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Fives and Twenty-Fives

A Novel

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It's the rule-always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead. Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine's life in the road repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger. Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there's Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture-from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries-is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country. Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them. A debut both transcendent and rooted in the flesh, Fives and Twenty-Fives is a deeply necessary novel.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jun 16, 2014 – Two-tour Marine veteran Pitre’s affecting debut delivers an unflinching portrait of the Iraq war, both through flashbacks to the conflict and stories about its principal characters once they have returned home. The novel’s protagonists are 1st Lt. Peter Donovan, who receives a Bronze Star Medal after defending a downed American helicopter’s crash site under heavy fire in Ramadi; Lester “Doc” Pleasant, a medic dishonorably discharged for developing a dependency on his own supplies after witnessing a roadside IED explosion and the gruesome death of two members of his unit; and Kateb “Dodge” el-Hariti, a former student at Baghdad University who works as an interpreter for Donovan’s team, helping them deal with locals as they clear and reseal potholes containing buried artillery shells. Interspersed with official records and letters between characters, Pitre’s restrained depictions of Doc and Donovan’s wartime doings and their labored readjustment to civilian life—which involves avoiding psychological triggers, drinking too much, and feigning interest in new career pursuits and girlfriends—is praiseworthy. But it’s the nuanced take on Dodge’s divided loyalties—to his family, country, and postwar identity as an activist in Tunisia pressing for President Ben Ali’s resignation—that imbues the novel with depth and integrity.

Customer Reviews

Fives and Twentyfives

This book was riveting from the first paragraph to to the last. I believed every character and grew compassion for each . Even when the person lasted only one chapter I felt like I knew him.
I've stepped a few moments into the strange world of war and Iraq and the young men and women who occupy that space.

Fives and Twenty-Fives

Hard to put this one down, but I had to sleep.

A Number one, First Class, First Cabin!


Fives and twenty fives

A from the heart depiction of the thoughts in and out of combat during the Iraq war. The returning participants struggle to find purpose and direction of their lives tugs at the uncertainty in all of us.

Fives and Twenty-Fives
View In iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Aug 26, 2014
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings