Thursday, August 9, 2012

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

Something for everyone.  That is one of those phrases that’s both a come-on and a warning.  It’s a solid pitch, but to the savvy it can mean mediocrity.  There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ in anything, especially art and literature.  Mostly.  Brian Castner’s The Long Walk: A Story of Warand the Life That Follows is so fully open and honest that it really does have something for everyone, because it’s about everything.

And not everything as in throw enough spaghetti against a wall and some is bound to stick.  This memoir is about a man’s life after returning from war and how his experiences ripple through each moment and all concerned.  It is enlightening, up-lifting, spooky, funny and sad.  Never in that order and all the time. 

I loved the book for its details and its completeness, but I love a lot of books that I never bother to write about.  This one is special.  I like literature that focuses a spotlight on people, places and troubles.  This book does the opposite.  It shines a huge arc lamp on entire life, glaring, unfocused and subsequently quite illuminating.   

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