over 220 pages. Nevertheless, he is a skilled writer, and this makes for excellent and informative reading.
"Fire" is a collection of short essays, most published over the last ten years as magazine articles. That's an easy slam-dunk after a big hit like "The Perfect Storm". "Fire" is not Junger's next big thing, but it's certainly worthwhile if you were unaware of his other writings.
My favorite in this collection is "Colter's Way", inspired by an Old West figure famous for pushing his luck in Blackfeet territory. Junger relates Colter's exploits to the current fascination with extreme sports and adventure travel. Basically, modern life is safe but dull, so people turn dangerous pastimes to feel more alive, Junger says.
Junger promptly lets the air out of the modern adventure's tires: "because it's not necessary, it's not heroic", he says, however "brave" it can be.
As in "The Perfect Storm", Junger's levelheaded approach to danger is a nice contract to Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" and its ilk, which seem to emphasize the pathlogical aspects of life at the extreme. "Storms happen" would be Junger's motto, versus Krakauer's annoying "why am I up on Everest" hand-wringing.
The last piece in the book, "The Lion in Winter" is an account of Junger's interview with the late anti-Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Two stories about fires and firefighting. Seven about war and other things. Not what I thought I was buying.Published 1 month ago by Paul B.
Very good essays. Very educational for me. Even with the first to essays concerning fire which I'm pretty close to.Published 1 month ago by Nancy
I feel like I was robbed! The book's title is FIRE. The first two stories are about fires and fire fighting. Then bam! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ranger 185
An excellent read. I felt like I was standing beside Junger as his prose took me on a journey around the world. A must read!Published 16 months ago by Jeffrey C. Pratt
“Fire” by Sebastian Junger. It is really a collection of essays that he collected while writing for various magazines. Read morePublished 19 months ago by perry man
I had the book before my friend love and he keeps now I buy again for me , thankPublished on June 30, 2014 by Victoria A Mora
It’s not that this is a bad book. I have read several of Sebastion Junger’s books and they are all very well written (The Perfect Storm, Under the Banner of Heaven). Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by D. Yackel
"Fire" is a collection of essays that Sebastien Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm" wrote as a reporter for various periodicals, including Harper's, National Geographic, and... Read morePublished on October 20, 2013 by PBI