American War: A novel

By Omar El Akkad
Read by Dion Graham

04/04/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781524779801

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    ISBN: 9781524779795

An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself. Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.

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Summary

Summary

An Entertainment Weekly Pick for April

An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for April 2017

A BookPage Top Pick for April 2017

An April 2017 LibraryReads Pick

An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“El Akkad’s story…is as harrowing as it is brilliant and has an air of terrible relevance in these partisan times…You don’t like to imagine the endpoint of extreme partisanship, but that’s exactly what Omar’s done in this book.” Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author
“Powerful…An unlikely mash-up of unsparing war reporting and plot elements familiar to readers of the recent young-adult dystopian series The Hunger Games and Divergent.” New York Times
“An allegory about present-day military occupation…He imagines this society in some creative ways…A well-imagined if somber window into social collapse.” Kirkus Reviews
“Terrifyingly plausible…Part family chronicle, part apocalyptic fable, American War is a vivid narrative of a country collapsing in on itself.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A brilliantly well-crafted, profoundly shattering saga of one family’s suffering in a world of brutal power struggles, terrorism, ignorance, and vengeance…Gripping, unsparing, and [an] essential novel for dangerously contentious times.” Booklist (starred review)
“Although set in America, Sarat’s riveting story in many ways transcends politics, with details so impeccable and a plot so tightly woven that the events indeed feel factual.” BookPage
Follow the tributaries of today’s political combat a few decades into the future and you might arrive at something as terrifying as Omar El Akkad’s debut novel, American War. Across these scarred pages rages the clash that many of us are anxiously speculating about in the Trump era: a nation riven by irreconcilable ideologies, alienated by entrenched suspicions. . . . both poignant and horrifying. Ron Charles, The Washington Post
Gripping and frightening . . . Well written, inventive, and engaging, this relentlessly dark tale introduces a fascinating character. . . . Highly recommended. James Coan, Library Journal (starred review)
Striking . . . A most unusual novel, one featuring a gripping plot and an elegiac narrative tone. Rayyan Al-Shawaf, The Boston Globe
“Sarat is a fascinating character. . . . Thought-provoking [and] earnest . . . El Akkad’s formidable talent is to offer up a stinging rebuke of the distance with which the United States sometimes views current disasters, which are always happening somewhere else. Not this time. Jeff VanderMeer, Los Angeles Times
American War is terrifying in its prescient vision of the future. Maris Kreizman, New York magazine/Vulture
Astounding, gripping and eerily believable . . . masterful . . . Both the story and the writing are lucid, succinct, powerful and persuasive. Lawrence Hill, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

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Author

Author Bio: Omar El Akkad

Omar El Akkad was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up in Doha, Qatar, until he moved to Canada with his family. He is an award-winning journalist and author who has traveled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. His reporting includes dispatches from the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantànamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of Canada’s National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honorable mentions.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Fiction/Science Fiction
Audience: Adult
Edition: English