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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Book of Jonas

by

The Book of Jonas Cover

ISBN13: 9780399158452
ISBN10: 0399158456
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

An exceptional debut novel about a young Muslim war orphan whose family is killed in a military operation gone wrong, and the American soldier to whom his fate, and survival, is bound.

Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Muslim country. With the help of an international relief organization, he is sent to America, where he struggles to assimilate-foster family, school, a first love. Eventually, he tells a court-mandated counselor and therapist about a U.S. soldier, Christopher Henderson, responsible for saving his life on the tragic night in question. Christopher's mother, Rose, has dedicated her life to finding out what really happened to her son, who disappeared after the raid in which Jonas' village was destroyed. When Jonas meets Rose, a shocking and painful secret gradually surfaces from the past, and builds to a shattering conclusion that haunts long after the final page. Told in spare, evocative prose, The Book of Jonas is about memory, about the terrible choices made during war, and about what happens when foreign disaster appears at our own doorstep. It is a rare and virtuosic novel from an exciting new writer to watch.

Review:

"In his debut novel, Dau chronicles the human cost of war with the alternating stories of Jonas, a teenager who loses his family in an American raid on an unnamed Muslim country; Christopher, a soldier involved in the attack and since MIA; and Rose, Christopher's mother, a woman dedicated to discovering what happened to her son. After the brutal attack on his village, an aid agency sends Jonas to live with a football-loving family in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he attends high school. After Jonas assaults another student, he begins seeing a court-ordered counselor specializing in PTSD. In time, Jonas reveals his connection to Christopher, claiming that without the soldier he 'probably would not have survived,' but evading other questions about the extent of their relationship. Short, sometimes contrived chapters moving between Jonas, Christopher, and Rose propel the novel quickly through time toward the truth about the attack. Intriguing characters reveal the effects of war on both victim and victimizer, and raise important questions about the emotional implications of modern warfare. Agent: Henry Dunow, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Dau sketches Jonas brilliantly, empathetically, writing with spare, clear language in the third person, a point of view encompassing the distance necessary for emotional clarity. Rich with symbolism, marvelously descriptive in language...Dau's novel offers deeply resonating truths about war and culture, about family and loss that only art can reveal. A literary tour de force." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"That the human cost of war includes not only those who die but also those whose fate it is to live unhinged from all that they know is the truth at the heart of The Book of Jonas. In elegant, pitch-perfect prose, Dau charts the paths of three such displaced persons with a restraint that only heightens their emotional turmoil. Jonas himself is an unforgettable character through whose eyes we see the intricacies of war's deceptions. This is an utterly riveting debut." Marisa Silver, author of The God of War, Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist

Review:

"A powerful and stunning debut. The Book of Jonas is a deeply moving story of the human cost of conflict and the ways in which we never really leave the worst moments of our lives. Stephen Dau writes with remarkable precision, vitality and honesty." Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo

Review:

"The Book of Jonas is a vivid portrait of a distant war we might scarcely be able to imagine. It challenges our assumptions about the survivors of war, and about guilt, justice, and memory. This is first rate, original, powerful storytelling." Jean Thompson, National Book Award finalist and author of The Year We Left Home

Review:

"This is first rate, original, powerful storytelling." Jean Thompson, National Book Award finalist and author of The Year We Left Home

Review:

"The artfully crafted story zeroes in on those seconds when decisions are made, sometimes with terrifying consequences." Kathleen Daley, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

Review:

"Dau does a beautiful job of creating tales shrouded in mystery, filled with pain and suffering … A modern, Citizen Kane like morality play about war, death, ordinary people, hope and forgiveness." Shelf Awareness

Synopsis:

Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. An international relief organization sends Jonas to America, where he struggles to assimilate—adapting to his foster family, high school, a first love. Jonas meets Rose Henderson, the mother of the U.S. soldier responsible for saving his life. Christopher Henderson disappeared after the raid that destroyed Jonas’s village, and Rose yearns to know the truth. Gradually, a shocking and painful secret emerges.

In spare, evocative prose, debut novelist Stephen Dau crafts a virtuosic novel about memory, the terrible choices made during war, and what happens when foreign disaster arrives at our own doorstep.

Synopsis:

An exceptional debut novel about a young Muslim war orphan whose family is killed in a military operation gone wrong, and the American soldier to whom his fate, and survival, is bound.

Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Muslim country. With the help of an international relief organization, he is sent to America, where he struggles to assimilate-foster family, school, a first love. Eventually, he tells a court-mandated counselor and therapist about a U.S. soldier, Christopher Henderson, responsible for saving his life on the tragic night in question. Christopher's mother, Rose, has dedicated her life to finding out what really happened to her son, who disappeared after the raid in which Jonas' village was destroyed. When Jonas meets Rose, a shocking and painful secret gradually surfaces from the past, and builds to a shattering conclusion that haunts long after the final page. Told in spare, evocative prose, The Book of Jonas is about memory, about the terrible choices made during war, and about what happens when foreign disaster appears at our own doorstep. It is a rare and virtuosic novel from an exciting new writer to watch.

