All the Ways We Kill and Die: A Portrait of Modern War

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Product Details

$25.99  $24.17
Arcade Publishing
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.5 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Brian Castner is the author of the acclaimed memoir The Long Walk. An EOD officer in the Air Force who commanded bomb disposal units in Iraq and subsequently trained soldiers prior to their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is now a writer and journalist. His stories have appeared in VICE News, the New York Times, the Daily Beast, Wired, Outside, Foreign Policy, and the Los Angeles Review of Books and on NPR. He lives with his family in Buffalo, New York.


"In this book Brian Castner takes us through a kind of moral detective work, uncovering not only private griefs, but also the broader military and social context of our country's response to such deaths. A brilliant, moving, and troubling portrait of modern American warfare." --Phil Klay, author of the National Book Award-winning Redeployment

"Like the best of storytellers, Castner transports us into the world of the men and women who fight and die and grieve: a struggling widow, two amputees, the exhausted pilot, the contractor for hire, a talented female biometrics engineer, even the jihadist bomb-makers. An extraordinary work of nonfiction that reads like a suspense novel." --Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of the New York Times bestseller Ashley's War

"Brian Castner has written an intimate, heartfelt, and rending portrait of the American family at war and at home; and he's done so in a totally surprising and captivating way, by making the journey as a detective, a soldier, a father, a husband, a citizen. How did my friend die, where did he go, where have I gone in the meantime, who did this to us? These are questions that Castner meditates on as he searches--across thousands of miles and back through the years--for the moment when a total stranger decided to kill a man closest to him and his family. Deftly reported and elegiac in its language, this is a story every neighbor, every parent, every soldier, and every school civics class ought to consider required reading. All the Ways We Kill and Die has much to tell us about how to live."--Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author of Horse Soldiers

"A powerful and gripping take on modern war. All the Ways We Kill and Die is a stirring inside look at the deadly dance between EOD and bomb makers on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Written in crisp, unflinching prose, the book is one of the definitive accounts of our decades of war." --Kevin Maurer, author of Hunter Killer and No Easy Day

"Provocative, riveting, and uncommonly insightful in addressing both sides of the story, Castner writes in the tradition of Orwell and Kapuscinski . It is impossible to read his book and not be moved by the predicament of the shadow wars we're mired in. Infused with the knowledge of an insider, this is a bravura performance." --Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, author of The Watch

"The search for the story behind an IED death leads to the history of the post-9/11 wars and the lives of the men and women who fight them. . . . Castner does a beautiful job of putting together his puzzle, weaving all the seemingly disparate elements into one cohesive whole. . . . [His] writing is evocative and engaging, completely absorbing from beginning to end. A must-read for military buffs and a should-read for anyone who has given even a cursory thought to the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Castner solemnizes a small but recently critical section of America's armed forces, and powerfully acquaints readers with the risks run and the sacrifices made by EOD personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan." --Booklist

"[A] deeply-reported tale of the costs of war. . . . Castner works like a translator." --Consequence Magazine

"Of this book's many strengths, perhaps most notable is its willingness to confront horror unrelentingly--furiously, even . . . All The Ways We Kill and Die occupies a space somewhere between rage and redemption, a purgatory of loss reported as unflinching testimony. . . . To call it intense is to cheapen its power. Castner's writing is as horrifying as it is illuminating. Castner's writing shines because of his willingness to hold his readers' faces toward the abyss when they would rather turn away. We would all do well--as veterans, as citizens--to be so brave." --Task & Purpose

"All The Ways We Kill and Die reads like a good work of fiction with a rich cast of characters and well developed whodunit plot line, all set in a postmodern military genre of special operations forces, robots, and drones. However, it is Brian Castner's literary style that makes this a welcome addition to any bookshelf. Similar to his first work, The Long Walk, the language is raw, it is real, and it is that of a warrior. The meta-narrative, the structure of the book itself, the pace and tempo of the prose, everything about this book is reflective of an EOD response to an IED strike: tend to the wounded, collect the evidence, and target the bomber. More so, it provides a unique perspective of warfare in the 21st century and for that reason alone, All The Ways We Kill and Die should be cataloged in the annals of modern American military history." -Commander Jeremy Wheat, USN, Center for International Maritime Security

"All the Ways We Kill and Die display[s] Castner's considerable talent for both in-depth reportage and more imaginative forms. . . . There's as much for the armchair military history buff in Castner's exploration of IED technology and tactics as there is for fans of literary nonfiction." --Matthew Komatsu, The Millions