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A ground-breaking meditation on war and the choices it forces us to make, told from the point of view of three characters on both sides of the fighting lines during the war in Iraq.
The Kite Runner meets The Things They Carried in this explosive debut which maps the blurred lines between good and bad, soldier and civilian victor and vanquished.
It is April 2003. American forces have taken Baghdad and are now charged with winning hearts and minds. But this vital tipping point is barely recognized for what it is, as a series of miscalculations and blunders fuels an already-simmering insurgency intent on making Iraq the next graveyard of empires.
In dazzling and propulsive prose, Brian Van Reet explores the lives on both sides of the battle lines: Cassandra, a nineteen-year-old gunner on an American Humvee who is captured during a deadly firefight and awakens in a prison cell; Abu Al-Hool, a lifelong mujahedeen beset by a simmering crisis of conscience as he struggles against enemies from without and within, including the new wave of far more radicalized jihadists; and Specialist Sleed, a tank crewman who goes along with a "victimless" crime, the consequences of which are more awful than any he could have imagined.
Depicting a war spinning rapidly out of control, destined to become a modern classic, Spoils is an unsparing and morally complex novel that chronicles the achingly human cost of combat.
ABOUT BRIAN VAN REET
Brian Van Reet was born in Houston. Following the September 11th attacks, he left the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar, and enlisted in the U.S. Army as a tank crewman. He served in Iraq under stop-loss orders, achieved the rank of sergeant, and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor. He has twice won the Texas Institute of Letters short story award. This is his first novel.
ABOUT PHILIPP MEYER
Philipp Meyer is the author of the critically lauded novel American Rust, winner of the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was an Economist Book of the Year in 2009, a Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2009, a New York Times Notable Book of 2009, on Newsweek’s List of “Best. Books. Ever.” and an Amazon Top 100 Book of 2009. In 2010, Meyer was named in the New Yorker’s list “20 under 40,” their once every decade list of the 20 writers under the age of 40 that it feels are tipped for great things. He is a graduate of Cornell University and has an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a James Michener Fellow.
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