American War

American War

Book - 2017
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Toronto :, McClelland & Stewart,, 2017
ISBN: 9780771009396
Branch Call Number: F ELA
Characteristics: 333 pages : maps ; 25 cm

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a
altybiz
Apr 05, 2018

Wow, can this guy write! He packs so much into a single sentence without the sentence becoming a wearing load of trivia. And he found a way to have the main character remain true to herself through the end. I was hypnotized and read the book in a day. It's no happy-sappy story though, so I'll need to take a long break before reading another of his. Believable storyline.

d
dirtbag1
Mar 31, 2018

Definitely worth reading. I found the plot a bit thin for my liking. The author's writing style is outstanding making the reading itself very pleasant.

s
shayshortt
Mar 30, 2018

In American War, journalist Omar El Akkad paints a dark dystopian future in which the unreconciled shadows of America’s past rise up to tear the country apart once more. His protagonist begins as a child caught in the middle of that fight, and is irrevocably twisted and shaped by the horrors of war. We follow Sarat as she goes from refugee to fighter to war hero to wanted terrorist, perceptions of her swaying and turning depending from which side of the conflict she is being seen. We see her broken and remade, and broken again, and must inevitably follow her to the consequences of that final breaking. She is not a likeable character, and the reader is not necessarily supposed to sympathize with her actions, but it the author’s quest to make us understand her nevertheless.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2018/03/29/american-war/

l
lindakennedy
Mar 13, 2018

I thought it was a well written book but disturbing.The main character was deeply traumatized and takes her revenge. I was hoping for some signs of hope or restoration but left feeling hopeless. Is this the book Canada needs to read? Many of the others, I have read all 5, build bridges, this one is destructive.

liljables Feb 23, 2018

In an attempt to read the Canada Reads 2018 shortlist before the debates air at the end of March (good luck with that, right?), I picked up American War, the contender that had most piqued my interest. I think American War is an important but difficult book for one main reason: it is utterly, terrifyingly believable. Given the state of...everything in 2018, the narrative written by first time novelist Omar El Akkad feels like a "when, not if" scenario for our neighbours to the south. Like many CR heavy-hitters before it, I think the more sensitive readers among us may pass over American War, but if you can stomach it, I urge you to pick up this book.

SPPL_Therese Feb 09, 2018

This was one of my favorite books of the year. Very gripping characters and thought-provoking narrative of human nature and sociological dynamics in a dystopian novel in a future America impacted by climate change

BPLpicks Jan 30, 2018

On the shortlist for Canada Reads. Watch the battle of the books from March 26-29.

t
Tdruid
Nov 15, 2017

This is an extremely unpleasant book about thoroughly unlikable people. Nothing but bigotry & self-righteousness. The characters were so vile, I not only didn't care about them, I didn't want them to succeed. Most horrifying - it could actually happen. And that's the only reason I would recommend reading it - as a warning.

r
richibi
Nov 05, 2017

to have a 12-year-old girl, a child, a prepubescent, fall into a river of sewage, on a dare even, and come out crusted from head to toe, covered in its polluted effluents, then after a shower, return to perfect and vigorous health, only slightly frazzled, was not only utterly implausible to me, and unnecessary, but also repugnant as a literary plot device, even in an apocalyptic novel - I couldn't read on after that for fear of being confronted with other imaginary depravities

b
blue_cat_11505
Sep 23, 2017

I found this to be a generally pleasing read as well as an outstanding work of literature

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s
shayshortt
Mar 30, 2018

Sarat Chestnut is born by the sea, into contested territory between the Reds and Blues that are fighting the Second American Civil War. Her world is wracked by climate change, and by the South’s refusal to give up on fossil fuels. Much of the Southern US coast is now underwater, and out-of-control drones crawl the skies. When her father is killed in a bombing, Sarat’s mother and her three children flee to Camp Patience, a refugee camp on the North/South border. There they scrape together a life always on the edge of dissolution, and the children grow up with the question of what the future can possibly hold for them. It is here that Sarat meets the mentor who will shape her mind, and turn her to his own ends.

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shayshortt
Mar 30, 2018

If we nod and smile while they parade some fantasy about this being a noble disagreement between equals and not a bloody fight over their stubborn commitment to a ruinous fuel, the war will never really be over…You fight the war with guns, you fight the peace with stories.

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