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Michael Pitre is a graduate of LSU, where, as a double major in history and creative writing, he studied with Andrei Codrescu and Mark Jude Poirier. He joined the US Marines in 2002, deploying twice to Iraq and attaining the rank of Captain before leaving the service in 2010 to get his MBA at Loyola. He lives in New Orleans. Fives and Twenty-Fives is his first novel.
It is the early months of the Arab Spring, 2011. But for three young men, two American and one Iraqi, their minds return again and again to 2006, to the bloodiest stretch of the Iraq War. Members of the same platoon, they were tasked with the often deadly job of repairing potholes in the roads of the Al Anbar Province: potholes that almost always concealed a home-made bomb. They have survived the war but now they must learn to live with themselves. As they struggle to find their place in a world that no longer knows them, they realise that the war has left nothing in their lives untouched and that salvation may come from an unexpected quarter.