Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Phantoms” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.26  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In the panoramic tradition of Charles Frazier’s fiction, Phantoms is a fierce saga of American culpability. A Vietnam vet still reeling from war, John Frazier finds himself an unwitting witness to a confrontation, decades in the making, between two steely matriarchs: his aunt, Evelyn Wilson, and her former neighbor, Kimiko Takahashi. John comes to learn that in the onslaug ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Liveright
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Phantoms, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Phantoms

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  31 ratings  ·  10 reviews

Sort order
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free advance reading copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaways program and would like to thank anyone involved in making that happen!

This is a quietly beautiful novel that deals with the aftermath of war and how it reverberates through generations. It tells the heartbreaking story of two intertwined families, ripped apart by World War II and tenuously reunited by old family secrets and mysteries after the Vietnam war.

This novel is a gorgeously written, slow-burner, with a s
Sabrina Brentin
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This book tells the tale of a Vietnam war veteran walking through history with two women who lived through World War II - specifically on two different sides of the Japanese internment.
John, the veteran, takes us through a whirlwind of history while struggling with his PTSD, going back and forth between the sixties as he lives through Evelyn Wilson and Kimiko Takahashi's meeting nearly twenty years after the war ended, their tension, valid, still existing over trouble between their families and
Stacy Kingsley
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Phantoms by Christian Kiefer is told from a recent Vietnam Vet's point-of-view. John Frazeier comes home from Vietnam not knowing what to do with his life. A broken young man, like most who came back, and has decided to spend time with his Grandmother and a distant Aunt. The story floats through several decades, from before World War II to 1983. It also includes the lives of several different families, the Takahashis, who were displaced and sent to an interrnment camp during the second world war ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Christian Kiefer has released one of the most poignant tales of the divide between two American families. Takahashi and Wilson's families shared a tale in a time filled with American ethnocentrism which rings of truth even today!
John Fraiser parallels his time in Vietnam with Ray Takahashi time in WWII with similar experiences upon their return home, the abandonment and loneliness suffered by each. John's love for his grandma and sharing remembrance with his war brother, "Chiggers" and their tor
Apr 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
Kirkus gave it a starred review and these similar suggestions: Snow Falling on Cedars and Cold Mountain.

NoveList Plus gives it this read-alike: Go Set a Watchman.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Phantoms is the first CK book I've had the pleasure of reading. I picked up a copy at AWP last Saturday and wasn't sure what to expect but I was blown away! I devoured this book in one long, delightful, fully absorbed sitting. I can't say enough about this book. It is beautiful, yet haunting and totally relevant today. I'll be talking this one up for awhile. I can't wait to read more by this author.
Nichole Midgett
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Y'all... I struggled with this book. The POV jumps were confusing for me. The content promised to be more focused on the camps but there was hardly any mention of them in the book. The only entertaining part for me was the last 1/4 of the book; which read pretty quickly for me. Overall, this was a big pile of meh....
Brian Callahan
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-library
I was hooked on this story from the beginning. It was interesting how two totally different wars were tied together through family and emotion.
Liveright Publishing
rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2018
Cindy Hess
rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2018
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2018
rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2019
Jason Roberts
rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2019
Tony Roberts
rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2019
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Phantoms tells the disturbing intertwined stories of two families that are broken apart by World War ll and delicately reunited by old family secrets after the Vietnam war. This is a wonderful novel that traces the effects of war and how it affects so many lives for years and years. The book is well written, the plot was riveting and I was completely drawn into the story. I highly recommend it. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for this book in exchange for an honest review.
rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2019
rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2019
Christian Kiefer
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2019
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2018
Alexander Giles
rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2019
Gregory Allen
rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Apr 11, 2019
Joan Guthrie
rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2019
rated it liked it
Apr 18, 2019
Jennifer Fosket
rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2019
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Stone Boy
  • Home for Erring and Outcast Girls
  • Memories of the Future
  • Scriptorium: Poems
  • Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms
  • Giving the Finger: Risking It All to Fish the World's Deadliest Sea
  • Touched by Fire
  • Salvage
  • Algeria Is Beautiful Like America
  • The Gin Shack on the Beach
  • The Writer Who Stayed
  • Landslide: True Stories
  • The Movie Buff
  • Swan Place
  • The Hero Is You: Sharpen Your Focus, Conquer Your Demons, and Become the Writer You Were Born to Be
  • I am Sophie Tucker: A Fictional Memoir
  • The Hangman in the Mirror
  • Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »