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Images of war from the Third World
on December 4, 2012
It's been years since I read The Perfect Storm, and I'm glad to see that Sebastian Junger can still crank out compelling fiction. In the story, Daniel's the reporter and Andre's the photographer covering a civil war in an unnamed African country (I believe it's Sierra Leone, but the events in the story could have taken place in any of several countries). They came to cover peace negotiations, but the uneasy accord fell apart as rebel forces attacked, while regular army forces and militias defended the cities. This was war as fought in the Third World - no high technology and smart bombs here, where most units didn't even have radios. Thrust into this situation, Daniel and Andre would be lucky to survive, much less cover the fighting.
The author captured the chaotic, confused fighting, where life was cheap and anyone with an AK-47 or RPG could be your enemy. The terrifying sights, sounds, and smell of death were all around them, and in the end, all the two journalists could hope for was to survive the madness.
The story was presented as a fictional work, but I have no doubt that the events in the story were based on the kind of experiences that real journalists have reported. With only 300 Kindle locations, the story is very short, but it's powerful reading.