Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Beyond Bullets

Goodreads' Description: Award-winning photographer Rafal Gerszak spent a year embedded with the American military in Afghanistan, where he used his camera to document everyday life in the war-torn country. While there, he developed a deep affection for the land and its people, and he later returned on his own. Despite the dangers around him, he continued taking photos, exposing the plight of that besieged country. 

Framed by journal entries that relate his experiences on two levels—as a foreigner looking for a deeper connection to a country that has stirred him, and as a journalist looking for another side to the story—BEYOND BULLETS addresses the volatile situation in Afghanistan with sensitivity and profound insight. Through Gerszak’s lens, readers can see the shattered aftermath of military attacks and dismal hospitals and refugee camps, but they can also experience the vibrant activity of life in the markets, at home and on the Muslim day of rest

My Review: Before I joined the Army, I read a lot of books about soldiers and war. After being in the Army, I haven't really had an interest in that sort of thing anymore. Having lost battle buddies in the war makes reading about it a little too real. When I saw this book on Netgalley, I decided to give it a chance. It's almost like a picture book, so I thought I could handle it. Well, I'm really glad I did. Rafal does a really good job of showing the emotions of war. I wish I could post some of the pictures from the inside of the book, but trust me, they're gorgeous. Some of them are gut-wrenching. After finding out about the guy who is on the cover image, I found myself going back to that image over and over again, wishing that I could go back in time and talk to him. Working in Mental Health in the Army, I got to hear a lot about Afghanistan, and what it was like to be there. This book gave me images to go along with all those feelings. I rated this book 4 stars. I'm not going to give it 4 happy mamas like I normally would. This isn't a happy book, but it is a really good one. They say a picture is worth 1000 words. This book proves that statement true. I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in seeing and learning a little bit more about the daily lives of soldiers and the people of Afghanistan.
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