Jennifer Reese
October 12, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Farther Shore

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Matthew Eck
publisher
Milkweed Editions
genre
Fiction, War

We gave it a B+

This stark, sweat-soaked novel offers a grunt’s-eye view of a U.S. military escapade in an unnamed Third World country that sounds a lot like Somalia (where Army vet Matthew Eck served in the ’90s.) Narrator Joshua Stantz and his buddies are sent to restore order to the anarchic capital, but their commanders abandon them when the mission goes awry. Though it stars of like Black Hawk Down, The Farther Shore unexpectedly evolves into a surreal travelogue reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. While Eck remains fuzzy about what the misadventure means (or doesn’t), he has a sure grip on his characters; sensory experience of war. B+

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