Fives and Twenty-Fives (Hardback)
  • Fives and Twenty-Fives (Hardback)
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Fives and Twenty-Fives (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 400 Pages / Published: 28/08/2014
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I understand suddenly why I'm running. I need to warn them about the pressure switch, hidden in the crack in the road. The driver won't see it. They don't have a chance. I wave my arms, a heartbeat before the whole nasty serpent shrieks to life, and fill my lungs to cry out. And then, like always, I wake up... It is the early months of the Arab Spring, 2011. But for three young men, two American and one Iraqi, their minds return again and again to 2006, to the bloodiest stretch of the Iraq War. Members of the same platoon, they were tasked with the often deadly job of repairing potholes in the roads of the Al Anbar Province: potholes that almost always concealed a home-made bomb. They have survived the war but now they must learn to live with themselves. Discharged without honour, medic Doc Pleasant returns to his impoverished hometown to face his failures, both real and imagined. The platoon's young lieutenant, Donavan, carries the weight and the scars of his responsibility - of the superiors he never let himself doubt and the orders he dutifully followed. And at a Tunisian university, Kateb, the Iraqi interpreter his fellow troops knew only as Dodge, tries to lose himself in his studies of classic American fiction. But the memories of his broken country, of the family he left behind and the choices that the conflict forced him to make, keep intruding. As they struggle to find their place in a world that no longer knows them, they realise that the war has left nothing in their lives untouched and that salvation may come from an unexpected quarter.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408854440
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 732 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
An authentic and evocative novel about the many battlefields that soldiers face, Fives and Twenty-Fives represents an important new voice in the literature on war * Dominic Tierney, author of How We Fight: Crusades, Quagmires and the American Way of War *
Fives and Twenty-Fives is one of the great novels of war, the kind of book that comes along only once or twice each generation. It pulls off that rare literary feat of being at once expansive and personal. This novel is real and brutal and funny and wise ... Michael Pitre, a two-tour Marine veteran of the Iraq conflict, is not just the real deal, he's a literary force in the making * Joseph Boyden, author of Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce *
From the first page, Pitre makes you feel what it's like to be fighting in the hell of the Iraqi desert. He writes with the unique insight of a marine who spent two tours of duty there ... Pitre shows a rare skill in converting his real-life experiences into a psychologically convincing account of the terrible problems faced by soldiers in war * Daily Mail *
The last few years have seen a handful of fictionalised accounts of the Iraq war appear but none have been as powerful as Pitre's novel ... There is something of the unbearable tension of The Hurt Locker about these scenes. Pitre's prose is pitch perfect ... A brave and compelling book * Big Issue Cymru *
Suspenseful ... A thrilling, defining novel of the Iraq War * Booklist *
The corrosive psychological effects - and the dark humor - of modern conflict are hauntingly captured in Iraq War veteran Pitre's powerfully understated debut ... A war novel with a voice all its own, this will stand as one of the definitive renderings of the Iraq experience * Kirkus *
Powerful tale of what it is to fight, and to suffer, in Iraq ... [A] terrific debut novel ... It is a gripping, assured novel, conveying a vivid impression of the Marines' camaraderie as well as a sense of foreboding whenever they leave their base * Herald *
An arresting novel ... Fives and Twenty Fives reaches into the maw of the American presence in Iraq in a way that journalism, or even first-hand accounts, has not ... The standard of writing belies the fact that this is a debut fictional offering from the ex-marine * Irish Examiner *
Pitre describes accurately and without melodrama the devastating effects of remorse, guilt and trauma on the men's self-esteem, and on their ability to cope at work and with other people ... Fives and Twenty-Fives might well herald a new era in American war novels * Guardian *
[A] moving, deeply memorable debut ... One of the most heart-stopping fictional portraits to have emerged so far from the US occupation of Iraq ... An assured, humane and deeply felt depiction of a group of characters whose inner lives extend convincingly beyond the way that brings them together ... Marshalled with sophistication that trusts in the reader's intelligence, the result is a deeply compelling novel - about pothole repair, and so much else * Financial Times *
Well-crafted, semi-autobiographical * James Kidd, Independent Debuts of the Year *

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