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American War
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July 2018: Dystopian > American War by Omar El Akkad - 4.6 stars

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Sushicat | 805 comments The world as we know it is no more and yet the world we are introduced to is completely recognizable. Climate change has redrawn geography, coastlines have shifted inland, dislocating people and changing power structures. In an eerie repeat of history, the southern states fight to defend their doomed lifestyle built on outlawed use of fossil fuels. In an ironic reversal of roles the Bouazizi empire - a union of the Arab speaking countries - has taken on the role the US held before them.

2075 - 2081 - 2086 - 2095 These are the years where pivotal events take place in Sarat's life. We meet her, learn about her family and circumstances, her daily life. And then things change.

I liked the way we got the larger context of Sarats world through historical documents that separate the chapters of the book, allowing the story to be told exclusively from the narrator's perspective. I liked how well our real world is reflected in the book: life at the limit of subsistence in an arid country, life in a displaced persons camp, how aid shapes economy, how internment camps function, how radicalization happens, all this feels real, authentic in support of a story that is not about war, but about ruin as the unknown narrator states in the prologue. As is true for our world, there are no demarcations between good or bad, there is no universal cause to root for, there are no winners in the war, every victory turns to ashes as it begets ever more revenge.


message 2: by KateNZ (new) - added it

KateNZ | 2671 comments This sounds intriguing - a perfect read for the tag


Susie | 4488 comments This book looks even better to me in the rear view mirror. It was a really interesting look at the making of a terrorist, and it highlighted that life is full of shades of grey so well.


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