STAMPEDE Brian Castner

Latest Book

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike

“Brian Castner’s Stampede is a masterful narrative history—deeply researched, beautifully written, and utterly compelling. Novelistic in the best sense, with vivid characters and carefully reconstructed scenes of life among the prospectors, this book is an endlessly fascinating joy to read.”
Phil Klay

Author of , Missionaries and winner of the National Book Award

A freight-train of a story that thunders along with all the energy of the tumultuous events it conjures. A saga of need, greed, shattered fantasies, and the dark side of the American Dream

Caroline Alexander

Author of , The Endurance

“A riveting tale told with panache and discernment. Castner brings to throbbing life the thousand days of the Klondike rush, and leaves the reader breathless yet edified.”
H. W. Brands

Author of , The Zealot and the Emancipator and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

“With appearances by Jack London, Frederick Trump and a lengthy cast of lively characters, Stampede kept me up late, night after night, unable to stop turning the pages.”

Clay Risen

Author of , The Crowded Hour

Disappointment River

Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark led their famous expedition across the continent, a fur trader named Alexander Mackenzie also attempted to cross North America by canoe. He was searching for the fabled Northwest Passage, accompanied by his partner and guide, Awgeenah, the trading chief of the Chipewyan, with their voyageurs, wives, and hunters.

In the summer of 2016, I set out to retrace Mackenzie’s steps, paddling the 1125 mile Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean.

“Disappointment River” is the story of two journeys, mine and Mackenzie’s, and how and why we each found something very different at the end of that river.

Named an Amazon Book of the Year for 2018

Outside Magazine

“Castner has the Conradian ability to make you see and feel … Disappointment River abounds in vivid details.”

Washington Post

Disappointment River by Brian Castner

All the Ways We Kill and Die

This is the story of an American family at war, the missing spouses and lost limbs, the men and women who fight a new technology-heavy and intelligence-based conflict. We meet intel analysts, biometrics engineers, drone pilots, special operations aircrew, amputees who lost their legs, and the contractors hired to finish the job. They are all hunting a man known as al-Muhandis, The Engineer, the brains behind the devices that have killed so many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
All the Ways We Kill and Die
“It reads like a detective novel but it’s a real story. Compelling and devastating.”

“Deftly reported and elegiac in its language, this is a story every neighbor, every parent, every soldier, and every school civics class ought to consider required reading.”
Doug Stanton

Author of the New York Times bestseller , Horse Soldiers

The Long Walk

The Long Walk tells the intertwined story of two journeys: an outward struggle the disarm bombs in Iraq and survive the urban combat of modern war, and the inward journey to find the new person that emerges after undertaking such a task.

Developed into an opera by The American Lyric Theater

“A candid and unflinching account … [that] warps the arc of the traditional coming-of-age story.” 
Michiko Kakutani

The New York Times

A New York Times Editor’s Pick and Amazon Best Book of 2012

“Taut as a drawn bow… Its authenticity rings through, in both the battlefield scenes and his account of a family under strain.”
CJ Chivers

The New York Times Magazine

“The Long Walk is a raw, wrenching, blood-soaked chronicle of the human cost of war. Castner’s memoir brings to mind Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece, All Quiet on the Western Front.”
Jon Krakauer

Author of , Where Men Win Glory

the long walk brian castner
“There were scenes at work with the bomb disposal unit where I found myself holding my breath.”
Anthony Swofford

Author of , Jarhead

The Road Ahead

This anthology of twenty four short stories includes authors who have already found publishing success, new writers placing their first pieces, and poets, playwrights, and newspaper reporters producing fiction for the first time. Stories about lost helicopter pilots, grieving widows, sociopathic snipers, Afghan truck drivers, sex and drugs, ghosts and demons, refugees sold into slavery. A few of the myriad human experiences of going to war, or having it thrust upon you, surviving it, coming home.
the road ahead brian castner
“Covers a literary terrain as expansive as the seemingly endless “war on terror” that spawned it.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Authentic, gritty, tragic, and real.”
Task & Purpose