I have just finished reading War Junkie and jumped imediately onto amazon.com to see what others thought of this wholly amazing book. I am greatly disappointed with the criminally few reviews there are on here. I am a great supporter of personal opinions, but saddened that some of you just didn't get the point. This book was never meant to be a rendition of facts, or a well-researched history. There is no point moaning that it's a misrepresentation of Rwanda, or that outside the gory, war chapters Jon Steele's life is dull.
Don't you understand? This book is the story of life as Jon Steele saw it. When we read we see war through his eyes. We see it from his perspective. Whether everything he thinks and feels about the Hutu's is 100% factually correct is not what is important here. This is a story of his own personal experience and how his emotionally driven and sometimes irrational feelings affected him. It is vivedly written from his own individual perspective. The book does not pretend to be a dry rendition of the facts of a conflict. All it aspires to be is one man's story. It achieves this magnificently.
This book came into my house on Christmas day. For the past few days I have been seeing the world through Jon's eyes. The writing is fast-paced and colourful. Images are sharp, clear and perfectly in focus. Jon Steele doesn't tell, he shows. In graphic detail he paints a movie in our minds. His horror and denial and pain leaps up off of the pages and into the readers soul. We fear for him, laugh with him and cry with him.
Jon Steele is a complicated man from a dark past that is alluded to spectacularly throughout the book. It is this way that we understand and sympathise with his struggles with his internal demons. This book is, above all things, the account of one man with an extroadinary job as he struggles to understand himself and to understand the world.
Writing this book was undoubtedly a form of self-therapy for Jon Steele. A way to organise his thoughts and purge his demons. On a more sensitive level he is also asking us to help bear the burden of the terrible things he has seen. He deserves to feel lighter and I hope I have helped simply by hearing his story.
I will never see the world in the same way again. If I can do anything in order to achieve peace in this world and stop the mindless, shameless killing, I will do it. My eyes have been opened and all I wish for is world peace. And for Jon to know that even though it threatens to break him, showing us the world as it truly is, is worth it.