Nicole's Reviews > The Watch

The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
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's review
Jun 21, 2012

did not like it
Read in June, 2012

There are so many problems with this novel, not the least of which is the question that the whole plot hangs on and the entire Army base wrestles with---is the woman who she says she is--- would never have been asked by the Army in the first place. In the real world, the woman would have been told to see the local provisional official and that would have been the end of the Army's involvement. Putting that aside, the characters in this book are the same old stereotypes of military men: trigger-happy, crazy sniper; world-weary vet who doesn't know what else to do with his life; medic, newbie, and career soldier who all question the Army's mission, etc. Everyone is disillusioned with the war and spend all day talking about it, even to their superiors. Oh, and don't forget the family back home: the wives who want divorces because hubby is so changed and the parents who don't support the war, but support their sons. Bleh. The author is especially heavy-handed with the woman at the center of the plot. *Spoiler* For a young, uneducated Muslim woman who was disabled in the bombing that killed her whole family, this woman is incredibly erudite and self-assured when confronting enemy (male) soldiers. Every word she spews at the Americans hits its mark, as they are either embarrassed, shamed, or converted to her way of thinking. Even if the reader can get past all that, the author's writing style is incredibly annoying. Someone introduce him to the concept of quotation marks, please. And tell him that having a character abruptly start dreaming about home might work once, but got old by the time the fifth or so character did so. This book is not recommended.
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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-5 of 5) </span> <span class="smallText">(5 new)</span>

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message 1: by Lee (new)

Lee Coleman love this review! it drives me crazy when many things in a book are bothersome...the storyline, the characters, writing style, dialogue. sometimes you can overlook one thing or another, but when it is one thing AFTER another, it is super annoying.

Nicole I especially hated that every single soldier both had failed marriages AND questioned the Army's involvement in Afghanistan. Scott's 20-yr Navy experience doesn't back that up. He will tell you that "a bitching sailor is a happy sailor", but that is just guys blowing off steam about long hours, NOT political discussions that sound like NPR. And lots of us military wives love and support our guys through thick and thin (and deployments).

message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee Coleman that's why i get tired of a lot of medical dramas on tv. or i get annoyed with people who think they understand medicine or nursing who are not in the field...they think that because they looked up something on the web or read a book or they know someone, that they can speak knowledgable about whatever. my coworkers and i complain about patients all the time, but we love our job, and there is an understanding that it is venting and discussing certain situations, not actually hating patients or the job as a whole.

Beth I agree. The first chapter about the Aphgani woman was heat stopping, great. Then, the remaining chapters were stereo-types of American soldiers told without feeling. I don't think that the author understands Americans.

Julie Gant Sorry, but I just have to disagree with you. I just wanted to point out that every single soldier doesn't have a failed marriage, btw. The Captain is happily married, it seems to me, and looking forward to bringing the dog back home to his kids, remember. OK, I forget the dog's name. And the Black Sergeant has a happy relationship with his white girlfriend. Some of the soldiers speak fondly about their girlfriends too. Did you read the entire book? And I don't think you can generalize from "Scott's" navy experience about an army, just speaking from my own experience. There are those of us who loved the book.

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