ISBN 10: 1620407558 / ISBN 13: 9781620407554
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Inhaltsangabe: I understand suddenly why I'm running. I need to warn them about the pressure switch, hidden in the crack in the road. The driver won't see it. They don't have a chance. I wave my arms, a heartbeat before the whole nasty serpent shrieks to life, and fill my lungs to cry out. And then, like always, I wake up. It is the early months of the Arab Spring, 2011. But for three young men, two American and one Iraqi, their minds return again and again to 2006, to the bloodiest stretch of the Iraq War. Members of the same platoon, they were tasked with the often deadly job of repairing potholes in the roads of the Al Anbar Province: potholes that almost always concealed a home-made bomb. They have survived the war but now they must learn to live with themselves. Discharged without honour, medic Doc Pleasant returns to his impoverished hometown to face his failures, both real and imagined. The platoon's young lieutenant, Donavan, carries the weight and the scars of his responsibility - of the superiors he never let himself doubt and the orders he dutifully followed. And at a Tunisian university, Kateb, the Iraqi interpreter his fellow troops knew only as Dodge, tries to lose himself in his studies of classic American fiction. But the memories of his broken country, of the family he left behind and the choices that the conflict forced him to make, keep intruding. As they struggle to find their place in a world that no longer knows them, they realise that the war has left nothing in their lives untouched and that salvation may come from an unexpected quarter.

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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.

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