Redeployment Pdf Summary
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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Redeployment Book Review
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading But Not Useful for Understanding “GWOT/OIF/OEF” for Future Generations
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 13, 2017
I had avoided reading this collection of short stories for the longest time. I served 10 years active duty in the US Army and deployed six times to Iraq, Afghanistan, and of all places, Bahrain. The stories from Iraq, while they may be fresh and innovative to a civilian, were pretty much old hat to me when I read them. Yes, Iraq was an awful experience and the Iraqis suffered wildly from the US Invasion. These stories do not have quite the uplift Tim O’ Brien’s The Things They Carried has. If anything, they are a good testament to the absurdity and uselessness of the US Invasion of Iraq in 2003. The author exploits sacred cows in the United States to achieve a dramatic effect, such as (the love of dogs and the pastime of baseball) but portrays the soldiers in these works like isolated individuals. Yes, it is true that everyone who goes to war is isolated in their thoughts but I am here to tell you there was also a great deal of camaraderie and esprit de corps which trumped the absurd and stupid situation in which we found ourselves. Put simply, I do not believe that this collection of stories is useful for framing the Iraq experience for future generations. Yes, it was a stupid, strategic blunder (and probably a waste of time and resources) but we were not stupid for having participated. We learned a great deal about ourselves and our capacity to deal with suffering, absurdity, and waste. That is what I want to see from a collection of war stories, not that war is hell or a waste, but what people learn from the endeavor.
2.0 out of 5 stars Convoluted
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 6, 2020
The book is an easy read and flows nicely however if you have never been in the military, good luck. The amount of acronyms and abbreviations is immense! I spent seven years in the Navy and I was at a loss on more than half of the terminology used in this book. A normal author would define what the acronym is on its first use and do that with most abbreviations. Not this author! He starts using military jargon immediately with no explanation of what the terms mean and it becomes annoying unless you have just returned from duty in Iraq. I got so frustrated with the with the terminology I gave up on this book. I was getting annoyed and when that happens, I quit. In fact there was no addemdum at the end of the book where one could look up the abbreviations.
The Steadfast Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Whoa.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 11, 2015
Whoa. This book takes on some of the hard truths that soldiers and Marines returning from (and participating in) the longest two wars in American history have to face. As a veteran this was a difficult read for me. When I started the book I didn’t realize it was a collection of short stories. At first I was disappointed because the first story is so raw and powerful. It’s about how a man returning home from Iraq struggles to reintegrate back into everyday life with his wife and dog. I wanted to know more of that character’s struggles. In the end though it turned out to be a good thing that this was short stories because I found that I could only read it in short bursts, so harrowing are the narratives at times. Perhaps this is the reason I don’t read a lot of war fiction (or war non-fiction, for that matter).
In a time where less than one percent of the American population is in the military – it’s so easy for some to forget the experience that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been through. There are many people who don’t know anyone in the military. This book is important if not for that reason alone.
A line in the first story ‘Redeployment’ struck me so hard because it’s the honest to god’s truth.
“We took my combat pay and did a lot of shopping. Which is how America fights back against the terrorists.”
What else is there to do after you’re haunted by a war that makes little to no sense to you or the rest of the country? Another line that I ran across hit me hard because as a veteran I’ve always had a hard time with the “Thank you for your service” type gratitude actions that I would get. It’s an awkward feeling that many veterans don’t know what to do with (I’m not saying don’t do it when you see a man or woman in uniform – just that it’s a weird feeling – at least for me).
“I was angry. I’d gotten a lot of Thank You for Your Service handshakes, but nobody really knew what that service meant…”
I worked as a Unit Deployment Manager for the Air Force, it was my job to tend to all the airmen that would be deployed, ensuring they had all their training, paperwork, and equipment. While because of my rank I was not the one making personal selections on who would go and who would stay at home (unlike the Army, the Air Force does not deploy entire units at one time, instead it’s a piecemeal selection of individuals based on job functions that are needed down-range). Despite that I still fielded phone-calls from angry spouses and sent men and women away from their families to miss anniversaries, Christmases, and even the birth of their children.
The stories in Redeployment focus exclusively on the Army and the Marine Corps and I’m okay with that. The problem that I had with this collection is that there were no stories told from the point of view of female characters. Women, despite not technically being allowed in combat, are in combat. I felt that Klay might have strengthened his book if he could have told at least one story from the perspective of a woman.
The other thing that will probably drive civilian readers crazy are the excessive acronyms. It didn’t bother me because I knew what most of them meant, but I can definitely see this as being an impediment for a reader with little to no knowledge of military jargon.
Like I said, this was a difficult read for me but I do think that it’s an incredibly important and well written book. It’s not really about the wars themselves, it’s a portrait of the people who fight those wars at the lowest level. I have to highly recommend it to everyone.
About Phil Klay Author of Redeployment Pdf Book
Phil Klay Author of Redeployment Pdf Book is a veteran of the US Marine Corps. His short story collection Redeployment won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics’ Circle John Leonard Prize for best debut work in any genre, and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times. His nonfiction work won the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts & Letters in the category of Cultural & Historical Criticism in 2018. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and the Brookings Institution’s Brookings Essay series. He currently teaches fiction at Fairfield University.
Redeployment Pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- ASIN : 1594204993
- Publisher : Penguin Press; 1st edition (March 4, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781594204999
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594204999
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 0.98 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #485,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #4,904 in War Fiction (Books)
- #9,184 in Short Stories (Books)
- #25,797 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars 1,505 ratings
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