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. But The Long Walk is not just about battle itself.
Best Australian books of – chosen by Guardian staff | Books | The Guardian
It is also an unflinching portrayal of the toll war exacts on the men and women who are fighting it. 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. 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.
It takes as much courage for Castner to confront that memory as it does to face an active fuse. A painful but compelling read, even as Castner finds ways to cope, at least partially, with his long walk back at home. Castner writes with a keen mind, sharp intellect and literary flair. Here is the reality of the exhausted mind, and of profound thought wandering all Creation: this is what I saw, this is what I did, this is what I have become.
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