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The War Zone [Kindle Edition]

Alexander Stuart
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Compared by Time Out magazine to a contemporary Catcher in the Rye, Alexander Stuart's The War Zone was chosen as Best Novel of the Year for Britain's prestigious Whitbread Prize when it was first published. It was instantly stripped of the award - amid much controversy among the judges - due to the novel's uncompromising yet sometimes ironic portrayal of incest and adolescent fury.

The War Zone follows its teenage narrator, Tom, whose world is torn apart as he stumbles upon a complex and intensely abusive relationship between his older sister, Jessie, and their father.

The novel has been published in eight languages and was turned into a multi-award-winning film, directed by Oscar-nominated actor/director, Tim Roth.

This newly revised and updated 20th Anniversary Edition includes an Afterword by Tim Roth, explaining what drew him to this controversial subject matter. It also contains both the original British and American opening chapters of the book, Alexander Stuart's diary of the making of the film, and an introduction that includes a remarkable letter from Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange.

"From the novel's first scene, the material is explosive" - The New York Times Book Review

"Stunning...mysterious and deeply moving" - The Observer, London

"The Catcher in the Rye of the 90s" - Time Out, London

Product Details

  • File Size: 362 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse; 20th Anniversary Edition edition (July 27, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,299 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stepping Into the War Zone November 23, 2009
Despite the storied 20 year history of both the novel and subsequent movie, I was ignorant of its existence.

And quite a history The War Zone has; the novel was stripped of the Whitbread Prize (now the Costa book awards.) An event that Stuart himself credits as far more helpful in promotion of his book than perhaps just receiving the award itself. Script adaptations of The War Zone by Stuart number in the tens, and it seemed a successful film adaptation would remain in "development hell" for all eternity.

The War Zone is a dark, unwavering narrative filled with elegant prose. A book oft touted as about incest and abuse, was to me, a deep and layered texture about middle-class suburban despondence. The true disconnectedness and alienation that is male adolescence (I've been there!) is compounded by a world spiraling out of control. As a reader, the comfort of familiarity is ripped away as an impending sense of dread and uneasiness builds. To be inside the head of a young boy, Tom, surprisingly evoked more pity than sympathy. All of Tom's innocence, his childhood, become forever stained by the knowledge of his father's sexual abuse of his sister Jessica. As I read, my mind stiffened. I braced for impending impact, almost certain of its trajectory. And suddenly, what I knew, was not what I knew. Tom's fear and his inability to change the outcome of even his own life paralyzes the reader.

The bleak and muted English countryside enraptured me. Even though I've never been to the United Kingdom, Stuart conjures a middle class moroseness that I'm all too familiar with here in the States. I enjoyed the subtle, stifled elements of the world. There is a realness and depth that is unnerving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strange Story December 12, 2012
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This is not your father's "war zone". Rather, it is a story of an incestuous relationship and the gritty impact of a family's relocation from London to the countryside. It is well written and worth the read, if you can stand the dark side of life. The movie, with Tilda Swinton playing the clueless mother is quite good as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Thought Provoking March 27, 2014
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Despicable, dark, but I couldn't put it down. There was something much more to this story than indulging in taboos for the shock value alone - thoughtfully written and heart-breaking - I also saw the movie and while it didn't follow quite exactly - it was compelling, and beautifully acted. Worth your time - you won't forget ever reading this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, but well written February 17, 2014
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It's very well written. A very strange young woman. I wonder about the background. I wonder what inspired this writer.
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See above. Protrays family dynamics in a dysfunctional family very effectively. The ending leaves one guessing what actually happaned to the relationship between brother and sister.
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