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And They Prayed

Chauncey Loomis, 27 November 1997

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Man Against Nature 
by Sebastian Junger.
Fourth Estate, 227 pp., £14.99, August 1997, 1 85702 720 5
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... a once-in-a-hundred-years storm, a ‘perfect storm’ to use the meteorological term that gives Junger his title. The storm itself is his main subject, but he also focuses on the fate of the Andrea Gail, a 72-foot steel swordfisherman out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and her crew of six. Somewhere on the Grand Banks or possibly near desolate Sable ...

Mad Monkey

Jackson Lears: ‘Matterhorn’, 23 September 2010

by Karl Marlantes.
Corvus, 600 pp., £16.99, August 2010, 978 1 84887 494 7
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... if it were the second coming of All Quiet on the Western Front. In the New York Times Book Review, Sebastian Junger described Matterhorn as ‘one of the most profound and devastating novels ever to come out of Vietnam – or any war’; it ‘may well serve’, he said, ‘as a final exorcism for one of the most painful passages in American ...

A Gutter Subject

Neal Ascherson: Joachim Fest, 25 October 2012

Not Me: Memoirs of a German Childhood 
by Joachim Fest, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Atlantic, 316 pp., £20, August 2012, 978 1 84354 931 4
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... of any young German caught up in the war’s final bloodbath. Inevitably, it will be compared to Sebastian Haffner’s Defying Hitler (Geschichte eines Deutschen), the memoir Haffner wrote in 1939 at the start of his British exile which became a posthumous bestseller in 2000. A generation separated Haffner, born in 1907, and Fest. But both were the sons of ...

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