Redeployment

Phil Klay

Book - 2014

"Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return ...to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died." In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains-of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming. Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation"--

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FICTION/Klay, Phil
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1st Floor FICTION/Klay, Phil Due Jun 14, 2022
Subjects
Genres
War stories
Published
New York : The Penguin Press 2014.
Language
English
Physical Description
291 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781594204999
1594204993
Main Author
Phil Klay (-)
  • Redeployment
  • FRAGO
  • After Action Report
  • Bodies
  • OIF
  • Money as a weapons system
  • In Vietnam they had whores
  • Prayer in the furnace
  • Psychological operations
  • War stories
  • Unless it's a sucking chest wound
  • Ten kliks south.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Klay's stories are sensational, with vivid characters, biting dialogue, and life within and beyond the Afghan and Iraq wars conveyed with an addictive combination of the mundane and the horrifying. A soldier reenters civilian life after the surreal wartime task of shooting dogs that eat corpses. A rookie takes part in a raid on insurgents and then eats cobbler. Two soldiers agree to swap responsibility for a killing. A foreign service officer navigates bureaucracy with results that are no less sad for being comic. Soldiers return to barracks after patrol and wordlessly pick up their video games, which they choose over sleep. Redeployment is most remarkable, though, for the questions it asks about the aims and effects of war stories themselves, and Klay displays a thoughtful awareness of this literary tradition. That perspective holds these diverse tales together, as his narrators ask why and how war stories are told. What details does a soldier share with civilians? Does one tell it funny or tell it serious? Is the storytelling a further return to war, a redeployment in itself? Those questions, and Klay's exciting new voice, may stay with the reader long after this book is back on the shelf. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

I've heard nothing but raves about this taut, in-your-face collection from former marine captain and Iraq veteran Klay, a Dartmouth grad with an MFA from Hunter College. Klay lets us feel what life is like on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan with stories like "Redeployment," about a soldier edging back into civilian life after having spent time in Fallujah shooting dogs who were eating human corpses. [Page 72]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The Iraq War and its aftermath is the subject of this powerful and unflinching compendium, which explores the true cost of serving in combat on the human body and, more important, the human psyche. The title story focuses on the alienation of a soldier returning to domestic life after experiencing the brutality of serving on the front lines. "Money as a Weapons System" concerns a foreign service officer who discovers another side of war's absurdity when he is forced to teach a group of Iraqis how to play baseball to satisfy the whims of a wealthy political donor. "Praying in the Furnace" movingly portrays a Catholic chaplain who comes to understand the nature of faith after all illusion is stripped away as he ministers to soldiers who face death daily. VERDICT Klay brilliantly captures the alternating terror and banality of modern war in details such as soldiers who relax by playing video games after returning to their quarters from a patrol. 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. [See Prepub Alert, 10/28/13.]—Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, Andover, MA [Page 105]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Klay's title story, a moving homage to soldiers of war who must return home to attempt a normal life, made a splash when it was first published in Granta. This debut collection of a dozen stories resonates with themes of battle and images of residual battlefield pain and psychological trauma. This is especially evident in heart-wrenching stories like "Bodies," in which a soldier buffers his grisly war stories in order not to have to truly share the horror of his tour in Iraq. Alternately, some stories are lighter and offer glimmers of humanity against Klay's bleak landscape of combat, as in "Money as a Weapons System," which finds a Foreign Service Officer charged with improving the civil affairs of Iraqi citizens by offering them baseball lessons. 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. Written in clipped sentences capturing the brutality of conflict, the specter of death permeates each story, from the corpse-eating dogs in the title story to Sergeant Deetz in "Ten Kliks South," who snickers at his troop's body count of insurgents. 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. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A collection of short stories by a former Marine captain and Iraq veteran focuses on the complexities of life for soldiers on the front lines and after, exploring themes ranging from brutality and faith to guilt and survival in such stories as "After Action Report" and "Money as Weapons System."

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died." In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains-of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming. Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A collection of short stories by a former Marine captain and Iraq veteran focuses on the complexities of life for soldiers on the front lines and after, exploring themes ranging from brutality and faith to guilt and survival.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction · Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize · Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post Book World, Amazon, and more  Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.  Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died."  In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened.  A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both.  A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel.  And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball.  These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing.  Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss.  Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction · Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize · Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post Book World, Amazon, and more · National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree · New York Times Bestseller Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died." In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened. A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both. A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel. And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.