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Green on Blue: Book summary and reviews of Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman

Green on Blue

by Elliot Ackerman

Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman X
Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman
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  • Published Feb 2015
    256 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and White House Fellow, a stirring debut novel about a young Afghan orphan and the harrowing, intractable nature of war.

Aziz and his older brother Ali are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and endless mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There is no school, but their mother teaches them to read and write, and once a month sends the boys on a two-day journey to the bazaar. They are poor, but inside their mud-walled home, the family has stability, love, and routine.

When a convoy of armed men arrives in their village one day, their world crumbles. The boys survive and make their way to a small city, where they sleep among other orphans. They learn to beg, and, eventually, they earn work and trust from the local shopkeepers. Ali saves their money and sends Aziz to school at the madrassa, but when US forces invade the country, militants strike back. A bomb explodes in the market, and Ali is brutally injured.

In the hospital, Aziz meets an Afghan wearing an American uniform. To save his brother, Aziz must join the Special Lashkar, a US-funded militia. No longer a boy, but not yet a man, he departs for the untamed border. Trapped in a conflict both savage and entirely contrived, Aziz struggles to understand his place. Will he embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind, and risk placing his brother - and a young woman he comes to love - in jeopardy?

Having served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, Elliot Ackerman has written a gripping, morally complex debut novel, an astonishing feat of empathy and imagination about boys caught in a deadly conflict.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Ackerman, who served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, writes with empathy, authority, and integrity, telling an important story that is at once moving and, in its depiction of the futility of war, deeply depressing." - Booklist

"Ackerman's novel is bleak and uncompromising, a powerful war story that borders on the noir." - Publishers Weekly

"Ackerman writes in a deliberately flat style that emphasizes personalities rather than military action - and he does justice to the political and moral difficulties of contemporary Afghanistan." - Kirkus

"Green on Blue is harrowing, brutal, and utterly absorbing. With spare prose, Ackerman has spun a morally complex tale of revenge, loyalty, and brotherly love." - Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner

"What makes Green on Blue so brilliantly poignant is Elliot Ackerman's feeling of empathy, his ability to get under his characters' skin, reminding us not only of our vast differences but of our shared humanity." - Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

"If we're looking for answers - and after fourteen years of war we damn well better be - Elliot Ackerman's brilliant, audacious novel is an excellent place to start." - Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

"Green on Blue is a remarkable achievement, a novel of war, betrayal, love, and honor that feels equally timeless and timely." - Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

"An incisive and moving glimpse into the human consequences of decades of conflict." - Phil Klay, author of Redeployment

"Green on Blue is more than just the page-turner it most certainly is; it is a naked and profound exploration of the ugly futility of war, and it is also one of the finest literary debuts I have ever witnessed." - Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Last Days

"Like The Thin Red Line's Guadalcanal, Green on Blue's Shkin is one war's heart, marked by loss, ambition, blood." - Lea Carpenter, author of Eleven Days

"This fearless and pitch perfect first novel is a heart-breaking wonder." - Admiral James Stavridis, USN - Ret, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

This information about Green on Blue was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Elliot Ackerman Author Biography

Photo: © Huger Foote

Elliot Ackerman is the author of the novels Dark at the Crossing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; Green on Blue and Waiting for Eden. His writings have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

Link to Elliot Ackerman's Website

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