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American War

A Novel

"Powerful . . . As haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy [created] in The Road, and as devastating a look as the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America. . . . Omar El Akkad's debut novel, American War, is 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."
-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

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.
"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

"Whether read as a cautionary tale of partisanship run amok, an allegory of past conflicts or a study of the psychology of war, American War is a deeply unsettling novel. The only comfort the story offers is that it's a work of fiction. For the time being, anyway."
-Justin Cronin, The New York Times Book Review

"El Akkad . . . has an innate (and depressingly timely) feel for the textural details of dystopia; if only his grim near-future fantasy didn't feel so much like a crystal ball."
-Leah Greenblat, Entertainment Weekly

"Powerful . . . If violence and conflict feel distant, journalist Omar El Akkad's debut novel brings them home. . . . Despite its future setting, it'd feel wrong to call American War a work of science fiction. Hell, it'd even feel off to call it dystopian, given that it's so few steps removed from our reality."
-Kevin Nguyen, GQ

"American War is an extraordinary novel. El Akkad's story of a family caught up in the collapse of an empire is as harrowing as it is brilliant, and has an air of terrible relevance in these partisan times."
-Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

"El Akkad has created a brilliantly well-crafted, profoundly shattering saga of one family's suffering in a world of brutal power struggles, terrorism, ignorance, and vengeance. American War is a gripping, unsparing, and essential novel for dangerously contentious times."
-Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

"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)

"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

"Depicting a world uncomfortably close to the one we live in, American War is as captivating as it is deeply frightening."
-Jarry Lee, Buzzfeed.com

"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)

"Ambitious . . . [a] complex, thoroughly imagined domestic dystopia."
-Terra Arnone, National Post (Toronto)

"Omar El Akkad has created an American future that is both terrifying and plausible. In a world seared and flooded by global warming, the U.S. has fractured again into North and South. The barbarism that ensues is all the more awful because we know the rivers and the cities. And we know these people: they are our neighbors; they are us. Through the eyes of a young girl El Akkad lets us see the soul-crushing toll of war. It was only in the stunned minutes after I'd finished the novel that I realized he had also taught us how to make a consummate terrorist."
-Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars and Celine

"American War, a work of a singular, grand, brilliant im
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. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 432
Erscheinungsdatum 01.01.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-56330-3
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 17,2/10,6/3,2 cm
Gewicht 219 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 11.90
Fr. 11.90
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
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1 Bewertung

American War
von miss.mesmerized am 20.04.2017
Bewertet: gebundene Ausgabe

Louisiana, April 2075. The Second American War is raging. Sarat Chestnut is too young to fully understand what is going on, but even at her age she understands that times are hard: half of the state is underwater, food is scarce and they are not free to move. Nevertheless,... Louisiana, April 2075. The Second American War is raging. Sarat Chestnut is too young to fully understand what is going on, but even at her age she understands that times are hard: half of the state is underwater, food is scarce and they are not free to move. Nevertheless, her father wants to go north, where climate is less challenging and where his family can have a future. Another attack kills this dream and Sarat has to flee with her mother, her twin sister and her elder brother to a refugee camp. In Camp Patience, some kind of normal life can be established and from just a weeks of survival become years. People organise themselves according to the new circumstances, however, the chances of enduring peace are small. And, with the time, the danger of another fierce attack grows and Sarat, now a teenager, is in a different position from when her father was killed. She has to witness the worst human behaviour imaginable and this leaves a mark on her. She is not the same person anymore and she will seek revenge for what has been done to her, her family, her people. Set at some point in the future, Omar El Akkad’s novel is nonetheless easy to imagine. The challenges due to climate change are not that fancy that you could not easily believe them. Since mankind is more prone to securing comfort than thinking ahead for future generations, having vast spaces of land destroyed will definitely be a reality sooner or later. That this – or something completely different – might lead to a civil war even in the United States, is not that inconceivable, either. We have seen many states crumble and fall in the last few years. We can only hope that the novel is much closer to fiction than to reality. The most striking aspect is of course the protagonist Sarat. We first meet her as a young girl, naive and unaware of most of what happens around her. She is guided by her mother who already shows how powerful women of that family can be. The older she becomes, the stronger she gets. As a teenager, we have a courageous girl who is not only unafraid, but also clever and eager to understand what is going on. This not only saves her life but also makes her the woman she will be later. What she has to witness and go through, strengthens her conviction. As a grown-up woman, especially when she is in prison, we meet an unfaltering and determined woman who cannot be destroyed. Yet, she remains human, she has not completely lost faith in mankind and still can do some good – in her very own understanding. The experience of war and human beings losing all social behaviour and sympathy for others is what determines the characters’ actions. Sarat realised that “the misery of war represented the world’s truly universal language” (Pos. 2985) and “The universal slogan of war, she’d learned, was simple: If it had been you, you’d have done no different.” This dystopian view of the world is the only lesson we can learn from watching the news. In accepting the wars around us, we produce generations who are branded by the experiences and thus ready to do harm in the same way. We should not need novels to illustrate this simple calculation.