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Extended Audio Sample Green on Blue, by Elliot Ackerman Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elliot Ackerman Narrator: Piter Marek Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Aziz and his older brother Ali are coming of age in a tiny village in the pine forests and endless mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There is no school, but their mother teaches them to read and write, and once a month she sends the boys on a two-day journey to the bazaar in Orgun. The family is not “large or prosperous,” but, inside their mud-walled home, they have stability and routine. This is all destroyed in a single day when a convoy of armed men arrive in their village. Aziz and Ali elude these militants, but, in a random act of violence, their parents are taken from them. The boys make their way to Orgun, where they sleep among the orphans in the surrounding hills. They learn to beg, and eventually they earn work and trust from the local shopkeepers. Ali saves their money and sends Aziz to school at the madrassa.

When United States forces invade the country, the militants launch increasingly brutal attacks, and the brothers find themselves caught in a deadly conflict whose shape they barely comprehend. After Ali is horribly disfigured in a militant bombing, Aziz meets an Afghan wearing an American uniform in the hospital and is recruited into the Special Lashkar, a US-funded militia. Driven by a desire for revenge and a need to provide for his brother, Aziz—no longer a boy but not yet a man—departs for the untamed border region to train as a soldier. Trapped in a conflict both savage and entirely contrived, Aziz struggles to understand his place in this world. Will he embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind and risk placing his brother—and a young woman he comes to love—in jeopardy?

A former Marine and CIA officer, Elliot Ackerman has written a gripping, morally complex debut novel—an astounding act of empathy and imagination about the duplicitous nature of war.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Green on Blue is harrowing, brutal, and utterly absorbing. With spare prose, Ackerman has spun a morally complex tale of revenge, loyalty, and brotherly love. The saga of young Aziz is a chilling and often disturbing glimpse into one of the world’s most troubled regions.”

    Khaled Hosseini, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner

  • “What makes Green on Blue so brilliantly poignant is Elliot Ackerman’s feeling of empathy, his ability to get under his characters’ skin, reminding us not only of our vast differences but of our shared humanity.”

    Azar Nafisi, New York Times bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • “In all too many accounts of the Afghan War, the Afghan people caught in the cross-fire are rendered invisible. Elliot Ackerman’s eye-opening Green on Blue places them front and center, taking us into the life of a Pashtun orphan navigating the impossible choices offered to him by the brutal realities of his war-torn country. An incisive and moving glimpse into the human consequences of decades of conflict.”

    Phil Klay, 2014 National Book Award Winner

  • Green on Blue is a remarkable achievement, a novel of war, betrayal, love, and honor that feels equally timeless and timely. Aleksander Solzhenitsyn once wrote that the line dividing good and evil doesn’t run between nations, but through every human heart. Elliot Ackerman traces that shifting line with enormous empathy and intelligence.”

    Anthony Marra, award-winning author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

  • “For so many years the war has been about ‘us’ and ‘them,’ but Green on Blue blows open the standard narrative by showing just how fluid and fraught that distinction can be. If we’re tempted to think this war has been simple and clean, Ackerman’s unflinching novel should wake us up to the messy, heartbreaking reality of it all.”

    Ben Fountain, award-winning author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

  • Green on Blue is a novel that conveys, with harrowing power, the fallout that decades of war…has had on [Afghanistan’s] people, and at the same time, it’s a kind of Greek tragedy about the cycles of revenge and violence that can consume families and tribes, generation after generation…a bone-deep understanding of the toll that a seemingly endless war has taken on ordinary Afghans who have known no other reality for decades.”

    New York Times

  • “Ackemna’s novel is bleak and uncompromising, a powerful war story that borders on the noir.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author

Elliot Ackerman served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. A former White House fellow, his essays and fiction have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New Republic, and Ecotone, among others. He currently lives in Istanbul with his family and writes on the Syrian Civil War.