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Description

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, that unmanned drones fill the sky. And when her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she quickly begins to be shaped by her particular time and place until, finally, through the influence of a mysterious functionary, she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. Telling her story is her nephew, Benjamin Chestnut, born during the war - part of the Miraculous Generation - and now an old man confronting the dark secret of his past, his family's role in the conflict and, in particular, that of his aunt, a woman who saved his life while destroying untold others.

©2017 Omar El Akkad (P)2017 Random House Audio

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Notations

Global

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Performance

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Histoire

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • odin
  • 08/04/2017

Best listen in years

This story breaks my rating scale -- I'd have to go back and subtract stars from anything I've listened to in years to make the 5 stars I gave it here accurate. It's an enthralling parable of recent history made all the more salient by placing what America does abroad, here at home.

Secondly, the reader's performance was stellar -- another curve buster who should have a special 10 star rating just like this book and its author deserves. I can't praise the reader's ability highly enough and I'll certainly go looking for other books he has narrated. I would easily choose a book outside my usual genres based solely on his skill as a reader.

29 sur 31 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daggie Oh
  • 05/04/2017

Hard dystopian literature, not Hunger Games

What made the experience of listening to American War the most enjoyable?

Complex characters and a well fleshed world. It is a very competent book about the past and present, but is set in the future.

What other book might you compare American War to and why?

Loosely, American War might be compared with What is the What, Zone One, and The Magicians, in that they brought literary conventions to genre's/stories that are generally handled very differently. This book has more in common with dead southern authors and Toni Morrison than anything like The Hunger Games or Divergent.
If anyone remembers the previews for Donnie Darko, it was originally pitched as a slasher horror film. If you've seen it, it's something very special and unique and certainly not horror. I think a similar miss-marketing could happen with this book if people flock to it for war scenes, or flashy sic-fi elements.

Which scene was your favorite?

Everything between the narrator as a child spending time with his aunt, after everything she has been through, was heart-breaking and warming. The cage match scene is also excellent.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Never Forget

Any additional comments?

This book is literature that will find cross-genre fans, but I hope it doesn't get sold as action packed sic-fi. It's a beautiful dark story about one girl who is raised to hate. It lets us in on how slippery that slope can be, and how we may not agree, but we can appreciate her journey.

23 sur 25 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • andrew
  • 07/04/2017

It's no picnic - but nourishing all the same.

It's hard to quantify all the reasons you should read this book. While it's certainly not an uplifting tale as the title should suggest, it depicts war in a way most Americans don't grasp, or like to think about. I've read a lot of war journals, and non fiction, and I think this rings true to a lot of what I've seen and read. War is a hate and carelessness made manifest, and we should read more from accounts of the losing side than the winning side. I think Akkad poignantly drives that point home with an inspired piece of fiction. I'd also say it's not a perfectly crafted tale - but it definitely works. Some reviewer call it slow. I'd say it's realistic? It's a book about the victims of war, and the tone and pace reveal a sense of the expansive claustrophobia that long periods of internment and lack of self determination would entail. Impressive debut novel.

14 sur 16 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Sanders
  • 03/06/2017

A Great American Story!

I throughly enjoyed this novel. The best way I can describe this book is as follows:
- A tragic story similar to the girl in the movie Sarafina.
- A story of family history similar to that of the novel The Passage
- The story telling (news accounts and excerpts from history) similar to that of the book World War Z
- A revised history / future based upon the Civil War, similar to the book the Underground Airlines
Also, the narration was excellent. Dion Graham "nailed" the southern accents perfectly. Overall, I felt like I really got to know the characters in the novel, especially Sarat. I would love to see this novel turned into a movie. Omar El Akkad, you did good. very good.

8 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trine Malde
  • 29/01/2018

There's nothing like some recontextualising

... to make you rethink what you think you know. One of the few books I have read lately that captured my attention without thrill og massive story hooks. The bleek vision of the future is itself a hook, and by the time you have understood enough of what the world has become to leave, you're not going to leave Sarat!

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07/02/2018

Wow!

Loved it. This is a dark story, close enough to a possible future to be deeply disturbing. The narrator is excellent.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • SLB
  • 07/02/2018

An upcoming Steinbeck

Although the story often kept you wondering where you were going, the characters were beautiful and the writing Steinbeckian. A potential American classic. I particularly enjoyed a non-white (anti-)hero; Sarat is bold, inspiring, and audacious.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SGC-Northern CA
  • 01/02/2018

could not stop listening

what a great story and superb narration. well done! I was sad it ended too soon.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kohl Juranas
  • 24/01/2018

Good Read

It starts out excellent and engaging but it slows down towards the end. I would have liked to hear about more from the Blues and the world at large.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom M
  • 24/01/2018

Frightening yet sadly possible story

This is a remarkably plausible tale of post-apocalyptic America. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K. Reimann
  • 31/01/2018

Gripping and realistic

Very well written! It tells the story of a future that is not impossible to imagine.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Torsten Schmidt
  • 30/11/2017

krasse Dystopie mit tiefer Botschaft

Ohne moralisch zu sein, wird hier ein Bild gezeichnet, wie schnell man in der Hassspirale gefangen sein kann. Sehr schön werden dabei detailreiche Bilder gemalt, die zeigen, wie normal Gewalt werden kann. Man sollte hofft immer, dass es Hoollywoodhaft läuft, aber Krieg ist wohl nicht so. Gewalt erzeugt Gewalt, ich hoffe, dass wir die Lektion im Herzen verankern.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sibylle
  • 18/05/2017

Dark and gripping

Near future America is running out of fossil fuels, flooded thanks to climate change, battling large-scale outbreaks of plagues, and op top of it, North and South are fighting another Civil War. There has certainly been no shortage of dystopian fiction in these past months; this one I found particularly gripping as we follow Sarat through the nation's and her own, very personal struggle. The novel may be set in the future, but the seeds that grew into this particular apocalypse are already sown, and the book's vision, as dark and disturbing it may be, is fully imaginable.