About the Author

Stephen Dau is from Western Pennsylvania and lives in Brussels. He worked for ten years in post-war reconstruction and international development prior to studying creative writing, at Johns Hopkins University and Bennington, where he received an MFA. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on MSNBC, and elsewhere. The Book of Jonas is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

flipper, January 26, 2013 (view all comments by flipper)
Such a moving and uplifting story. In our times of war and the true meaning of freedom, this book brings so much hope.
Extremely well written, powerful and full of emotion. A book to ponder over and over in these times of ours.
Symbolic and poetic, a must read. A reminder to cherish the moments we have and help others do the same.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
The Loopy Librarian, June 22, 2012 (view all comments by The Loopy Librarian)
The Book of Jonas is an elegantly written book that stimulates thought and emotion while challenging conventional viewpoints on war and religion. While I didn't necessarily agree with the actions or beliefs of the main characters, I was fascinated and empathetic. The sparse prose and short chapters meant no word was wasted and the story moved quickly between past and present and various points of view. I was profoundly moved by this engrossing book that packed a powerful punch in nearly poetic fashion.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Erin Duffin, April 10, 2012 (view all comments by Erin Duffin)
This was such a good book, and I'm so glad I got it through Indiespensable! It's extremely relevant to our times, and is also a quick read. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a different perspective.
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View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399158452
Author:
Dau, Stephen
Publisher:
Blue Rider Press
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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The Book of Jonas Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Blue Rider Press - English 9780399158452 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his debut novel, Dau chronicles the human cost of war with the alternating stories of Jonas, a teenager who loses his family in an American raid on an unnamed Muslim country; Christopher, a soldier involved in the attack and since MIA; and Rose, Christopher's mother, a woman dedicated to discovering what happened to her son. After the brutal attack on his village, an aid agency sends Jonas to live with a football-loving family in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he attends high school. After Jonas assaults another student, he begins seeing a court-ordered counselor specializing in PTSD. In time, Jonas reveals his connection to Christopher, claiming that without the soldier he 'probably would not have survived,' but evading other questions about the extent of their relationship. Short, sometimes contrived chapters moving between Jonas, Christopher, and Rose propel the novel quickly through time toward the truth about the attack. Intriguing characters reveal the effects of war on both victim and victimizer, and raise important questions about the emotional implications of modern warfare. Agent: Henry Dunow, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Dau sketches Jonas brilliantly, empathetically, writing with spare, clear language in the third person, a point of view encompassing the distance necessary for emotional clarity. Rich with symbolism, marvelously descriptive in language...Dau's novel offers deeply resonating truths about war and culture, about family and loss that only art can reveal. A literary tour de force."
"Review" by , "That the human cost of war includes not only those who die but also those whose fate it is to live unhinged from all that they know is the truth at the heart of The Book of Jonas. In elegant, pitch-perfect prose, Dau charts the paths of three such displaced persons with a restraint that only heightens their emotional turmoil. Jonas himself is an unforgettable character through whose eyes we see the intricacies of war's deceptions. This is an utterly riveting debut."
"Review" by , "A powerful and stunning debut. The Book of Jonas is a deeply moving story of the human cost of conflict and the ways in which we never really leave the worst moments of our lives. Stephen Dau writes with remarkable precision, vitality and honesty."
"Review" by , "The Book of Jonas is a vivid portrait of a distant war we might scarcely be able to imagine. It challenges our assumptions about the survivors of war, and about guilt, justice, and memory. This is first rate, original, powerful storytelling."
"Review" by , "This is first rate, original, powerful storytelling."
"Review" by , "The artfully crafted story zeroes in on those seconds when decisions are made, sometimes with terrifying consequences."
"Review" by , "Dau does a beautiful job of creating tales shrouded in mystery, filled with pain and suffering … A modern, Citizen Kane like morality play about war, death, ordinary people, hope and forgiveness."
"Synopsis" by ,
Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. An international relief organization sends Jonas to America, where he struggles to assimilate—adapting to his foster family, high school, a first love. Jonas meets Rose Henderson, the mother of the U.S. soldier responsible for saving his life. Christopher Henderson disappeared after the raid that destroyed Jonas’s village, and Rose yearns to know the truth. Gradually, a shocking and painful secret emerges.

In spare, evocative prose, debut novelist Stephen Dau crafts a virtuosic novel about memory, the terrible choices made during war, and what happens when foreign disaster arrives at our own doorstep.

"Synopsis" by ,

An exceptional debut novel about a young Muslim war orphan whose family is killed in a military operation gone wrong, and the American soldier to whom his fate, and survival, is bound.

Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Muslim country. With the help of an international relief organization, he is sent to America, where he struggles to assimilate-foster family, school, a first love. Eventually, he tells a court-mandated counselor and therapist about a U.S. soldier, Christopher Henderson, responsible for saving his life on the tragic night in question. Christopher's mother, Rose, has dedicated her life to finding out what really happened to her son, who disappeared after the raid in which Jonas' village was destroyed. When Jonas meets Rose, a shocking and painful secret gradually surfaces from the past, and builds to a shattering conclusion that haunts long after the final page. Told in spare, evocative prose, The Book of Jonas is about memory, about the terrible choices made during war, and about what happens when foreign disaster appears at our own doorstep. It is a rare and virtuosic novel from an exciting new writer to watch.

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