Young Men and Fire


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Winner of the US National Book Critic's Circle Award, this book is by the author of "A River Runs Through It". It tells the story of 15 of the US Forest Service's firefighters, parachuted into a remote forest fire in Montana in 1949. Three hours later, 12 of them were dead.

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Julian B

Nov 24, 2015

Best-written book I have ever read

I was an English major in college (before I switched to computer science), so I had to read a LOT of books. I still read about 100 books a year. Of all the books I have ever read, this one is my favorite. The author, Normal MacLean, was an English professor and only wrote two books, A River Runs Through It and this one. This book is a true story about the death of a group of expert firefighters in the famous Mann Gulch fire. MacLean had been a firefighter in his youth, and he took his time on this book, to make sure he got all the details just right. He thought of it as a kind of a mystery - why did these experts die? - so he tells the story as a mystery story. He gives you a clue early on, and if you understood the significance of it, you could figure things out for yourself, but (unless you are a firefighter) your probably won't know what the clue tells you. So Maclean takes you through all of the facts that he discovered, and you gradually come to know more and more. Finally, he returns to the clue that he gave you early on, and now, and the end of the story, its significance jumps out at you. Wow! You finally understand! Simply GREAT writing.


Nov 8, 2012

Excellent clean condition

No disappointment here,was very happy with all aspects of this purchase


Jul 22, 2010

Will change your life

Every great artist must confront death, and the tragic form is the ultimate means of doing so. Norman MacLean was a scholar of that as a professor at the U of Chicago for many years. After he retired and the death of his wife, he wrote his first tragedy, a paean and eulogy to the memory of his younger brother, Paul, "A River Runs Through It". Eloquent, both painful and humorous, It quickly became a modern classic. MacLean spent the remainder of his elderly life researching this story, and the mystery, of the tragic death of a number of young fire jumpers in 1949 in Montana. It is part detective story, part study of the mathematics of forest fire, but ultimately a non-fiction tragedy where his art turns the, all to often, catastrophe (another Greek word) of loss into personal, deeply meaningful, tragedy and ultimately redemption. It is the greater tragedy because MacLean died before completing it. I cannot begin to give it high enough praise.

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