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“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, and 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.

Reviews

Praise for War Porn "What impresses is the brutal immediacy of the writing, its authority. Roy Scranton is a truth telling war writer." —E.L. Doctorow, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Ragtime and The March "I have never read a book like War Porn. Roy Scranton writes with unnerving power. There is much to admire here—the meticulous craftsmanship, the hysterical comic passages, the way the sheer audacity of vision is matched at every turn by the innovative skill to carry it out—but what I'm left with at the end is difficult to put into words. It's intense and troubling. It's what all truly excellent literature leaves you with. A sense of something shattering." —Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment "War Porn is dire, savage, and brilliant, a simmering fever-dream of a novel that's as pure and true in its vision of the long war as anything I've read.  Roy Scranton is merciless—and why should he be anything but? War's corruption soaks through every layer of life, and War Porn drives home that truth with unflinching, and ultimately harrowing, honesty." —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Flynn's Long Halftime Walk  "This book is truly unique—true in its fidelity to fact, unique in the depth of its empathy. In prose that rises to aphoristic, coruscating brilliance, Iraq vet Roy Scranton has painted, in words, the equivalent of Goya's war etchings. A rare and genuine masterpiece." —Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, author of The Watch and The Storyteller of Marrakesh "A harrowing novel of the Iraq invasion and occupation, WAR PORN exposes the dark heart of that war for all to see. Brilliant and stark, WAR PORN is that rare book that demands to be read out of sheer significance—a stunning accomplishment." —Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood

Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781616957155

    August 18, 2016

    Soho Press

    352 pages

    RRP $50.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Trade Paperback

    9781616958336

    August 15, 2017

    Soho Press

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

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