American Warrior

American Warrior

5.0 2
by James Snyder
     
 

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The year is 1961. America has a new president, named John F. Kennedy, and a new era the newspapers are calling the Dawn of Camelot. But for ten-year-old Paul Brett, dealing with an abusive father and the immigrant gangs roaming his slum neighborhood of China Slough, America is only a small, dead-end place he is struggling to survive.

That is, until the night a

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Overview

The year is 1961. America has a new president, named John F. Kennedy, and a new era the newspapers are calling the Dawn of Camelot. But for ten-year-old Paul Brett, dealing with an abusive father and the immigrant gangs roaming his slum neighborhood of China Slough, America is only a small, dead-end place he is struggling to survive.

That is, until the night a mysterious stranger comes out of the darkness to his rescue, and initiates a journey--an unforgettable odyssey--beyond his wildest imagination.

From his unlikely beginnings in a brutal California migrant camp, into the darkest underbelly of a distant and unpopular war, to his final and, perhaps, most deadly struggle for survival inside the bowels of a near-medieval military prison, American Warrior follows this amazing journey of one young hero from boyhood to manhood, and from love lost, to his final and most incredible attempts to regain that love.

"A fast-paced...thoroughly engrossing story of a journey through pain and violence." Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-21
In this military thriller, a boy grows to maturity with violence, first at home, as its victim, and, finally, through martial arts and the military, as its master. As a child in the 1960s, Paul Brett was often beaten by his vicious, drunk father. On his paper route he meets a man named Draeger, who teaches him pentjak silat--Indonesian martial arts. By the end of high school, Paul masters the techniques of this discipline. A run-in with the law leads him to enlist in the Army. He ends up in Vietnam with the Green Berets, operating secretly behind enemy lines in Laos. One mission goes horribly wrong; Paul goes AWOL, but he's captured and thrown into a military prison in Maine, where he has to fight for his life to survive. This book is hard to put down, and at times, especially during scenes set in Vietnam, the realism is startling and palpable. The challenges of Paul's life--emotional, physical and psychological--are compelling. First-time novelist Snyder uses a spare, direct vocabulary for the action scenes, though he sometimes switches to an elevated tone ("fathomless despair," "mother's watery womb") that jars. And there are narrative gaps. After Paul begins his martial arts training, any mention of his home life ceases until many years have passed, including a pivotal incident when he first confronts his father's abuse. After Draeger dies, Paul drops martial arts, an important part of his identity, and pentjak silat isn't mentioned again until he is in prison, many years later. The fight scenes at the prison mostly take the form of visions, presented via various images, but are sketched with too little description of the physical confrontations. A fast-paced, sometimes uneven, thoroughly engrossing story of a journey through pain and violence.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780741423207
Publisher:
Infinity Publishing
Publication date:
12/30/2004
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.71(d)

Meet the Author

James Snyder was born in Memphis, Tennessee and fell in love with the cadence and sound of storytelling as a child, listening to the meandering tales of his Southern grandmothers and great aunts. While still a child, his family moved to Napa Valley, California where he attended middle and high school, and began taking writing classes at the local college. He left after a year to join the military, and was a soldier with a tactical mobile operations unit in Germany. It was there, while pulling a Harz mountaintop guard duty one night during a snowstorm, he had the chance encounter with another soldier that ultimately became the genesis for his military thriller, American Warrior.

His second novel is the suspense thriller, Desolation Run. In addition, he has just released the YA trilogy, The Beautiful-Ugly.

"Berlin Diaries" is his blog at JamesSnyder.net where he further discusses the backgrounds of his writings.

He currently lives in Texas.

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