Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
+ $6.07 shipping
War Porn Hardcover – August 2, 2016
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Praise for War Porn
"Forceful and unsettling."
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"One of the best and most disturbing war novels in years."
—The Wall Street Journal
"War Porn offers a view of the American military unlike anything else written about Iraq or Afghanistan. The book offers a guided meditation on Iraq certain to force long overdue introspection on how we think about the war, those who fought it and the Americans and Iraqis it affected. Though War Porn doesn’t set out to change anyone’s mind, it’s impossible to read it without reconsidering how you think about Iraq and our treatment of those who served."
"To read Scranton is to engage with a powerful intellect."
—Los Angeles Review of Books
"What impresses is the brutal immediacy of the writing, its authority. Roy Scranton is a truth telling war writer."
—E.L. Doctorow, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Ragtime and The March
"Roy Scranton’s searingly honest first novel is surreal, ultra-real, and like everything he writes from the heart. This examination of the tragedy of what happened in Iraq reaches out to touch of all us. A brilliant literary achievement."
—Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy
"Powerful, engaging, heartrending, corrosive and unyielding."
—Joyce Carol Oates
"I have never read a book like War Porn. Roy Scranton writes with unnerving power. There is much to admire here—the meticulous craftsmanship, the hysterical comic passages, the way the sheer audacity of vision is matched at every turn by the innovative skill to carry it out—but what I'm left with at the end is difficult to put into words. It's intense and troubling. It's what all truly excellent literature leaves you with. A sense of something shattering."
—Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment
"War Porn is dire, savage, and brilliant, a simmering fever-dream of a novel that's as pure and true in its vision of the long war as anything I've read. Roy Scranton is merciless—and why should he be anything but? War's corruption soaks through every layer of life, and War Porn drives home that truth with unflinching, and ultimately harrowing, honesty."
—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
"Scranton, a US veteran with an unusually poetic ear, captures the Beckettian banter—as well as trauma—of modern soldiering. War Porn rewards repeated reading."
—The Spectator (UK)
"In writing War Porn, Scranton has produced a literary work that doesn’t just describe the outrages of the war, but punches them into the American gut. War Porn contains some of the most significant and original writing on deployment to be found in contemporary American literature about the Iraq War."
"[Scranton] has a real aesthetic skill and is moved by a genuine sympathy for humanity. Roy Scranton’s War Porn expresses and helps advance the profound social anger that is emerging amidst the rumble of a society devastated by imperialist war."
—World Socialist Web Site
"Roy Scranton’s War Porn is not a book you read once and put away. You read it, think about it, then read it again. Between its covers awaits a fracture in our cultural assumptions about war."
"[War Porn raises] interesting questions about the nature of those who demand and those who supply. Scranton is a gifted writer ."
"This book is truly unique—true in its fidelity to fact, unique in the depth of its empathy. In prose that rises to aphoristic, coruscating brilliance, Iraq vet Roy Scranton has painted, in words, the equivalent of Goya's war etchings. A rare and genuine masterpiece."
—Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, author of The Watch and The Storyteller of Marrakesh
"A harrowing novel of the Iraq invasion and occupation, War Porn exposes the dark heart of that war for all to see. Brilliant and stark, War Porn is that rare book that demands to be read out of sheer significance—a stunning accomplishment."
—Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood
"Roy Scranton's four years of service in the U.S. Army lend his work an undeniable authority, but it's his ability to address multiple sides of the conflict that proves exceptional, coloring his fiction with a rare empathy."
—The Village Voice
"[War Porn is] a different kind of Iraq War novel, for sure, but it’s not just that. It’s an expression of Scranton’s philosophy about telling new, different stories as a means of survival."
"[A] fierce debut . . . Scranton delivers a poetic sensibility and a staccato writing style, and the result is a no-holds-barred amalgam of plotlines that is especially tragic given all that we now know about the wrenching mess that is today's Iraq."
"Scranton’s provocative debut novel lucidly captures the fractured perspectives of war. Scranton writes with honesty and authority about a complicated clash of weapons, politics, and culture. [War Porn] is an unflinching, and sometimes difficult, examination of humanity during wartime."
"An uncompromising look at the trauma of war."
"A kaleidoscopic view of war experience . . . Scranton’s literary skill and fierceness of vision make him a stout antagonist for anyone who wants to take him on."
