War Porn by Roy Scranton

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It’s a point of view that also comes through in this forceful and unsettling book, though the novel is at its most persuasive not when Mr. Scranton is laboriously trying to illustrate his arguments but when he trusts his own myriad gifts as a storyteller.
-NY Times

Synopsis

"One of the best and most disturbing war novels in years." 
—The Wall Street Journal

“War porn,” n. Videos, images, and narratives featuring graphic violence, often brought back from combat zones, viewed voyeuristically or for emotional gratification. Such media are often presented and circulated without context, though they may be used as evidence of war crimes.
 
War porn is also, in Roy Scranton’s searing debut novel, a metaphor for the experience of war in the age of the War on Terror, the fracturing and fragmentation of perspective, time, and self that afflicts soldiers and civilians alike, the global networks and face-to-face moments that suture our fragmented lives together. In War Porn three lives fit inside one another like nesting dolls: a restless young woman at an end-of-summer barbecue in Utah; an American soldier in occupied Baghdad; and Qasim al-Zabadi, an Iraqi math professor, who faces the US invasion of his country with fear, denial, and perseverance. As War Porn cuts from America to Iraq and back again, as home and hell merge, we come to see America through the eyes of the occupied, even as we see Qasim become a prisoner of the occupation. Through the looking glass of War Porn, Scranton reveals the fragile humanity that connects Americans and Iraqis, torturers and the tortured, victors and their victims.
 

About Roy Scranton

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A war veteran, journalist, author, and Princeton PhD candidate, Roy Scranton has published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Boston Review, and Theory and Event, and has been interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air, among other media.
 
Published August 2, 2016 by Soho Press. 353 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for War Porn
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Aug 08 2016

It’s a point of view that also comes through in this forceful and unsettling book, though the novel is at its most persuasive not when Mr. Scranton is laboriously trying to illustrate his arguments but when he trusts his own myriad gifts as a storyteller.

Read Full Review of War Porn | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Aug 08 2016

It’s a point of view that also comes through in this forceful and unsettling book, though the novel is at its most persuasive not when Mr. Scranton is laboriously trying to illustrate his arguments but when he trusts his own myriad gifts as a storyteller.

Read Full Review of War Porn | See more reviews from NY Times

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Aug 15 2016

It’s a point of view that also comes through in this forceful and unsettling book, though the novel is at its most persuasive not when Scranton is labouriously trying to illustrate his arguments but when he trusts his own myriad gifts as a storyteller.

Read Full Review of War Porn | See more reviews from National Post arts