Genre: What war does to peoples souls!
National Book Award for Fiction (2014), Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award Nominee (2014), National Book Critics Circle Award for John Leonard Prize (2014)
"Incredible. Correspondent Dexter Filkins has called this the "best book on what the war did to people's souls" and I think he's right. The confusion of combat, it's terror and excitement, is on full display here, but also the aftermath, the moral reckonings (and lack thereof) and ambiguities, the struggle to understand (or not), the anger, and the recognition that the war doesn't end once a soldier comes home. Here is where Klay, a former Marine, is stunning: in his depictions of these struggles that returning soldiers face alone and together, Klay shows us the cost of war begins on the battlefield but is charged continually in the constant redeployments of the returning veterans' mind." John Pappas
“Somebody said combat is 99 percent sheer boredom and 1 percent pure terror. They weren’t an MP in Iraq. On the roads I was scared all the time. Maybe not pure terror. That’s for when the IED actually goes off. But a kind of low-grade terror that mixes with the boredom. So it’s 50 percent boredom and 49 percent normal terror, which is a general feeling that you might die at any second and that everybody in this country wants to kill you. Then, of course, there’s the 1 percent pure terror, when your heart rate skyrockets and your vision closes in and your hands are white and your body is humming. You can’t think. You’re just an animal, doing what you’ve been trained to do. And then you go back to normal terror, and you go back to being a human, and you go back to thinking.”
― Phil Klay, Redeployment