The God of War: A Novel

By Marisa Silver
Read by Scott Brick

6.85 Hours 04/01/2008 unabridged
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In a scruffy desert town in 1978, twelve-year-old Ares Ramirez lives in a trailer with his mother and younger brother. In this desolate, forgotten place, government fighter planes and helicopters make training runs by night using live ammunition. When an anonymous dead body floats in from the sea, Ares, on the cusp of his adolescence, is inspired to enact elaborate fantasies of mortal combat. But it is his troubled family that makes Ares a casualty of a different kind of war. His brother, Malcolm, is mentally handicapped, and his mother, distrusting authorities, chooses not to do anything about it, leaving the burden to Ares to protect his vulnerable brother from a world that sees him as “a retard.” As he fights to define himself and to see a future for himself outside of the suffocating box of his home, Ares befriends a dangerous older kid, and what was once play becomes terrifyingly real as violence changes his life forever.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

A 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction

In a scruffy desert town in 1978, twelve-year-old Ares Ramirez lives in a trailer with his mother and younger brother. In this desolate, forgotten place, government fighter planes and helicopters make training runs by night using live ammunition. When an anonymous dead body floats in from the sea, Ares, on the cusp of his adolescence, is inspired to enact elaborate fantasies of mortal combat. But it is his troubled family that makes Ares a casualty of a different kind of war. His brother, Malcolm, is mentally handicapped, and his mother, distrusting authorities, chooses not to do anything about it, leaving the burden to Ares to protect his vulnerable brother from a world that sees him as “a retard.” As he fights to define himself and to see a future for himself outside of the suffocating box of his home, Ares befriends a dangerous older kid, and what was once play becomes terrifyingly real as violence changes his life forever.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Silver’s…tough, tight style suits the material well…She lets the details of her storytelling subtly suggest its larger implications. In The God of War, seemingly insignificant moments, carefully observed, are used to scavenge value and insight from the neglected and the obscure.”  New York Times Book Review
“The novel is fueled by the irrepressible, if at times mournful, energy of Ares’ growing physiology…A moving exploration of fraying family bonds deftly balanced with an elegiac parable, one whose desert backdrop lends resonance to Silver’s ruminations on the mysteries of violence and loss, love and rage, guilt and blame.”  Los Angeles Times Book Review
“An elegantly observed coming-of-age story steeped in poverty and violence…a poignant and often heartbreaking account…The characters are painted with compassion and unflinching honesty, and the climax is pithy and consequential.”  Publishers Weekly
“Scott Brick’s narration of this beautifully written novel turns it from an ordinary coming-of-age story into a soulful dirge…Brick’s performance brings just the right touches of melancholy and self-pity to Ares, highlighting his confusion, fury, longing, and hope. A fine YA or adult offering.” AudioFile
“Stunning…Finely wrought characters and an illuminating portrait of the secret world of autism makes for a powerful, often tragic tale.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, with six stories published there to date. Her nonfiction writing will soon be featured in the magazine as well. She is the author of Babe in Paradise and No Direction Home.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 6.85
Audience: Adult
Language: English