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The Watch

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The Watch Cover

ISBN13: 9780307955890
ISBN10: 0307955893
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

   Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother’s body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic, or is she what she claims to be: a grieving young sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? Single-minded in her mission, she refuses to move from her spot on the field in full view of every soldier in the stark outpost. Her presence quickly proves dangerous as the camp’s tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil when the men begin arguing about what to do next.

   Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya’s heartbreaking and haunting novel, The Watch, takes a timeless tragedy and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. Taking its cues from the Antigone myth, Roy-Bhattacharya brilliantly recreates the chaos, intensity, and immediacy of battle, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers, their families, and by one sister. The result is a gripping tour through the reality of this very contemporary conflict, and our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of war.

Learn more at wwww.joydeeproybhattacharya.com 

Review:

"When a vicious firefight erupts after the Taliban attack a mountainous, remote American military garrison, Combat Outpost Tarsândan in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, the American forces suffer heavy losses, including their popular Lt. Nick Frobenius. Then Nizam, a legless Pashtun girl, scuttles up on the 'bleak wasteland' battlefield with a request to bury her slain Pashtun brother according to the tenets of their faith. The straitlaced leader, Capt. Evan Connolly, rejects her claim that her brother wasn't a Taliban commander and orders the obstinate, proud girl to leave. Her refusal triggers a bizarre, poignant two-day standoff between the girl and the U.S. military, during which the Americans begin to doubt their purpose in Afghanistan. The officers and GIs, seeing the folly of their mission, lobby Connolly to give the body, which the U.S. military plans to use for anti-Taliban propaganda purposes, to Nizam for a proper interment. Seamless time shifts illuminate the well-drawn stories of many soldiers, the most thorough of which is assembled from the journals kept by Lieutenant Frobenius, a classics scholar. Every war spawns its major literary works, and Roy-Bhattacharya's (The Storyteller of Marrakesh) powerful, modern take on the Afghanistan armed conflict resonates with the echoes of Joseph Heller, Tim O'Brien, and Robert Stone. Agent: Nicole Aragi, the Aragi Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

<p class="MsoNormal">In this powerful novel set in contemporary Kandahar, an Afghan woman approaches an American military base to demand the return of her brother's body.

 

At a stark outpost in the Kandahar mountain range, a team of American soldiers watches a young Afghan woman approach. She has come to beg for the return of her brother's body. The camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next. Taking its cue from the Antigone myth, this significant, eloquent novel re-creates the chaos, intensity, and immediacy of war, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers and their families--especially one sister.

Synopsis:

In this powerful novel set in contemporary Kandahar, an Afghan woman approaches an American military base to demand the return of her brother's body.

   Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar is  faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother's body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic, or what she claims to be: a grieving sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites?  As she persists, single-minded in her mission, the camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next.

     The Watch takes an age-old story--the myth of Antigone--and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan.  The result is a gripping, deeply affecting book that brilliantly exposes the realities of war. It is also our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of this very contemporary conflict.

About the Author

JOYDEEP ROY-BHATTACHARYA was born in Jamshedpur, India, and educated in politics and philosophy at Calcutta University and the University of Pennsylvania. His novels The Gabriel Club and The Storyteller of Marrakesh have been published in eleven languages in sixteen countries.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

techeditor, June 16, 2012 (view all comments by techeditor)
THE WATCH by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya was named one of the best books of June 2012 by amazon.com. Sometimes I think amazon.com’s choices are based on what they feel people SHOULD read rather than what would truly engross them. This is one of those times.

Told from the various points of view of major players in the story, this is about an incident in Afghanistan between an army platoon there and an Afghan woman. THE WATCH’s first chapter is the woman’s point of view when she comes within 500 meters of an army compound and tells them she is there to bury her brother. Subsequent chapters, each told from the point of view of different army platoon members, tell us what happened before her arrival and continues with their reactions after she refuses to leave.

Before the arrival of the Afghan woman, there had been a fierce firefight when that army base was attacked by Afghan insurgents. Platoon members are now suspicious of this woman’s arrival so soon after. Who is she really? Is she here to aid the Taliban? Is she a suicide bomber?

These men, tense and exhausted from the firefight to the point of seeing things, must now decide what to do about this woman. What's right and wrong?

You could say this book is an expression of the ugliness of war. Eventually, you will see it more as an expression of the futility of our presence in the Middle East. When you get to that point, you’re in for a lot of preaching. It gets tiresome.

I did not find this story engrossing or a page turner as some reviewers describe it and as amazon.com sees it. But I can see why many reviewers, probably those who liked the preaching, feel everyone should read it. I just don’t think that should be the reason they give it high ratings.

This review is of an ARC I won through the goodreads.com “First Reads” program.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307955890
Author:
Roy Bhattacharya, Joydeep
Publisher:
Hogarth
Author:
Roy-Bhattacharya, Joydeep
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20120631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.55 x 6.55 x 1.07 in 1.28 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

The Watch Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Hogarth - English 9780307955890 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When a vicious firefight erupts after the Taliban attack a mountainous, remote American military garrison, Combat Outpost Tarsândan in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, the American forces suffer heavy losses, including their popular Lt. Nick Frobenius. Then Nizam, a legless Pashtun girl, scuttles up on the 'bleak wasteland' battlefield with a request to bury her slain Pashtun brother according to the tenets of their faith. The straitlaced leader, Capt. Evan Connolly, rejects her claim that her brother wasn't a Taliban commander and orders the obstinate, proud girl to leave. Her refusal triggers a bizarre, poignant two-day standoff between the girl and the U.S. military, during which the Americans begin to doubt their purpose in Afghanistan. The officers and GIs, seeing the folly of their mission, lobby Connolly to give the body, which the U.S. military plans to use for anti-Taliban propaganda purposes, to Nizam for a proper interment. Seamless time shifts illuminate the well-drawn stories of many soldiers, the most thorough of which is assembled from the journals kept by Lieutenant Frobenius, a classics scholar. Every war spawns its major literary works, and Roy-Bhattacharya's (The Storyteller of Marrakesh) powerful, modern take on the Afghanistan armed conflict resonates with the echoes of Joseph Heller, Tim O'Brien, and Robert Stone. Agent: Nicole Aragi, the Aragi Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , <p class="MsoNormal">In this powerful novel set in contemporary Kandahar, an Afghan woman approaches an American military base to demand the return of her brother's body.

 

At a stark outpost in the Kandahar mountain range, a team of American soldiers watches a young Afghan woman approach. She has come to beg for the return of her brother's body. The camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next. Taking its cue from the Antigone myth, this significant, eloquent novel re-creates the chaos, intensity, and immediacy of war, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers and their families--especially one sister.

"Synopsis" by , In this powerful novel set in contemporary Kandahar, an Afghan woman approaches an American military base to demand the return of her brother's body.

   Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar is  faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother's body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic, or what she claims to be: a grieving sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites?  As she persists, single-minded in her mission, the camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next.

     The Watch takes an age-old story--the myth of Antigone--and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan.  The result is a gripping, deeply affecting book that brilliantly exposes the realities of war. It is also our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of this very contemporary conflict.

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