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Exit A Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Swofford offered me nothing new about military brats or children of mixed parentage. I could have gotten his take from the nightly news.
If you want a more sophisticated treatment of this subject, try a fantastic novel by Don Lee called Country of Origin. It's an outstanding take on children growing up in the in-between world of the military, a thought-provoking examination of bastardization and mixed-race identity and the novel also asks difficult questions about what it means to be an American.
The story line goes downhill from there. Virginia out of prison (had a daughter in prison), Severin in a loveless, schizophrenic marriage, and the dying general asking Severin to "find my daughter." Sure, boss! I sensed a John Irving wannabe writing style here.
The reality of Jarhead "jarred" me. I admit I had similar expectations for Exit A. But the "jarring" style of writing that formed his autobiography was absent. This is not a requirement for a good yarn, but the characters in Exit A never reach a level of "reality" that makes the story believable, and that IS a requirement. Obviously, Lord of the Rings is not a true story. But didn't you "believe" the reality of the characters? Didn't you believe Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) could be real? Severin Boxx and the other characters don't pass this test.
Don't forget to catch this line: "His lips were glued shut with dried mucus, and his mouth tasted like a dog's tongue boiling in a pot" (p. 215).
"Virginia knew she was being a bad daughter" (p. 109).Read more ›
I felt that the voice acting added a great deal to the characters and to the story told - much of the book doesn't work as well without the overarching feel of the American military way of life which pervades all of the characters, settings and story events, and the voicing really brings that across.
I know that this book has been poorly reviewed, but I found it extremely enjoyable. It is very unlike his prior novel, which is rough, unsentimental and of course extremely autobiographical. This book is much more sentimental and touching.
The first section is set on and around Yokata Air Base circa 1989, and is very effective at capturing the uneasy mix of American and Japanese culture. The base commandant's half-Japanese daughter Virginia is the living embodiment of this cross-cultural tension. Somewhat predictably, she's a loose cannon -- a crackling vortex of cliched teenage rebellion with a bizarre fascination with Faye Dunnaway's Bonnie from the 1972 film Bonnie and Clyde. As it happens, her father is also the high school football coach, and linebacker Severin's loyalties are torn between his coach and Virginia, whom he has a crush on. Swofford resolves this tension in a fairly over-the-top scene at a football game, which segues into a wholly ridiculous subplot involving a Japanese hood and kidnappings engineered by North Korean intelligence.
The curtain drops, and then raises some fifteen years later. Severin is now in his early 30s, living a very comfortable life in San Francisco with his moneyed professor of psychology wife. Although the plain-thinking teenager has grown up to earn a doctorate in French somethingorother, he's turned his back on academia and works as a groundskeeper at his wife's school.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I chose this title to read with my book group for this month. Left it to the last minute to read and so had to read it in one day and part of one evening. Read morePublished on June 2, 2011 by snowday
Yes, take your place amongst America's very finest writers for this is as good as it gets. There is something exhilarating about being so in thrall to a writer's skill at plot and... Read morePublished on July 10, 2009 by Jonathan Posner
the first third of the book (part 1) was enjoyable to read and i thought the remainder of the book would be equally as enjoyable but it is unfortunate that it was not. Read morePublished on December 18, 2008 by Akira Touya
I only finished this novel so that I could write an full and honest review about it. You may notice that this book doesn't come in paperback. There's a reason for that... Read morePublished on November 3, 2007 by G.L.Kirkland
The Virginia character is not likable, so I did not really care about her. I agree with another review that the believability of a story line is important. Read morePublished on June 25, 2007 by K. ONeill
If you're looking for a spoiled rich kid's story you've come to the wrong place. There is no Holocaust tie-in, no sex abuse, no prep schools and no shrinks. Read morePublished on June 4, 2007 by A Reader
I was disappointed with this novel. After coming close to giving up on it twice, I stuck it out, but was not rewarded in the end. Read morePublished on June 2, 2007 by chp
Ever since "Jarhead" I have loved Anthony Swafford's writing style. Being a Marine and living in Japan also helped me fall in love with this book since I relate to it so much.Published on May 30, 2007 by Drew L. Wright