Sebastian Junger is the author of the bestsellers WarThe Perfect StormFire, and A Death in Belmont. With the late Tim Hetherington, he shot and directed Restrepo, which won the 2010 Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for a 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair, he has won a National Magazine Award and the SAIS-Novartis Prize. 


From America’s greatest chronicler of life lived at its extremes comes a rare work of fiction, an intimate, brutal account of a young American journalist trying to survive his latest assignment. 

Daniel wanted to escape the Midwest and its small-town newspapers, but he didn’t sign up for this: a war-torn West African city strung in barbed wire, its embassies abandoned, child soldiers brandishing guns in the streets. Andre, the veteran photographer Daniel is paired with, is conversant in all of it—the jungle, the locals, and especially the attendant risks of covering war—and pushes them to go deeper into the conflict, to get to the front lines. Yet in a battle like this, there are no reliable lines of safety. Western rules do not apply, and atrocity is color-blind. Just when Daniel thinks he’s convinced his fearless partner to retreat, they arrive at what could be the end of the road for both of them. 

This powerful short story, at once modern and timeless, combines the best elements of classic war literature and psychological horror. Junger’s unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness confronts man’s unrelenting savagery and his unpredictable capacity for cowardice—and courage. 

Praise for Sebastian Junger:

“Junger’s great eye and honesty about the gamut of emotions that come into play in combat leave one swerving between highs, lows and the surreal.”—Chicago Tribune

“Those seeking insight into war’s innards will appreciate the details Mr. Junger so sharply and respectfully delivers.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette