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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (3,478 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dexter Filkins Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the front lines of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, a searing, unforgettable audiobook that captures the human essence of the greatest conflict of our time. Through the eyes of Dexter Filkins, the prize-winning New York Times correspondent, we witness the remarkable chain of events that began with the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, continued with the attacks of 9/11, and moved on to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Filkins’ narrative moves across a vast and various landscape of amazing characters and astonishing scenes: a public amputation performed by the Taliban, children frolicking in minefields, skies streaked white by the contrails of B-52’s, a night’s sleep in the rubble of Ground Zero. We venture into a torture chamber run by Saddam Hussein. We go into the homes of suicide bombers, meet Iraqi insurgents, and an American captain who loses a quarter of his men in eight days.

The Forever War allows us a visceral understanding of today’s battlefields and of the experiences of the people on the ground, warriors and innocents alike. It is a brilliant, fearless work, not just about America’s wars after 9/11 but ultimately about the nature of war itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wonderfully written and carefully researched…Filkins’s meticulous attention to detail and his bravery…[are] evident on every page…The Forever War…serves as a powerful lesson in what it takes to cover the complexities of war…[Dexter Filkins] has put himself in the middle of this madness to deliver a stunning and illuminating story.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Dexter Filkins…is well on his way to becoming the preeminent war reporter of this tumultuous era…His understated prose offers a stiletto-sharp account of places he’s gone and people he’s met.”

    Seattle Post Intelligencer

  • “Rich with details both grotesque and sublime…The Forever War is a masterpiece of nuance.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A kaleidoscope of images and intensity…It is written in finely honed bursts of vibrant color that capture the peculiar culture of the war…It is a raw and riveting account…His honesty in portraying the war implicitly exposes the hollowness of the platitudes used in Washington to defend it.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Dexter Filkins is one of war writings’ modern marvels, a writer of tremendous gifts and appropriate grit to go where others will not.”

    Associated Press

  • “The definitive—and heartbreakingly humanizing—report from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan…The Forever War [is] about all wars, everywhere—and a book that will be read fifty years from now.”

    GQ

  • “Extraordinary…If what Michael Herr brought back from Vietnam in Dispatches was a sort of Jackson Pollock—streaks of blood, trickles of dread, splattershot of hard rock and harder drugs—The Forever War is like a pointillist Seurat, a neo-Impressionist juxtaposition of spots of pure color with black holes and open wounds.”

    Harper’s

  • “Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War, brutally intimate, compassionate, often poetic accounts of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, is destined to become a classic.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War is the best piece of war journalism I’ve ever read. He paints a portrait of war that is so nuanced, so filled with absurdities and heartbreak and unexpected heroes and villains, that it makes most of what we see and hear about Iraq and Afghanistan seem shrill and two-dimensional by comparison. And yet, as tragic as the events he describes are, the book manages to be a thing of towering beauty.”

    Guardian

  • “Splendid.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • The Forever War…achieves a gripping, raw immediacy.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Not since Michael Herr in Dispatches…has a reporter written as vividly about combat as Filkins does from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

    USA Today

  • “Thanks to one reporter’s heroic act of witness and brilliant recitation of what he saw, we can see the war as it is, and for ourselves.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Unflinching…Filkins confronts the absurdity of war head-on…This is a page-turner, and one of the most astounding books yet written about the war in Iraq.”

    Time

  • “Stunning…This unforgettable narrative represents…a haunting spiritual witness that will make this volume a part of this awful war’s history.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Filkins’s meticulously constructed vignettes . . . illuminate and humanize the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Los Angeles Times Favorite Books 2008
  • The Forever War . . . achieves a gripping, raw immediacy. The Boston Globe’s Year’s Best Books
  • Splendid. Washington Post Book World Best Nonfiction of 2008
  • Harrowingly detailed . . . Filkins makes us see, with almost hallucinogenic immediacy, the true human meaning and consequences of the ‘war on terror.’ The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2008
  • The gaping wounds of Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a torrent of words, but no single volume so far has the precision and power of The Forever War . . . Filkins’ set pieces have the absolute clarity of lightning flashes that burn away the fog of war. Time Best Nonfiction Books of 2008
  • Not since Michael Herr in Dispatches . . . has a reporter written as vividly about combat as Filkins does from Afghanistan and Iraq. USA Today 10 Best Books of 2008
  • Dexter Filkins's The Forever War is the best piece of war journalism I've ever read. He paints a portrait of war that is so nuanced, so filled with absurdities and heartbreak and unexpected heroes and villains, that it makes most of what we see and hear about Iraq and Afghanistan seem shrill and two-dimensional by comparison. And yet, as tragic as the events he describes are, the book manages to be a thing of towering beauty. Dave Eggers, Guardian Best Books of the Year

