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The God of War: A Novel Paperback – April 14, 2009
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Read an excerpt from Marisa Silver's bestselling novel, The God of War [PDF].
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Top Customer Reviews
Ares Ramirez, the 12 year old protagonist and narrator of this work spends his days helping to care for his younger brother Malcolm, whom Ares dropped on his head as a baby, and lives each day with the guilt of this, as he watches his brother struggle to communicate and to live. Ares, Malcolm, and their mother Laurel all live in a trailer in the less than lively area of Bombay Beach, on the shore of a man-made lake, and closeby to government bomb testing.
When difficulties arise at school, Malcolm begins work with the school Librarian, Mrs. Poole, to try to enhance his communication and development skills. As he accompanies his younger brother to these weekly sessions in the Pooles' home, Ares feels a strong pull to Mrs. Poole, and is intrigued to meet her foster son, Kevin, who is a few years older than Ares, and much more despondant and 'empty inside'. Kevin's release from a juvenile detention facility enhances and complicates Ares' life far more than he ever anticipated.
What follows is breathtaking, tragic, heart-wrenching, and poignant, as Ares befriends a boy far more 'hollow' than himself. The conclusion of this novel, while I will not spoil it for those who have not yet read it, will touch even the hardest of hearts.
A wonderful read, and the kind of novel that makes you wish for twice or three times the number of pages, so that (no matter how dark the subject matter) the story would go on and on. Highly recommended, and I look forward to more titles from the same author.
The story is set in a run-down trailer in a run-down area in a harsh part of our own country. In this environment, 12-year-old Ares tries to protect and take care of his mixed-up mother and his autistic brother, while trying to figure things out on his own. He is tough and can handle most things he's faced with, but he's also kind and gentle with his mother and his brother. Aries is strong and capable in spite of being almost crippled by the certain knowledge that he is the cause of his brother's severe disability because he dropped him as an infant. The mother refuses to discuss the brother's disability, and Aries is consumed by guilt, until incredulous professionals explain to him the real basis of his brother's problems.
There is a lot of action in this novel; it's not just a psychological drama. It not only paints an interesting picture of a unique part of the country, but it also gives us a young hero bearing huge burdens that are not his to bear.
I actually read this book because of my interest in the Salton Sea (yet itself a fascinating thing - I highly recommend the movie 'Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea'). There could not be a better setting for this book than the Salton Sea and its mesmerizing mix of eccentricity, poverty and hope.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well written book about a boy's coming of age. I thought it was worth the timePublished 11 months ago by Susan Liu
I love this author. There are always layers to her writings, questions unanswered and unsaid. The characters are so rich and complicated. Read morePublished 14 months ago by alyssa
I liked the characters, but I thought the plot wasn't very interesting. For a similar, but far better, "coming-of-age" story, try American Rust.Published 19 months ago by N. Moffett
This interesting novel shows the intelligence of the author and her compassion and understanding of the choices people make in their lives. Read morePublished 22 months ago by desertcat
I read this book after finishing Mary Coin. I liked this book from the same author, but it didn't resonate w/ me the way Mary Coin did. All in all, a good story w/ a lot of depth.Published 23 months ago by Cynthia Donohue
Fantastic story written with sensitivity and perspective of childhood on the forgivable fatal flaws of family and responsibility towards those we love.Published on January 1, 2014 by Nora Perron-Jones
This book is easy to read and moves along quickly. I have visited the Salton Sea and have an understanding of the area and the incredible odor from the decaying fish along the... Read morePublished on October 27, 2013 by Gerald
I am glad this was not the first book I read of hers or I would have missed Mary Coin. Book was too raw for me with the sexual thoughts etc. Just did not like. Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by mimi