American War

American War

Author Omar El Akkad is a journalist that has seen some shit.  American War feels like his attempt at bringing what he’s witnessed and read about in the Middle East a bit closer to home to Western audiences. The story explores how Civil Wars perpetuate themselves, how extremists are created, how memories of the past are fuel for both war and peace. It’s definitely not perfect– the first person POV was weirdly omniscient and the intersection of characters’ lives relied a bit much on deus ex machina, but overall it was a solid, powerful read. Detractors focusing on the unlikelihood of an eco-dystopia unraveling the US are missing the point (e.g. reading The Jungle and thinking it’s about food safety).

One thought on “American War

  1. Cristina – I agree with your review of the book. I also felt that the book had some contrived (deus ex machina-ish) plot points but that the story was strong enough to power through them. I would only add that as a native East Texan I am always wary of non-Americans, particularly Canadians, writing about America and the American South. That said, El Akkad obviously took great care to research the people, history, and geography of the South and I could feel it on each page.

    Love your reviews,
    Peter

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