Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Freebie: The Long Walk by Brian Castner

Congratulations to Thomas Baughman, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: Windeye by Brian Evenson.

This week's book giveaway is The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner.  It's on my shortlist of Modern War books to read in the near future (a list that also includes Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds, Stephen Dau's The Book of Jonas, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya's The Watch and Rachel Maddow's Drift).  The way things are going in my increasingly wound-tight schedule, you'll probably read The Long Walk before I can.  From the sounds of it, you'll be blown away by Castner's memoir (sorry for the unforgivably bad pun).  I'll step out of the way and let the editorial team at Amazon tell you more about The Long Walk, which they chose as a Best Book of July:
To those trained in Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the last-resort tactic for defusing bombs is known as the Long Walk: a soldier dealing with the device up close, alone, with no margin for error. The Long Walk is Brian Castner's tale of two wars. He fought the first in Iraq, serving two tours dismantling roadside bombs before they exploded, or wading through the grisly carnage of unchecked detonations. The second battle began when he returned home, his life exploding as he stepped from a curb into what he calls the Crazy: a consuming froth of panic and undiagnosed pain that alienated him from his family and compelled him to rig his minivan with ammunition clips for faster reloads while driving through suburbia. With its tense and claustrophobic portraits of the violent streets of Kirkuk, Castner's account is a dead-on description of modern warfare in an unfamiliar land. But it also offers sober insight into the stresses of war on the human body and mind (the effects of blast waves on soft tissues--especially in the brain--are chilling), destruction wrought on those left behind, and the long, lonely walk home.

If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of The Long Walk, all you have to do is email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on July 26at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on July 27.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done either or both of those, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.

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