War: A Novel
ISBN: 9781559708661

Beautiful prose. Concise phrasing. Witty lines. Almost like poetry than guys could understand. BTW, my wife pointed out that the book cover, when turned 180 degrees, says “JAM”. Plus the toy soldier in a bottle… interesting!

P10. “Mc. was Irish the way rain is wet. His hair was the color of scorched clay, and he couldn’t form a sentence without multiple pillars of “f**k”.”

P17. “when two enemies had memorized the math of their hate, we would be sent in to alter the equation. One and one stops equaling two and starts equaling blood.”

P18. “My father had died of cigarettes and cynicism when I was a teenager. His death had felt like a reprieve from the governor. I remain grateful to Philip Morris and all their fine tobacco products.”

The protagonist, an American citizen as with the rest in his team, seems to be secretly recruited by the government. They train at a secret location, totally cut off from the outside world.

He is finally sent on a solo mission (strangely, no orders). Things get even more hazy from here on: a traitor. Sniped at. Unknown enemy. Undisclosed location. Who’s the enemy? What’s the mission?

His back story is revealed along the way – his brother, his childhood, his first marriage, his view of the world.

One-fifth through the book and I was still wondering what war he was in. Was this set in the future?

Discovers a bomb etched With the words “made in the USA”. That was the first clue. Then there are UN peacekeepers.

It all comes together in the end. Plot-spoiler: You could speculate that the US had another civil war. Or its weapons were turned against itself by some rouge forces. Things got to the stage where international peacekeepers had to step in.

P58. “It is possible to be so afraid that you’re not afraid. Muscles clench so tightly that they become a new kind of strong.”

P136. “To protect myself from theses uninvited responses to the simplest events, I chose my own responses even before there was anything to respond to. I was ready to fight before being brushed up against the street. I was ready to mock before someone sounded smarter that I knew I could ever be.”