One of our Books of the Year 2016.
A stunning concept where 41 inanimate objects relate the story of a soldier, Captain Tom Barnes. From training, through Afghanistan and a land mine that leaves him an amputee to his rehabilitation, mending and eventual accepting of prosthetic limbs. Powerful, heartbreaking, hypnotic and very unusual, we see the soldier’s life and that of a couple of local lads, one whose father helps the ‘infidels’ and one an insurgent. All three fates are tragically linked. The objects the author chooses to speak to us are interestingly chosen. We have the obvious such as odd bits of kit and surgical equipment but also get the mundane such as Tom’s mother’s red handbag, the razor he uses to tidy himself up with for his grandparents visit, a photo, a letter, money used by the military as compensation, the carpet the local family sit on and, I’ve said 34 others. It is highly intriguing and surprisingly tender.
March 2016 Debut of the Month.
Captain Tom Barnes is leading British troops in a war zone. Two boys are growing up there, sharing a prized bicycle and flying kites, before finding themselves separated once the soldiers appear in their countryside. On all sides of this conflict, people are about to be caught up in the violence, from the man who trains one boy to fight the infidel invaders to Barnes' family waiting for him to return home. We see them not as they see themselves, but as all the objects surrounding them do: shoes and boots, a helmet, a trove of dollars, a drone, that bike, weaponry, a bag of fertilizer, a medal, a beer glass, a snowflake, dog tags, an exploding IED and the medical implements that are subsequently employed. Anatomy of a Soldier is a moving, enlightening and fiercely dramatic novel about one man's journey of survival and the experiences of those around him. Forty-five objects, one unforgettable story. A brilliant book, direct from the battle zone.
'A brilliant book, direct from the battle zone.' Edna O'Brien
'Compassionate and compelling ...The language has a clarity about it that elevates it to the beautiful.' Kate Hamer
'A tour de force ...It feels like war through the looking glass but it is utterly real.' Nadeem Aslam
Publication date: 25/02/2016
Publisher: Faber & Faber
|Publication date:||25th February 2016|
|Publisher:||Faber & Faber|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Harry Parker grew up in Wiltshire. He was educated at Falmouth College of Art and University College London. He joined the British Army when he was 23 and served in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009 as a Captain. He is now a writer and artist and lives in London. Author photo credit Gemma DayMore About Harry Parker