American War

American War

Large Print - 2017
Average Rating:
9
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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.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [2017]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781524779856
Branch Call Number: LP FIC ELA
Characteristics: large print.,rda
499 pages (large print) : maps ; 24 cm

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AL_WENDY Jul 26, 2017

The plausibility of this book is incredible! From the well-drawn and authentic characters to the atmospheric setting to the disquieting circumstances--this book is riveting until the end!

h
heavenne
Jul 05, 2017

Great character development in Sarat as you follow her through her journey and choices she makes (though with outside influences making a huge impact on her decisions.) Set in a dystopia where resources are run dry, and climate change has drowned part of the Eastern states, it’s definitely not a light read but one to read slowly and to be carefully thought through. Definitely recommended.

c
CKW55
May 29, 2017

Compelling story that you want to read to the end, although a great deal of foreshadowing made the ending rather anticlimatic.
I take issue with the writing technique--reread the first paragraphs of Chapter 7 several times as the author writes "A faint evening rain fell ..." and how Sarat "...listened to the whispering rain" at the same time as "Through the window flap a soft line of silver moonlight illuminated her sleeping sister's face."
Needed a bit of editorial red pen?
Also, the three states chosen to be "fossil fuel" holdouts don't have significant fossil fuel reserves or refineries. So just how did they keep running? Science and technology meet reality.

l
lukasevansherman
May 18, 2017

"This isn't a story about war. It's about ruin."
Ignore the somewhat generic title, this is a provocative and impressive debut from Omar El Akkad, who was born in Egypt, worked in Canada, and now resides in Oregon. Akkad borrows a few tricks from the dystopian fiction playbook, but like most good dystopias, this is about the present, not the future. He imagines a future in which there's been a second Civil War and America is once again divided. It's a grim and violent world of ecological disaster, plagues, collapsed economies, assassinations, drone-darkened skies. More than any other novel I've read in recent years, it captures the dispirited and polarized zeitgeist. I'm not sure what it means that it took a non-American writer to write a book that is plugged into the moment. An early contender for my favorite book of 2017.

VaughanPLKelly May 16, 2017

An extremely well-written, thought-provoking, and engaging debut novel about a futuristic America ravaged by climate change and civil war. I couldn't put it down, despite the difficult topic.

m
mblummichaels
May 01, 2017

An incredible, horrible, wonderful, provocative book! Beautifully written and a huge meal, as in food for thought. I predict a literature prize in the offing.

g
GLNovak
May 01, 2017

It is the 2070's and the United States has lost much of its southern part to the Mexican Protectorate and to the Free Southern State. Climate change has wreaked havoc; Florida has completely disappeared; and the population is locked in a bloody and savage war over the Free Southern State, really a continuation of the 1860's Civil War. Sarat Johnson is a product of that powder keg, an environment that transformed her from a sweet eight-year-old into an extreme freedom fighter for the Southern cause. This is not a happy story but more a mesmerizing one where you hope against hope. If you tackle it from this perspective you will see past the horrors to the skill of the writer who manages to paint a vivid picture of the changed world and the characters who live in it. I can't say I enjoyed the book but I certainly appreciated the work itself and the message it brings.

p
PearlyBaker
Apr 22, 2017

I cannot tell if it's the company I keep, the books I read or the reality of Putin, Trump, Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping, et al but I am a little paranoid these days. For instance, I'm constantly mapping out how I'd get back to HQ and set up a perimeter from where I stand in the city or country as it were. This must read novel is like Skagboys, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, The Stand and Oryx and Crake combined. Okay, it's nothing like Skagboys but like all these pieces I never wanted it to end and cannot wait to read this one again.

s
stephaniedchase
Feb 28, 2017

Fantastic -- and chilling -- look at an American torn apart by a second Civil War, told through the life story of Sarat Chestnut. A sharp and precise telling of a dystopian tale, with the unusual and added benefit of excellent and fully drawn characters.

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