The God of War: A Novel
Where birds fly by day across the d...more
"I felt betrayed, not by them but by my younger self who had naively accepted everything and had not looked beyond the near horizon of my life to see how insignificant I was."
“I was suffused with a l...more
The boy deals with teenage struggles that are universal enough that this reader could identify with him, and unique enough that the story is new and fresh. I found the main character likable and his relationship with his brother believable and endearing. The author paints the brother i...more
Marisa Silver's second novel made a huge emotional impact on me. I was alternately enthralled and annoyed but by the end I could not recall what had annoyed me. Laurel is a single mom raising two sons in a cramped trailer on the Salton Sea in the late 1970s. The story is told by her older son, twleve-year-old Ares, who chooses to play the god of war in the family.
Ares is tortured by the conviction that because he dropped his younger brother on his head when Malcolm was a baby, he is responsibl...more
Okay first off, I can't hold back any longer: I LOVED this book!!! I was not sure I would, when I looked at the cover and read the title but, "don't judge a book by its cover"---trust me on this one, and the story is not about war either.
The God of War, by Marisa Silver is actually a coming of age story. It is one of those rare gems that I did not want to put down once I started it, and, when I turned the final page (just 271), I had wished it was longer.
The story takes place in 1978, and is nar...more
This family, living on the edge of the Salton Sea as well as on the edge of society struggles with familiar family issues. Ares, our god of war, struggles to find his own way while bearing major responsiblity for his younger brother who is disa...more
The story. As in all of my other reviews, or most of them at least, I will start off with the story. It takes place in 1978, and follows a 12 year old boy called ares. He...more
The story & characters are believable, particularly the guilt of Ares and how he processes and atones for it. The narrative moves at a quick but acceptable pace and I found I didn't want to do other things, but rather settle in a decent chair & light & watch the play of circumstances. My only small niggle - & it is small - is I felt the...more
Sound romantic? Picturesque? Not. This is a forgotten place populated by lonely, wounded, barely making-it people.
Narrated by 12-year-old fatherless Ares Ramirez, who lives with his trying-hard but bedraggled mother and a disabled, two-year-old younger brother, Malcolm.
Another going-of age-story. Yes. Worth your time? Definitely. Silver really nails adolescent anger and confusion, singl...more
Most critics were drawn in by this sad and lovely tale of a lonely boy weighed down by burdens even an adult would find difficult to bear. Silver's characters are carefully rendered and sympathetic, her prose is compulsively readable, and her portrayal of Malcolm's autism is accurate and meaningful. As a narrator looking back 30 years, Ares is clever and perceptive; however, to the dismay of critics, the mature adult's voice spills over too often into the boy's thoughts and insights. Silver also...more
The writing draws attention to itsel...more
Pitch perfect, this is a deeply moving account of growing up isolated and trying to find one's independence despite strong ties. Ares is 12 years old, living in a desert with his mother and mentally handicapped younger brother. He goes through life believing he caused his brother's problems because he dropped him as a baby. He alternates between feeling extreme guilt to wanting desperately to lash out at both his brother and his mom. His mother's hands off approach to parenting causes extra obst...more
Very fast read. Loved everyone in the book. Especially Richard and Mrs. Poole. I would love to see this made into a movie, which is saying a lot fr...more
Ares' struggle with the burden of responsibility -- to himself and to others. If there were half stars I would have given this book 3.5 stars and I think it'...more
This book is beautiful in that it tells you a story about a very particular family, but it reminded me at least, of what it is to find yourself a part of a group of people who happen to be your family.
Sometimes you can't stand them, and sometimes you just want to be with them for no other reason than being with them, even if it doe...more
Silver's writing carries stark and precise poetry. This is evident in her description of the landscape. It is evident in Ares' inner thoughts and feelings.
Every character in this book feels real. There is not one drop of unnecessary sentimentality, which I was afraid this book is going to have, knowing its subject matter. Silver does not judge. She lets the readers decide the questions of right/wrong and good/evil.
This book depicts the difficulties of adolescence a...more
I actually did like this book a good deal, though I had many questions in my mind while reading it and still at the end, that were never answered. I was worried that it would be a Cathcher in the Rye teenage angst type novel, but unfolded in quite a different manner. The starkness of the Salton Sea fascinated me. I'd never heard of that particul...more
By ELLA TAYLOR
On the face of things, Ares Ramirez, the 12-year-old at the broken heart of Marisa Silver’s elegiac new novel, The God of War, is working through a normal adolescence. His body is changing, his soul is torn between belonging and rebellion and he doesn’t know whether to love or hate his single mother, Laurel, with whom he lives in a run-down trailer in the Southern California desert bounded by Mexico and San Diego. But for a boy his...more
Marisa Silver directed her first film, Old Enough, while she studied at Harvard University. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1984, when Silver was 23. Silver went on to direct three more feature films, Permanent Record (1988), with Keanu Reeves, Vital Si...more