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Publisher's Summary

From a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghan Wars and White House fellow, a stirring debut novel about a young Afghan orphan and the harrowing, intractable nature of war.

Aziz and his older brother, Ali, are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and endless mountains of Eastern Afghanistan. There is no school, but their mother teaches them to read and write and once a month sends the boys on a two-day journey to the bazaar. They are poor, but inside their mud-walled home, the family has stability, love, and routine.

When a convoy of armed men arrives in their village one day, their world crumbles. The boys survive and make their way to a small city, where they sleep among other orphans. They learn to beg, and eventually they earn work and trust from the local shopkeepers. Ali saves their money and sends Aziz to school at the madrassa, but when U.S. forces invade the country, militants strike back. A bomb explodes in the market, and Ali is brutally injured.

In the hospital Aziz meets an Afghan wearing an American uniform. To save his brother, Aziz must join the Special Lashkar, a U.S.-funded militia. No longer a boy but not yet a man, he departs for the untamed border. Trapped in a conflict both savage and entirely contrived, Aziz struggles to understand his place. Will he embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind,and risk placing his brother - and a young woman he comes to love - in jeopardy?

A former Marine and CIA officer, Elliot Ackerman has written a gripping, morally complex debut novel, an astounding act of empathy and imagination about the duplicitous nature of war.

©2015 Elliot Ackerman (P)2015 Recorded Books

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  • Ann
  • BELTON, TX, United States
  • 03-04-15

A Young Man. An Old War.

War is never simple. Allegiances are never static. This is a revealing look at our involvement in the Middle East from an Afghan perspective.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The choices we make

Any additional comments?

Everything has its price! Does it? How much does a human life cost and who determines what is it? What would you do, if both of your parents were killed, your house destroyed, and your brother handicapped because of an explosion carried out by someone you don’t even know?! Would you seek vengeance on an unknown enemy for the death and maiming of the loved ones by joining the war? An eye for an eye.. A vicious circle… Where does it end? or does it go forever until we are all blind? Are you a believer in “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”? Or, do you forgive and forget? <br/><br/>“Green on Blue” is a wonderfully emotional, inspiring and eye-opening story about a young man, named Aziz, who becomes a victim of the circumstances. A victim of the horrors of modern day war in Afghanistan, he learns that the enemy that he fights is an “invented" enemy; one created by the “higher powers” to support the war effort. Vividly written and beautifully narrated, the story takes us to a different world, a world of a foreign soldier who has to make difficult choices to survive. If you are interested in getting another perspective about the events you often learn about from the news, “Green on Blue” is a great choice.

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Reminded me of Things Fall Apart

This book reminded me, in its tone and structure, of Things Fall Apart. The reason I say this is because, for the most part, it is a pretty conventionally-told, straightforward story of one man’s life. Granted, the settings are completely different, but the attention to the details of everyday is similar, and the way the characters sort of succumb to their lot in life. And then, at the end of each book, something happens and the reader suddenly gets the horrible, agonizing significance of everything that has gone before. It is crushingly sad and depressing, but real and true.

[I listened to this as an audio book read by Piter Marek who did a very good job.]

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Okay, So Now What?

Performance was fine. Okay story. I guess. Illustrative of what; that your perception of events is impacted by your starting point? Or that these poor folks are screwed by fate, each other and, not wanting to get left out, by us too? Maybe I missed the intent. Wouldn't be the first time. Won't be the last. Read it and judge for yourself..

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Not worth it

Gutted my way thru this. Waste of time. Like Afghanistan itself - it's just not worth the investment. Wish I could get my time and money back.