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Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction · Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize · Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post Book World, Amazon, and more
Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.
In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died." In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.
Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Interesting and worth the read
Interesting read and kept me up late to finish the whole book.
Thank you, Phil Klay, for the best war read since "The Things They Carried." I ventured into this book as research for my own war novel, and didn't realize it wasn't a novel. But I was actually delighted because with these short stories the narrators got right down to business with descriptions of their emotions and the boring drudgery of being a soldier. Often what the men didn't say through Klay's mastery of writing came through loud and clear in descriptions of their body language.i am grateful to having met these brave characters through Klay's "know what you write" been there done that scenes.
Finally, a view of the War on Terror with some humanity
As a veteran of OIF, I greatly appreciate Klay's telling of this story. It reminded me so much of my own time spent overseas. There are lots of books out there about the GWOT, but this one is by far the most creative. Bravo!!