Buchnummer des Verkäufers
It's the rule--always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead.
Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine's life in the road repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger.
Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there's Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture--from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries--is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country.
Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them. A debut both transcendent and rooted in the flesh, Fives and Twenty-Fives is a deeply necessary novel.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014: Normally, working a road crew would be the ultimate mundane job. But in Iraq, where every pothole carries the threat of a deadly booby trap, the duties of a road repair platoon are as fraught as a firefight. The title of this unflinching and important debut—written by an ex-Marine who served two tours in Iraq—refers to the platoon’s ground rules on bomb searching. When they stop to repair a pothole, they first scan the immediate five meters; a bomb detonated in that circle would obliterate them all. Next they sweep the twenty-five meters in every direction. In putting us right in the heat and the dust, inside the helmets and Kevlar vests that chafe the skin, Michael Pitre shows us that the battlefields of modern warfare are far more complex and bizarre than the American public might imagine. The story is told from three perspectives: the platoon leader, his medic, and their Iraqi translator, a fan of hip-hop and Huck Finn, all of them looking back on the catastrophe that shattered their world. Pitre is a nervy, funny writer, with an ear for dialogue and banter. And he’s not shy about commenting on America’s role in the world, and on the haunted postwar lives of its soldiers. In this bold novel, he’s added his voice to the collection of vital works by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. —Neal Thompson
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