    "The Forever War is already a classic–it has the timeless feel of all great war literature. Dexter Filkins’s combination of courage and sensitivity is so rare that books like his come along only once every major war. This one is ours.
  • “Dexter Filkins is the preeminent war correspondent of my generation, fearless, compassionate, and brutally honest. The Forever War is his astonishing story. It is one of the best books about war that I have ever read. It will stay with me forever. Jeffrey Goldberg, author of Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide
  • Dexter Filkins has seen the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan; he has stood in the ruins of the World Trade Center; he has been in the heat of battle in Iraq; indeed, no one else has been closer to the action than this courageous and thoughtful observer. This is a sensational book in the best sense. Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    "Stunning...it is not facetious to speak of work like that of Dexter Filkins as defining the 'culture' of a war...This unforgettable narrative [represents]...a haunting spiritual witness that will make this volume a part of this awful war's history.
  • “Dexter Filkins’s The Forever War, brutally intimate, compassionate, often poetic accounts of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, is destined to become a classic. Vanity Fair
  • “Extraordinary . . . if what Michael Herr brought back from Vietnam in Dispatches was a sort of Jackson Pollock–streaks of blood, trickles of dread, splattershot of hard rock and harder drugs–The Forever War is like a pointillist Seurat, a neo-Impressionist juxtaposition of spots of pure color with black holes and open wounds. John Leonard, Harper’s
  • “The definitive–and heartbreakingly humanizing–report from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . The Forever War [is] about all wars, everywhere–and a book that will be read fifty years from now. Andrew Corsello, GQ
  • “Dexter Filkins is one of war writings’ modern marvels, a writer of tremendous gifts and appropriate grit to go where others will not.
    Henry C. Jackson, Associated Press
  • “The best war reportage you are apt to read in a lifetime. Joseph C. Goulden, The Washington Times

