Claudia Putnam's Reviews > Fives and Twenty-Fives

Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre
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it was amazing
bookshelves: literary-fiction, war-writing, blazing-debuts

Well, so I seem to love a certain kind of war novel, the worser the better. If you were to read just one book about people deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, I would vote for this one, at least of those I've read so far, and I've been trying to keep up. Though for some reason I missed it in all the hoopla around Redeployment. Klay's book was fine enough, but Pitre's is the more successful, IMO. For one thing, it's got women in it. For another, he does a better job of differentiating the voices, though Lester's becomes a bit less distinct over the course of the book. At first 5s + 25s felt more like a collection of linked shorts too, but as the book progressed it clearly became a novel. I did want a little more of the characters NOW rather than THEN but that's okay. The finest parts of the book, as others have said, were the sections on the translator Dodge. Not only is Dodge a compelling character, but those sections highlight the failings of the US role in Iraq better than any other and without seeming to preach. In many ways Dodge reminds me of Kip, the sapper in The English Patient... he plays a similar role and has a perspective that allows him to say things that the other characters can't.

A great book--highly recommended, and congratulations to the author.
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Reading Progress

March 22, 2016 – Started Reading
March 22, 2016 – Shelved
March 24, 2016 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
March 24, 2016 – Shelved as: war-writing
March 24, 2016 – Shelved as: blazing-debuts
March 24, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Rahul (new) - added it

Rahul  Adusumilli Wise to go into it with expectations as high as Long Halftime Walk?


Claudia Putnam Different sort of book I loved Billy Lynn but I did raise some authenticity questions in my review. Such are not to be found w Fives and Twenty-fives. Pitre's book is best compared, favorably, w The Yellow Birds and Phil Klay's Redeployment.


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