Book Review : The Long Walk



The Long Walk

By Brian Castner


I’ll start with the first thought, well really a question, which I had after I finished reading this wonderfully written memoir.  How can we ever fully understand what other people have gone through? The answer of course is-we can’t. That’s why we read memoirs, to learn about another person’s life. To, maybe, understand the human experience better.
I love it when I find a book like this. A book that the publisher has moved on from, as far as promotion is concerned and the author has moved onto another project as well. It’s up to the rest of us to keep the story alive. It’s still available.  This isn’t the first book that I’ve read written by a former soldier, it’s the second. The first one was Soft Spots , which I also recommend.  
    Mr Castner starts at the beginning with a memory of friends, then takes us into the world of  an EOD technician. EOD, Explosives Ordinance Disposal, is not everyone’s first choice in life, but it’s what the author chose.
    You will be with him, as an insubordinate officer, as a tech at night on a bridge defusing a bomb while being shot at, and a husband who becomes distant from his family. You feel the first steps at trying to recapture a mind lost to shock-wave after shock-wave from explosions.
Memoirs written by soldiers are among the most important books for us to read, as we-as a nation-move on from the war.  
A soldier’s memoir is important because it can shape us. It’s not acceptable to be ignorant of a life that accepted a command to fight or defend. Reading a soldier’s story is not commending or condoning, it’s taking the steps to understand. As a reader you become better informed about decisions our politicians make that ultimately have an effect on all our lives.  Our lives are affected when they come home. Can they handle it? Are they safe? Are we safe being around them? Can we help them?  All of these questions enter the public arena and require understanding. Reading-The Long Walk, will get you closer to being in another person’s footsteps, as they struggle on a sand hill, work a thirty-six hour EOD call and then rest for one hour before going back on another call.  To see through their eyes: losing a friend, a brother in arms, and their mind. Walking with them, step by step, in the supermarket with a sense of readiness to pull the trigger on their weapon—tense; wound-up, wound-down, judgment lost, but not forgotten. Then judgement regained, slowly in Yoga Class, slowly pushing the mind to work correctly, though much slower, back to a place of understanding oneself, and struggling to understand their new reality.
This book is Five Full Sails, and it is still available through the link provided here. The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows   Note: Image in post is of a hard cover, that is what I read. Image on order my differ, but it's the same book. 

Comment, share this post, then let me know. I have two free copies to send out to a reader.

Place this book on your TBR list.
© Copyright 2016 , book reviews Artemis J Jones

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