Roy Scranton’s WAR PORN

97816169571552016 has produced another stellar crop of novels that deal with the wars of the past fifteen years. The Good Lieutenant by Whitney Terrell and Youngblood by Matt Gallagher were both outstanding and have been joined by Roy Scranton’s powerful debut. Roy Scranton and Matt Gallagher both edited the amazing collection Fire & Forget in 2013 which debuted National Book Award winner Phil Klay, so it is fitting that they both debuted their own powerful and thought-provoking war novels this year.

Roy Scranton’s novel is divided into three parts each framed around a stream of consciousness diatribe of words, phrases and events that have shaped the war in Iraq and our perceptions of it. The first part is a Columbus Day barbecue in which an uninvited guest arrives, recently returned from Iraq. The story then follows an American soldier examining his reasons for joining the army and the slow relentless monotony of life in an occupying force in Iraq. The third part follows an Iraqi maths professor in Baghdad as the war approaches and the choices he is forced to make.

War Porn is one of the most confronting war novels I have read of the recent crop. Scranton is unflinching in his portrayal of each story. We cycle back in time from the barbecue in 2014 to the start of the US invasion in 2013 before cycling back to the barbecue again. I may have become slightly desensitised in my reading of war novels but the ending of this book had me reeling, shocked and horrified. Mainly for its portrayal of the home front than the battlefield. The title itself is also confronting, making you question your motives for reading war fiction.

This is a brilliant novel to rival Phil Klay’s Redeployment and a novel not to be missed.

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ISBN: 9781616957155
ISBN-10: 1616957158
Classification: Fiction & related items » Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Hardback
(217mm x 149mm x 30mm)
Pages: 1
Imprint: Soho Press Inc
Publisher: Soho Press Inc
Publish Date: 4-Aug-2016
Country of Publication: United States


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