Revenge of the Donut Boys ) presents an amalgam of celebrity portraits and cautionary tales in a collection as addictive as the drugs an"/>

Wounded Warriors: Those for Whom the War Never Ends

Mike Sager, Author . Da Capo $16.95 (261p) ISBN 978-0-306-81735-9

Veteran journalist Sager (Revenge of the Donut Boys ) presents an amalgam of celebrity portraits and cautionary tales in a collection as addictive as the drugs and violence that fuel much of the author’s reporting. The title story goes inside a pioneering program at Camp Lejeune, N.C., that helps wounded Marines—many suffering from traumatic brain injuries—return to society. In other pieces, Sager extends his war metaphor in portraits of the famous, the anonymous and the tragic: the “misunderstood” Kobe Bryant, Rev. Al Sharpton (“one of the most reviled men in America”) and nightclub bouncer and “smartest man in America,” Chris Langan. Some of the most compelling, and tragic, portraits are drawn from the darkest corners of American society: Generation H—“children of the nineties”—heroin addicts in New York City and teenage gang members in Venice, Calif. The author turns the spotlight on himself in “Hunting Marlon Brando,” a highly personal and quixotic odyssey to track down the elusive actor. Sager has made a career of finding the unexpected story and telling it with empathy and narrative skill—a talent that’s on display throughout this eclectic and consistently arresting collection. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 06/23/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
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