    “Unflinching . . . Filkins confronts the absurdity of war head-on . . . This is a page-turner, and one of the most astounding books yet written about the war in Iraq . . . Filkins doesn’t lecture, he just reports, in great and perfect detail.
  • “[Filkins is] an almost absurdly brave war correspondent . . . his brilliant, sad, unique book . . . may be the most readable book about Iraq. It’s certainly one of the most artful. . . We’re the better for it. Hilary Frey, The New York Observer
  • “Brilliant . . . The Forever War . . . deserves to be ranked as a classic . . . and is likely to be regarded as the definitive account of how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were experienced by those who actually waged them . . . Thanks to one reporter’s heroic act of witness and brilliant recitation of what he saw, we can see the war–as it is, and for ourselves. Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
  • “A kaleidoscope of images and intensity . . . It is written in finely honed bursts of vibrant color that capture the peculiar culture of the war . . . It is a raw and riveting account . . . his honesty in portraying the war implicitly exposes the hollowness of the platitudes used in Washington to defend it. Chris Hedges, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • “Splendid . . . it shines as a work of literature, illuminating the human cost of war. Bing West, The Washington Post
  • “Rich with details both grotesque and sublime . . . The Forever War is a masterpiece of nuance. Matthew B. Stannard, The San Francisco Chronicle
  • Gut-wrenching and touching . . .Mr. Filkins’s stories are those of a writer willing to endure hardship, danger and anguish to paint an accurate picture of war for the American public . . . His prose is as blunt as it is powerful. Lee H. Hamilton, The New York Times
  • “Filkins . . . is a courageous reporter and an original writer . . . The narrative holds together through the power of his writing . . . The Forever War is an astonishingly good book. Evan Wright, LA Weekly
  • “Addictive . . . [Filkins is] a master of the moment, of the concrete, of texture; where others try to explain, he wants you to know what being there feels like . . . I couldn’t put this book down. Craig Seligman, Bloomberg
  • “Dexter Filkins . . . is well on his way to becoming the preeminent war reporter of this tumultuous era . . . His understated prose offers a stiletto-sharp account of places he’s gone and people he’s met. John Marshall, Seattle Post Intelligencer
  • “Wonderfully written and carefully researched . . . Filkins’s meticulous attention to detail and his bravery . . . [are] evident on every page . . . The Forever War . . . serves as a powerful lesson in what it takes to cover the complexities of war . . . [Dexter Filkins] has put himself in the middle of this madness to deliver a stunning and illuminating story. Chuck Leddy, Christian Science Monitor
  • “[Filkins is] the real deal, a reporter’s reporter . . . his brave and stunning new book . . . pulses with prose so lean–whipsawing between brutality and beauty–that it takes your breath away. Paul Grondahl, Times Union
  • “A chilling and ethereal narrative of loss and the promise of loss. Jim Chiavelli, The Boston Globe
  • “Phenomenal . . . The Forever War makes the war in Iraq so real, so haunting, that you’ll want to sleep with the book next to your bed and read it in every spare moment until the last page. It does what a great book about war, loss, politics, and sacrifice should–it moves, shocks, entertains, educates, and inspires. The Forever War is peerless–a classic. Genvieve Long, The Epoch Times
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2008 Indie Next List
  • A 2008 Washington Post Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Los Angeles Times Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 USA Today Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Boston Globe Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Guardian Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 ALA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2009 Colby Award
  • A 2008 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A 2009 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction, 2008
  • Winner of the 2008 Cornelius Ryan Award
  • A 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rahul | 1/8/2014

    " Skips around some. But all in all...really good. You kind of think that maybe some folks in politics should read this book, given that Filkins seems to know more about Iraq and Afghanistan than all of our intelligence agencies. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Paul | 12/20/2013

    " This book is not an introduction to the Iraq war. It doesn't, as it shouldn't, try to be one, though an introduction is maybe what I was expecting. I probably know as much about the war, really, as the average American, which is to say: frighteningly little. Filkins focuses less on explaining why things are the way they are in Iraq and instead humanizes the war -- gives names to the soldiers, the civilians, the insiders, the insurgents, etc. And at this he does an excellent job. The guy has been everywhere, and it's taken for granted within the context of the book that if there is someone who needs to be spoken to/with, he'll track that person down, despite bullets whizzing everywhere like laser beams in a Mission Impossible movie, and interview him/her. I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if Filkins had included an account of his conversation(s) with Saddam. He discusses how the incredible violence became numbing, how he began to feel invulnerable, as soldiers and civilians dropped around him while he suffered nary a scratch. And you too, as reader, often forget the danger that the guy is putting himself through to get you this information. It's really powerful, and as a result it's really depressing. And yet. I couldn't get passed the fact that the writing was seriously sub par. There were awkward and inappropriately colloquial (i.e. lazy) phrasings, there was bad rhythm, there were cliches. It was, to me, as I sat in my comfy, heated, secure, checkpoint- and razorwire-free, sans-roof-sniper American apartment, OK, fine, really distracting. And but is it wrong of me to criticize someone for writing less-than-great prose just because he's gone through near-literal hell to bring it to me? Well, I'd say no it isn't. No more than it's wrong to criticize Bush for being laughably inarticulate, or to praise Nabokov for constructing beautiful sentences about a man lusting after a twelve-year-old. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kevin | 11/29/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. The writing is done really well and it gives you a feeling for what goes on in war. This isn't a very happy book, but I would absolutely recommend it to anyone with an interest in the war. One of the things I liked about it was that it doesn't seem to be political at all. If you are for the war or against it, you will enjoy this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 11/26/2013

    " Definately a different perspective on the war against terrorism. "

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