Friday, December 12, 2008

TIME picks its non-fiction book of the year

We don't yet know the "person of the year," but TIME has picked its best non-fiction book of the year.  It's Dexter Filkin's The Forever War
Time said of the book:
"The gaping wounds of Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a torrent of words, but no single volume so far has the precision and power ofThe Forever War. Filkins has been covering the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 1998, and since then he has filled 561 notebooks with observations and interviews. Even under the direst of conditions Filkins is alive to novelistic detail: the popping sound of a 105 mm cannon, like 'a machine that served tennis balls'; a barber shaving the beards of Talibs so they can switch sides; a man whom Saddam forced to pay for the bullets that were used to execute his brother, and who received a receipt for his payment. Filkins' set pieces have the absolute clarity of lightning flashes that burn away the fog of war."
Here is my conversation with Dexter Filkins: