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Redeployment by [Klay, Phil]
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Redeployment Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 303 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Dexter Filkins, "The New York Times Book Review"
[Klay captures] on an intimate scale the ways in which the war in Iraq evoked a unique array of emotion, predicament and heartbreak. In Klay s hands, Iraq comes across not merely as a theater of war but as a laboratory of the human condition in extremis. "Redeployment" is hilarious, biting, whipsawing and sad. It s the best thing written so far on what the war did to people s souls.
Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
In "Redeployment," his searing debut collection of short stories, Phil Klay a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, who served in Iraq during the surge gives the civilian reader a visceral feeling for what it is like to be a soldier in a combat zone, and what it is like to return home, still reeling from the dislocations of war. Gritty, unsparing and fiercely observed, these stories leave us with a harrowing sense of the war in Iraq as it was experienced, day by day, by individual soldiers."
Kathryn Schulz, "New York Magazine"
An excellent, upsetting debut collection of short stories. Klay s own view is everywhere, existential and practical, at home and abroad, distributed with wonderful clarity of voice and harrowing specificity of experience among Army chaplains, enlisted men, Foreign Service officers, members of Mortuary Affair, and more.
"The Wall Street Journal"
The influences behind Mr. Klay s writing go far beyond Iraq. At times "Redeployment" recapitulates the remarkably tender, self-conscious style that Tim O Brien forged from his experiences in Vietnam Mr. Klay is able to surprise and provoke .Mr. Klay gives a deeply disquieting view of a generation of soldiers reared on war s most terrible contradictions.
"Entertainment Weekly"
Klay a Marine who served during the surge has an eye and an ear for a single searing line of dialogue or a scene of maddening dissonance that can pierce your soul .Klay brilliantly manages to wring some sense out of the nonsensical resulting in an extraordinary, if unnerving, literary feat.
"Portland Oregonian"
One of the best debuts of the year.
"Men s Journal"
In a book that's drawing comparisons to classic war literature like Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried," Klay examines the deep conflict, in all of us, between wanting to tell our stories and wanting to protect them from being diminished or misunderstood.
The Daily Beast:
Phil Klay has written brilliant, true, and winning fiction on the Iraq War.
"Publishers Weekly" (starred):
"Klay grasps both tough-guy characterization and life spent in the field, yet he also mines the struggle of soldiers to be emotionally freed from the images they can t stop seeing. It s clear that Klay, himself a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Iraq, has parlayed his insider s knowledge of soldier-bonding and emotional scarring into a collection that proves a powerful statement on the nature of war, violence, and the nuances of human nature."
"Kirkus Reviews" (starred):
A sharp set of stories....Klay s grasp of bureaucracy and bitter irony here rivals Joseph Heller and George Orwell....A no-nonsense and informed reckoning with combat.
Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Important reading; pay attention.
Lawrence Rungren, "Library Journal"
"Harrowing at times and blackly comic at others, the author s first collection could become for the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts what Tim O Brien s "The Things They Carried" is for the Vietnam War."
Ben Fountain, author of"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
"If you want to know the real cost of war for those who do the fighting, read "Redeployment." These stories say it all, with an eloquence and rare humanity that will simultaneously break your heart and give you reasons to hope."
Nathan Englander, author of"What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank"
"As we try to understand the human costs of yet another foreign conflict, Phil Klay brings us the stories of the American combatants, told in a distinct, new, and powerful voice."
Karen Russell, author of"Swamplandia!"
""Redeployment"is a stunning, upsetting, urgently necessary book about the impact of the Iraq war on both soldiers and civilians. Klay's writing is searing and powerful, unsparing of its characters and its readers, art made from a soldier's fearless commitment to confront those losses that can't be tallied in statistics. 'Be honest with me, ' a college student asks a returning veteran in one story, and Phil Klay's answer is a challenge of its own: these stories demand and deserve our attention.
Anthony Swofford, author of"Jarhead"
"Phil Klay's stories are tightly wound psychological thrillers. The global wars of our last decade weave in and out of these affecting tales about characters who sound and feel like your neighbors. Klay comes to us through Leo Tolstoy, Ray Carver, and Ann Beattie. It's a thrill to read a young writer so brilliantly parsing the complexities and vagaries of war. That he does so with surgical precision and artful zest makes this a must-read."
Colum McCann, author of"Let the Great World Spin"
"When the history of these times are finally shaken out, and the shredders have all been turned off, we will turn to writers like Phil Klay to finally understand the true nature of who we were, and where we have been, and where we are still going. He slips himself in under the skin of the war with a muscular language and an agile heart and a fair amount of complicated doubt. "Redeployment" will be one of the great story collections of recent times. Phil Klay is a writer of our times. I can't wait to see what he does next."
Siobhan Fallon, author of"You Know When the Men Are Gone"
To most, the war in Iraq is a finished chapter in history. Not so to the Marines, family members, and State Department employees in Phil Klay's electrifying debut collection, "Redeployment." Thanks to these provocative and haunting stories, the war will also become viscerally real to readers. Phil Klay is a powerful new voice and" Redeployment" stands tall with the best war writing of this decade.
Patrick McGrath, author of"Trauma"
""Redeployment" is fiction of a very high order. These are war stories, written with passion and urgency and consummate writerly skill. There's a clarity here that's lacerating in its precision and exhiliration in its effect."
Lea Carpenter, author of"Eleven Days"
"These stories are surgically precise strikes to the heart; you can't read them without recalling other classic takes on war and loss Conrad, Herr, Hemingway. Klay maps the cast of our recent Middle East conflicts and illuminates its literal, and philosophical center: human casualty."


