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Green on Blue by [Elliot Ackerman]
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Green on Blue Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 129 ratings

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Length: 257 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2015: Green on Blue unravels the complexities of the Afghan war, then dissolves it all into the brutal heartache of reality – where home is a battlefield, fighting is a job, vengeance is a moral right, and war is “a racket…it had no sides. Each was the same as the other.” Aziz, an Afghan boy at the beginning of the novel, has lost nearly everything: Taliban forces killed his parents, and his older brother is left crippled when U.S. forces clash with militant ones. Alone, in need of money and seeking revenge, he enlists in the Special Lashkar, a militia funded by Americans to fight local insurgents. Aziz rises through the ranks, learns to kill, and discovers the nefarious profiteering, oppression and cultural beliefs that contrive this never ending war. A decorated Afghan and Iraq war veteran, Elliot Ackerman’s empathetic portrayal of individuals, factions, and the reasons they fight is fierce and haunting. With crisp, uncompromising prose, Green on Blue joins the canon of contemporary war literature and leaves you breathless. – Al Woodworth

Review of Elliot Ackerman's Green on Blue by Ben Fountain

Ben Fountain

Photo credit: Thorne Anderson

Cheryl Strayed

Photo credit: Peter Van Agtmael

"The militants fought to protect us from the Americans," says Aziz, the young Afghan narrator of Green on Blue, "and the Americans fought to protect us from the militants, and being so protected, life was very dangerous." Aziz would know better than many: first he loses his parents and his home to the war, then his cherished older brother is left permanently disabled by a bombing, a chain of events that leads Aziz to join the Special Lashkar, an indigenous army sponsored by the Americans to combat insurgents in the Afghan countryside. And so begins Aziz’s life as a soldier in a savage, complex war where the requisites of nang and badal honor and revenge, sometimes serve, and at other times clash with, the larger goals of the Americans and their Afghan allies and enemies.

War: one could do worse than define it as the collision of chaos theory with the law of unintended consequences. Aziz discovers that what he wants from the war isn’t nearly so simple and pure as it once seemed, and indeed, the war itself is gradually revealed to be ghabban, a racket, with the blond-haired, blue-eyed American soldier “Mr. Jack” providing the money and arms that keep the whole bloody business going. “Some wars only feed themselves,” says Atal, the sometime enemy, sometime ally of Aziz. “They cannot be won, only starved.”

If we want to understand anything about this war we’ve been fighting for thirteen years--a war that keeps spinning off greater and greater chaos, and more black consequence than even the most cynical pacifist might have predicted--then Ackerman’s unflinching novel is an excellent place to start. Part of the genius of this book is the sheer power of the storytelling, thanks to the immersive effect of Aziz’s voice and the keenness with which he observes and ponders all that comes his way. What we witness in Aziz is the wisdom of the survivor: clear-eyed, stony, unsparing. But perhaps the greater part of this novel’s genius lies in the grinding, almost inevitable logic of Aziz’s ultimate act, the fatal "green on blue" of the title. How could he do otherwise in a war with "no cause . . . at least none larger than oneself?" All the politicians’ cheerleading of the past thirteen years, the p.r., the fine and pious phrases that seek to sanitize the shedding of more and more blood, are shown for the fraud they are by the truths of Elliot Ackerman’s extraordinary novel.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From School Library Journal

A different perspective on America's war in Afghanistan. Rather than examining themes of ideology or heroic battles, this novel sheds light on the microview, seen through the experience of Aziz, of a young soldier. The focus stays on those most affected—fighters on both sides and those caught in the middle. After his brother Ali is grievously injured in a Taliban mortar attack, the only way Aziz can pay for Ali's medical care is to join Commander Sabir's American-backed anti-Taliban militia. An equally strong motivator is the need to restore his nang (pride) by exacting badal (revenge) against those who injured his brother. Many men in the militia have joined for the same reason; their belief in badal makes it a useful tool for keeping Sabir's ranks full. The protagonist is committed but soon notices unusual connections among Sabir; Gazan, the leader of the opposing Taliban militia; and Atal, a resident of a village that Sabir and Gazan are fighting over. Aziz comes to realize the reason the fighting drags on has almost nothing to do with beliefs held on either side. As he understands the truth, he must make some hard decisions about the role he'll play going forward. The young man's efforts to sort out what he's told vs. the reality in front of him will resonate with teens. VERDICT Readers will appreciate the author's honest, direct, and complex exploration of powerful yet hidden motivations for war, especially because of the work's blurred lines between heroes and villains.—Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, CA

Product details

  • File Size : 365 KB
  • ASIN : B01EJQASD4
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Publication Date : March 24, 2016
  • Publisher : Daunt Books (March 24, 2016)
  • Print Length : 257 pages
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 129 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
129 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2015
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robert wood
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2016
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