Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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"Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died." In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains-of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming. Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : The Penguin Press, 2014.
ISBN: 9780698149540
Branch Call Number: eAUDIO OVERDRI
Characteristics: audio file
1 sound file : digital

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Cheryl_JHL Jun 02, 2017

Audiobook is well narrated.

This is a well-edited, tight collection of short stories about modern soldiers that is authentic, gritty, and intelligent. There are a variety of viewpoints offered between main characters and the people around them.

A common thread I saw in many stories is the perspective of a soldier deployed, but not on the front line. That feeling of "my experience was nothing, compared to that guy..." is a complicated tangle and it seems to go all the way up and back down the line for soldiers (The soldier who serves, but doesn't see wartime. One who does, but isn't deployed. One who is deployed, but doesn't see live combat. One who does, but isn't wounded. One who is wounded, but isn't disabled. One who is disabled, but not killed...) It seems to be a feeling of "I lucked out" and "I missed out" simultaneously. Or: "I'm glad I didn't have to experience this, myself, but I'm sorry someone else did." I feel like the author clamps on to the guilt, irritation, and self-deprecation and conveys the perspective of looking in, and looking out at the same time.

A second thread was the perspective of the veteran towards civilians. It's like a handful of tacks tossed into the narrative, a point turning up here and there unexpectedly. They sting, but yet, they're darkly funny in many places. You can see many of those little barbs and pointy bits in the quotes people have liked from the book.

Overall, it was dark and difficult, but I am glad I read it. One story had elements of dark humor that reminded me of the book "Fobbit" by David Abrams. It is also strongly reminiscent of "The Things They Carried," but shouldn't be confused as "just like" it. They're two different animals, two different wars. But that said, I think they work well together.

Jan 03, 2015

DNF at 30%

When I couldn't bear listening to the audiobook anymore I switched to the ebook. But then I found myself reading a sentence and not remembering a word I had just read. I guess this one's just not for me.


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