Roxana Robinson, author of"Sparta"
These are gorgeous stories fierce, intelligent and heartbreaking. Phil Klay, a former Marine, brings us both the news from Iraq and the news from back home. His writing is bold and sure, and full of all sorts of authority literary, military and just plain human. This is news we need to hear, from a new writer we need to know about. "

Book Description

One of the hottest US debuts of 2014 out in paperback

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1118 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GLQ4B2U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #196,712 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Redeployment sells itself on the cover as being the real deal. I think that’s a fair enough assessment.

This is a collection of short narratives – some running to a dozen pages or more; others just a page or two. Each tells a story of American involvement in Iraq from a different perspective. Understandably, most are voices from the military, although there is the occasional voice from the civilian involvement.

Phil Klay avoids the temptation to create heroes or play politics. Naturally some of the narratives involve doing heroic things, but these are outweighed by the stories of medics, body collection, office jockeys and logistics. The narratives feel authentic and don’t waste time with background information or explanations. One (mercifully short) story is told almost entirely in indecipherable acronyms.

Despite the variety of narratives and voices, the striking point is that the participants’ motivations are almost always personal, and often venal. There is no hint of creating a stronger community; of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction; of promoting democracy; or protecting the Kurds. Even when coming under direct fire, the motivation is purely on protecting colleagues, winning medals or impressing girlfriends.

Some of the narrators are more likeable than others; and a couple are completely repellent. But they are never less than totally engaging. Despite the commonality between the narratives, they never feel repetitive; never feel too longwinded; yet always feel complete. The language seems spot on and it can be difficult to believe these are not direct transcripts of interviews given to camera.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Authentic and very moving. What is it, about War, that it brings out the best and the worst and (still) remains one of the major experiences that bring us face to face with the deepest moral issues? I treasure this collection and have recommended it to many others.
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Format: Paperback
Not my normal cup of tea, but I picked it up to read as it has been short listed for the Warwick Prize for Writing. The cover and blurb suggest this is going to be a succession of tales of suffering infantrymen but it has a far richer cast of protagonists with chaplains, civil servants, pysc-ops specialists, and body clearers also taking centre stage.

For me there are two absolute stand out stories in this collection. “Money as a Weapons System” which is a tale about reconstruction attempts that is the closet the collection gets to comedy, and provides gives an opportunity for almost every faction and function in the conflict to be held up to ridicule. I particularly loved the relatively briefly appearing but long suffering interpreter. “Prayer in the Furnace” by contrast is a tale of the anguished attempts by a military Chaplain to do and say the right thing. The collection is worth reading for those two stories alone.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A dozen often bleak and brutal stories carry an authentic ring based on the author’s first-hand experience as a marine in Iraq. Although it is deliberate in the case of “OIF”, some are too cluttered with military acronyms, either meaningless or distracting if you pause to work them out or look them up. Others which focus on the fighting have nowhere to go after ramming home the way young soldiers are trained as unquestioning killing machines, kept in this state by psychopathic officers, then swear, take drugs and get drunk to blunt their fear, guilt and confusion.

What held me more were the issues raised by the “redeployment” of the title : how these men might deal with the return to “normal” life and communicate with non-combatants.

The brilliant opening story, “Redeployment”, describes with great clarity and insight a young man’s sensations on returning home from a seven month stint in Iraq. Having been trained to function at an “orange” level of alert all the time, he cannot adjust at first to a world of people “who’ve spent their whole lives on white”. He cannot cope with walking down the high street alone, rather than in a line of men, each detailed to scan ahead at a different level: tops of buildings, lower windows or at street level. “You startle ten times checking” for the gun that is no longer there. By the end of the trip, the man is too “amped up” to drive. “I would have gone at a hundred miles an hour.”

In “War Stories”, a young man whose face has been hideously scarred agrees to be interviewed by a chilly young actress “with a splinter of ice in her heart” who wants to use his experiences for a play.
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Format: Paperback
'Redeployment' is a collection of short stories linked by the theme of the second Iraq War. Each story is told in the voice of a different person. The narrators are all male, and are either serving Marines or closely and recently associated with the military. These voices necessarily have a certain uniformity of tone, but the speakers represent different arms and ranks, and over the length of the book the reader is given a fairly wide view. I say fairly wide, because the views of officers are largely unrepresented, as more expectedly are those of women, American civilians and Iraqis. The focus is firmly on the experience of service, and the aftermath of service: the perspective is that of the lower and middle ranks – infantrymen, specialists, NCOs, occasionally a lieutenant – and so of men in their late teens and early twenties. The atmosphere of their virtually all-male environment, with its easy obscenity and pervasive military jargon, will be familiar to anyone who has read fiction written during the last century on the subject of men at war.

The stories are broadly in the confessional mode familiar from journalism, in which the author merely records the other's words, refraining from intrusion and comment. The reader must read between the lines to infer the author's purpose and detect a connecting thread. This is standard writing workshop stuff: show, don't tell. Klay has been open about the amount of research his writing demanded, and the payoff is there, in that the scenarios Klay describes feel both authentically detailed and lived. (In one of the more successful stories, Klay makes use of the military's weakness for jargon by giving us a narrator whose every third or fourth word is an acronym, with no explanation provided.
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