From Publishers Weekly
In this gritty war novel, Leshem chronicles the tumultuous year leading up to Israel's 2000 withdrawal from Southern Lebanon. The story is told through the eyes of 21-year-old squadron leader, Liraz Liberti (aka Erez), who is tasked with shepherding a motley group of 13 "kids" through their military tours at the historic Israeli outpost, Beaufort. As the violence at Beaufort increases and the day of the withdrawal approaches, those stationed at the outpost try to ward off "eatenness" (fear) and a nagging sense of the futility of manning an outpost about to be closed down. Rather than dwell on the politics behind Israel's conflict with Hezbollah, Leshem focuses on the soldiers' slang-heavy language (those who are scared are "strawberry pissers"; a dumb soldier is a "hummus") and the thickening camaraderie to give readers remarkably visceral access to the isolated outpost. The anxiety and fear are palpable throughout Leshem's vivid novel-you can practically feel the shells explode.
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"Evocative, heartbreaking and haunting ... [Israel's] "Red Badge of Courage
." Because Leshem, like Stephen Crane, never saw combat, this is not a work of autobiography or observations but one of empathy and reconstruction—and all the stronger for that because the author has deployed both qualities without judgment. Beaufort
is that rare thing, a novel of deep moral concern in which sympathetically drawn and beautifully realized characters are allowed to speak for themselves."—Los Angeles Times
“Thirteen young soldiers spring to life with voices at once self-critical and brash, tender and darkly flippant…. Though firsthand accounts and combat memoirs line the shelves of bookstores, Leshem's fiction rivals them in the completeness of his cosmos of war.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Ron Leshem has succeeded in creating an entire world, simply through language.”—David Grossman, author of The Yellow Wind
“A gripping, viscerally powerful tale.... An alternately grim and blackly comic war/coming-of-age novel.”—Kirkus Reviews
“An important novel…. This is a picture of war from a soldier's point of view. Its language is crude, the body count rises, and yet the tenderness of the bonds among the men is extraordinary.”—Library Journal
, starred review
is that rare thing, a novel of deep moral concern in which sympathetically drawn and beautifully realized characters are allowed to speak for themselves.” —Chicago Tribune
“A book we couldn’t put down.” —Penthouse