Places and Names: On War, Revolution and Returning (Hardback)Elliot Ackerman (author)
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Ackerman’s extraordinary work subverts the normal expectations of what a marine’s memoir looks like. Constantly surprising and psychologically unpredictable, Places and Names recounts the author’s time in a Turkish refugee camp, the unlikely friendships he makes and the complex issues he is confronted with. A mature, emotionally resonant book destined to become a classic of war reportage.
An astonishing account of the nature of war from acclaimed novelist and decorated former US marine Elliot Ackerman.
In a refugee camp in southern Turkey, Elliot Ackerman sits across the table from Abu Hassar, who fought for Al Qaeda in Iraq and has murky connections to the Islamic State. At first, Ackerman pretends to have been a journalist during the Iraq War, but after he establishes a rapport with Abu Hassar, he reveals that in fact he was a Marine. The two men then compare their fighting experiences in the Middle East, discovering they had shadowed each other for some time: a realisation that brings them to a strange kind of intimacy.
Elliot Ackerman's extraordinary memoir explores the events that led him to come to this refugee camp and what, unable to forget his time in battle, he hoped to find there. Moving between his recent time on the ground as a journalist in Syria and his Marine deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, he creates a work of astonishing atmospheric pressure, one which blends the American experience with the perspectives and stories of the Arab world, and draws a line between them.
At once an intensely personal book about the terrible lure of combat and a brilliant meditation on the meaning of the past two decades of strife for the region and the world, Places and Names bids to take its place among our greatest books about modern war.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 461 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 26 mm
'Elliot Ackerman writes beautifully about war - especially the new wars of the Middle East through fiction and now non-fiction. His exceptional memoir is really a double memoir of his own experiences as a Marine and those of a Jihadist fighter he befriends in a refugee camp. The result is a superb, uniqueand unforgettable story of war and death, fear and cruelty, above all the horrors and allure of combat.' - Simon Sebag Montefiore
'When I finished Elliot Ackerman's Places and Names my copy was covered with bracketed paragraphs and underlined phrases. There is no surer indicator of a book filled with insight and good writing. Ackerman's honest searching to come to terms with his war experience helped me better understand my own. This book is a gift that should be shared with every American who helped pay for people like Ackerman to fight their wars for them.' - Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn
'What a great, honest book-the kind that makes one feel lucky to have in one's hands. Ackerman has served his country twice: first as an infantryman in our nations wars, and then as a guide-wise beyond his years-who helps us understand what we've done. His prose is easy and comfortable like an old jacket. His understanding of war is so profound that one feels like secrets have been revealed-truths-information that one day may be necessary for our survival. Well done.' - Sebastian Junger
'This novel as a whole attests to Mr. Ackerman's breadth of understanding - an understanding not just of the seasonal rhythms of war in Afghanistan and the harsh, unforgiving beauty of that land, not just of the hardships of being a soldier there, but a bone-deep understanding of the toll that a seemingly endless war has taken on ordinary Afghans who have known no other reality for decades.' - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times