If you have not fought in Iraq, nothing will ever allow you to know what it was like – but Redeployment by Phil Klay will get you agonizingly close. His short stories show the unbridgeable gulf between those who’ve been there, and those who haven’t. One wonders – will it ever be possible for a veteran who has been redeployed two or three or more times to relate to a civilian... or the reverse. The veterans in his brief chapters often lie, apparently thinking: “Why bother to tell it as it was; they’ll never never understand.” In "Fire in the Furnace," an outstanding vignette (but they all are) a priest sees on a soldier’s face “the space where rage ends and violence begins.” The priest is trapped in a Catch-22 of morality ... and listens to soldiers who wonder if he and they will be forgiven – and by whom. This is a brilliant evocation of war and leaves you wondering if we will be forgiven for entering into it.
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