About the Author
Roy Scranton is the author of War Porn and Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, and co-editor of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. His journalism, essays, and fiction have been published in The Nation, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Boston Review, and elsewhere. He holds a PhD in English from Princeton and an MA from the New School for Social Research, and teaches in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Cut to Iraq, and a soldier named Wilson, a failed poet and drifter from Oregon who joined the army after 9/11. If there is a central character, he's it, as we learn of his pre-Army life in short flashbacks which serve to emphasize his 'different-ness' from his fellow enlistees. Profanity-laced GI talk, with its usual gallows humor, political incorrectness and irreverence abounds as Wilson goes about his daily duties, patrolling, pulling gate duty, transferring prisoners and more, counting down the days 'til his personal hell is over.
And then, still in Iraq, we get a look at life on 'the other side,' as a timid Iraqi math professor and his extended family take center stage, first waiting for the American invasion, and then enduring it, caught up in a dark nightmarish madness and personal betrayals. This section alone sets WAR PORN apart to an extent, but it is not really new. This 'other side' viewpoint has already been used quite effectively in a few other novels: Helen Benedict's SAND QUEEN, Elliot Ackerman's GREEN ON BLUE, and, perhaps the best one of all, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya's THE WATCH, with its elements of Greek tragedy.
No, there are other things which make Scranton's story different. First. there are short seemingly nonsensical sections placed here and there throughout the narrative, each of them titled simply "Babylon," which confuse the reader and throw him off balance. Here's a sample -
"population of two already pleaded to be those targets on the edge of the gallbladder and transverse colon; only those acts which can be said to be half measures, the national Kalashnikovs with a gunshot wound through the rectum; and two with possible war seen war that will be fourteen more casualties arrived OPERATION SIDEWINDER CIA secret prisons at the military's Iraqi Advanced Trauma Life Support protocols for the administration of Bush's decision was over the last six ..."
Yes, shades of the mythical Tower of Babel, or perhaps the gobbledygook, or 'babble' you might have heard had you clicked quickly through the TV news channels in those early days of the war. Babylon was, after all, an early name for Iraq. The words of the fragmented reportage splatter the page like paint from a Pollock painting, but it works. Remember the conflicting reports, the half-truths, the 'spin,' the lies, the endless words, words, words ...
That's one thing that makes WAR PORN different. The other is much darker: the meaning of the title itself - dark video images of casual killing, torture and the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' so graphically and minutely described in a recent Iraq memoir, Eric Fair's CONSEQUENCE. Scranton takes those images and literally rubs the reader's face in them in a stunningly horrific concluding sequence.
WAR PORN is not an easy read. It will twist your gut and shock your sensibilities. You will come away shaken. And yet the war goes on and on. This is without a doubt an important contribution to the oeuvre of war lit. Very highly recommended.
- Tim Bazzett, author of the Cold War memoir, SOLDIER BOY: AT PLAY IN THE ASA
Dahlia and her friends are idealists with antiestablishment convictions that could be interpreted as youthful restiveness…or something else. They get together for what starts out to be a festive evening barbecue. Their guest is Matt, a National Guard soldier recently returned from the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He shares “war porn” with his hosts while all of them talk. It’s a not-so-innocent gesture that allows the author to explore the deeper meaning of many sensitive subjects.
For those who don’t know, “war porn” is a slang term intended to describe photographs and recorded video of actual combat that somebody looks at for what is said to be an unhealthy dose of amusement. People have been doing this sort of thing ever since cameras could be taken to a battlefield. Images of captive opponents or firefights may not be interesting to some, however; they can be quite fascinating to others. 21st Century social media and smart phones now make it very easy for anyone near violence or bad behavior to photograph what they see as it happens, uploading opinions and information to the internet almost immediately. Convenience and controversy with just one click.
Like many writers before him, Roy borrowed from his own wartime experience to achieve authenticity. Using the technique of a long flashback through many chapters, he gives the reader a taste of the invasion as he interprets it. Combat is portrayed in a raw style intended to get your attention. Pointless situations that do read like something recalled from the confusion of Vietnam after 1968 are presented with what I took to be sarcasm. A wandering lens looks in to the lives of Iraqis in great detail with much sympathy to showcase their fears and frustrations.
Parts of this story really can be taken at face value or and sifted for deeper meaning, as you see fit. Matt’s photos are the catalyst for the aforementioned flashback that allows Scranton to bring us his rendition of war—and—a carnal encounter with Dahlia that should be thought as more than it looks like. His decision to end his book with that moment says a lot about how they (Matt and Dahlia) value themselves and the lives of others. Are they so desensitized to violence that they [personally] have become selfish and uncaring? Or, is this meant to be the author’s indictment of society? No matter how you choose to consider these images, “War Porn” will be worth you time to read.