Comments (35)Add a Comment
Listing here so as not to lose/forget . . . 2nd civil war . . . climate change impact
The world El Akkad built in American War is the novel's most interesting component. I agree with some other reviewers, the dialogue is occasionally cringey and overreaches to the implausible, but give it a read if you're a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre. It's certainly a fascinating lens through which to observe our current time. Also a very fast read.
I wanted to like this, since it was the Hillsboro Reads selection for 2018, but I couldn't get through it. I didn't like the characters, there was too much character development (I kept thinking "get on with it"), and it was just slow.
Too slow. Kept wishing something was going to happen to grab me. After 250 pages, gave up.
An exploration of characters in the midst of a civil war. Interesting.
Hillsboro Reads 2018 title selection! It was, I'll be honest, a tough read for me; but the author's beautiful narrative and writing, ability to tell a story that will show you empathy in unexpected ways, and imagination to weave this fictitious-though-very-realistic tale together are commendable. I read this book out loud with my husband on a road trip and he was literally on the edge of his seat! Recommended for book groups -- you'll want to talk about it.
I really tried to get through this. I made it though about 100 pages and had to put it down because I kept falling asleep every time I tried to read it.
Sadly, I was unable to get through the book - I read about 100 pages, and had to quit, as I kept falling asleep every time I read it.
An interesting and fascinating read of a future America embroiled in civil war, brought on by environmental catastrophe. Interesting as it echoes anxieties of the early 21st Century.
I don't think I would have made it through this book if I didn't listen to the audiobook. It is a drama, very little if any edge of your seat action or suspense that you are led to expect in a war/plague type book. Just a story about a girl growing up and becoming bitter.
Very unfocused book. The backstory appears to have been made up as the writer went along. This should have been a better book. I can't understand how the writer can say Mexico reclaimed land when they are consumed by Cartel money, I don't see this happening in the time frame stated in the book.
Devastating and powerful story. Really hard book to put down. It's also one of the most plausible futuristic scenarios I've encountered in fiction.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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
On the shortlist for Canada Reads. Watch the battle of the books from March 26-29.
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.
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
I found this to be a generally pleasing read as well as an outstanding work of literature
Lushly fleshed out, American War is an imagining of what could happen if our politically fractured present sparks a second Civil War. A dense, uncomfortable novel that immerses the reader in an alternate future America. Pairs well with Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here."
American War does a good job of dealing with how conflict damages people, from refugee camps to soldiers to peacetime survivors. The civil war based on who will abandon the technologies that are destroying the planet is grimly believable, and the prison camp torture is even more real. I appreciated how the personal narrative is interspersed with the bigger picture historical documents that never overwhelm the story. Highly recommended.
A great cli-fi read. Unfortunately with recent world events it is easy to imagine this book being a crystal ball into the future of civil war in America. A book about war that focuses on the people that are trying to deal with the world that has ultimately been shaped by it. I enjoyed that the author did not pick one side or the other but focused on the realities for everyday people in this situation. A definite recommend.