Fives and Twenty-fives

Fives and Twenty-fives

A Novel

Book - 2015
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"It's the rule--always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead. Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine's life in the road repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger. Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there's Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture--from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries--is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country. Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them. A debut both transcendent and rooted in the flesh, Fives and Twenty-Fives is a deeply necessary novel."--
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2014.
ISBN: 9781620407554
Branch Call Number: PITRE
Characteristics: 380 pages : map ; 21 cm


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PimaLib_StephanieM May 18, 2015

I am not normally drawn to stories about war (current or historical) but I am glad I followed up on a friend's advice to read this. If you enjoy a character-driven narrative you will appreciate the depth to which you get to know each of the people from whose differing perspectives the story is told. The story takes place at the beginning of the war which made it easier for me to recognize the place names and events recounted in the book; enough time has passed that these details are well-understood by most people who follow the news. After reading it, I had a new appreciation for what it might be like for veterans returning home not necessarily with PTSD but still with personal struggles that only war creates.

Feb 21, 2015

For a first time writer, Pitre has done a good job of depicting what happened in Iraq during the war. I liked the way he went back & forth between the 4 major characters, telling of their current post war lives & then reflecting back to the war itself & what they faced being a bomb investigation convoy.

ChristchurchLib Oct 19, 2014

"When you're in a Marine platoon dispatched to repair roads in Iraq, fives and twenty-fives are important -- they mark the distance, in meters, at which roadside bombs can kill. In this debut novel, written by an Iraq War veteran, we hear the stories of the platoon leader, who feels isolated by his rank; the medic, unravelled by the deaths of friends; and their Iraqi interpreter, who both loves and hates what America represents. Fives and Twenty-Fives jumps back and forth between their time in Iraq and their present in the U.S. (or Tunisia, in the case of the asylum-seeking interpreter), and movingly captures the horrors of war and the difficulties of returning to civilian life." Fiction A to Z October 2014 newsletter

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