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Falcons on the Floor Paperback – April 3, 2012
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Falcons on the Floor is the rare novel about war that re-humanizes everyone involved. --Dahr Jamail, independent journalist and author of Beyond the Green Zone
A lyrical and sensuous poem, an astonishing and mesmerizing book. --Alphonso Lingis, philosopher and author of The First Person Singular and Body Transformations
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Top Customer Reviews
In the hands of many others, this story at this point in history could easily become politicized, polarized (War is evil! or The jingos ate your baby, or America F yeah!), but Sirois manages to tell the story without a lean. He tells it on its human terms. The characters are affected by the war, of course, and the war acts as an impetus for many of their actions, but this novel isn't about the war; the war is merely its horrific background, a circumstance at most, a thing that humans do and that makes humans do things, whether brave or cowardly or both.
This book isn't without its flaws, of course. There are some mechanics towards the end that get a little loose, a few moments where a slip in narrative affected my ability to be fully immersed in the story. There are some typos. Okay. And these things I'm sure lessened the book's impact to a small degree. To Sirois's credit, he was managing some complicated shifts, and to Publishing Genius's credit, this was the first novel they've undertaken. But I hope if or when you go to read this book, you'll show grace, you'll understand how even the most important things can go unpolished.
It should come as no surprise that when two characters take off to escape the Iraq War, the war is going to find them. This novel is Chekov's gun on steroids. What Sirois pulls off in Falcons on the Floor's third act is an ending unlike any war novel I've read since The Things They Carried. I don't offer that praise lightly.
No spoilers here, except to say that once the bullets start flying the ending is not what you expect.
My full review is here: [...]
FALCONS ON THE FLOOR, Justin Sirois' novel about two friends on a journey both toward and away from a terrible unknown, has left me in a cold sweat, thankful to be alone in the house so as not to have to speak until these words can climb out onto this page. I want to honor this work the way the work itself honors those whom many would prefer be kept anonymous.
There is an ease to such an anonymity, a false comfort which allows us--human beings in general--a margin in which to marginalize others. Sirois has managed to cull the opposite, aided by one with the first-hand experiences "providing an authenticity that would have otherwise been impossible", and this I believe sets Falcons apart from so many similar endeavors.
The story begins so far from where it ends, and yet the pointed pacing carries us from chapter to chapter unquestioningly, thirsting along with the characters for the seeming sanctuary of Ramadi. Eight kilometers outside of that city, we encounter along with them what turns out to be an angel (for lack of a better term) of sorts, the commander of a tractor, a woman who has christened herself "un-mothered" and threatens to "un-mother anyone who speaks of it." Did you feel it, the way every follicle in your dermis just constricted?
The poet is in evidence throughout. The poetry winds, much like the Euphrates itself, seemingly clear and safe yet full of grit and disease, at times raging and at other times almost still, between the "crooked teeth", in symbiosis with the seamless landscape of surrounding prose. Culminating without ending, just as any experience of war is wont to do, we are left wondering. How else could the resonance echo . . . how else would we be forced to put ourselves into those too-tight polished dress shoes of a stranger, using the blade of a bayonet as a shoe horn?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unnervingly real. You will feel the temperature change, the sweat run down your back and the grit between your fingers. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Karen
Bravo, Falcons on the Floor exceeded my expectations by far, I found it riveting from the get go and this energy was maintained throughout the book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a good and thoughtful account of the impact of the Iraq war on people that -- frequently -- seem like people that I would know and would be my friends. Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Ken Rumble
I can read. This is a book. Books are for reading. I suggest you also read this book, if you, like me, know how to read.Published on June 13, 2013 by Brian R. Fox
I avoided reading it for a couple of months, because I was afraid of hard-to-remember names and unrecognizable settings. Read morePublished on October 1, 2012 by Linda C. Franklin
This book, by genre, could be Young Adult because the protagonists, both American and Iraqi, are all in their early 20s, and the narrators are those protagonists. Read morePublished on July 22, 2012 by Ayman
For most of us, war triggers images of decimated buildings, flag-draped coffins, slow-motion replays of planes piercing buildings, grainy pictures of mutilated bodies. Read morePublished on May 4, 2012 by Tai Turner
Just finished reading Justin Sirois's Falcons on the Floor. It was thrilling and sad and made war feel like a real (and strange) event - as opposed to the familiar one that too... Read morePublished on April 12, 2012 by Timmy Reed
I fell in love with the characters in this novel. This is not your typical war story. Sirois gives the reader a side of Iraq that is not shown on the evening news-the civilians... Read morePublished on April 1, 2012 by chills45