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Spoils Audiobook, by Brian Van Reet Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Brian Van Reet Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella, Armando Durán, Andrew Eiden Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2017 ISBN: 9781478966302
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This highly charged debut transports readers to Fallujah during the Iraq War, where, with scalpel-like precision and extraordinary empathy for his characters, Van Reet casts an unflinching eye on the theater of war and on the blurred lines between good and bad, soldier and civilian, and victor and vanquished.

Spoils depicts a few short weeks in the lives of three people involved in the war in drastically different ways. Cassandra, an American soldier, is captured from her artillery unit during a firefight and forced to endure a brutal captivity as a POW. Abu al-Hool is a fierce mujahideen, a veteran of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and Chechnya, whose power is being eroded by the next wave of super-radicalized jihadists (those brutal enough to behead their prisoners … and circulate the video to the world). Finally, there is Sleed, a young soldier haunted by the knowledge that he was searching one of Saddam’s palaces for a gold-toilet-seat souvenir as his fellow soldiers were ambushed.

In dazzling prose Van Reet maps the vivid interior lives and traces the motivations and desires of these combatants on both sides of a war that is spinning increasingly out of control. The result is an unsparing and unforgettable novel that belongs alongside modern war classics such as The Yellow Birds, Redeployment, and The Things They Carried.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brian Van Reet’s beautiful, intense, and at times disturbing novel Spoils traces the motivations and desires of combatants on both sides of the Iraq War, showing us what happens when increasing violence and chaos start to warp the choices they’re able to make.”

    Phil Klay, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A superb debut.”

    The Guardian
  • Vivid and fierce, Spoils is an eloquent exploration of humanity. Depicting a world with no obvious villains or heroes, this novel is as important as it is timely. By exploring the nuances of motivation, loyalty, and sacrifice, Van Reet exposes the connections that bind us across even the greatest divides. Virginia Reeves, author of Work Like Any Other
  • “Clear, authentic, and beautifully written, Spoils is a book about war for people who don’t like books about war.”

    Anne Enright, author of The Green Road and The Gathering

  • Moving immediately into the pantheon of first-rate war novels, Spoils reads like a nightmare within a tragedy, a story that is both touchingly classic and brutally modern. This is a definitive record of the war that marked the end of the American Empire. One of the best novels of our time in the Middle East.

    Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author

  • I read this with awe. Spoils is a harrowing and incredibly powerful debut which shows war in all its complexity and viciousness and which attempts to humanize it through extraordinary and conflicted characters. The female soldier Cassandra Wigheard is superbly drawn and her relationship with the young Jihadist will stay with me for a long time.

    Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author

  • With Spoils Brian Van Reet has given readers an intensely moving novel. That it is also a nearly comprehensive examination of our modern wars is a remarkable demonstration of both the power and relevance of fiction.

    Kevin Powers, New York Times bestselling author

  • The brilliance of Brian Van Reet's Spoils lies not only in the sheer forward-motion velocity of its plotting, but in the psychological terrain it explores: what a generation of young women and men went looking for in Iraq, what they found, and why that discovery matters so profoundly for the rest of us.

    Anthony Giardina, author of Norumbega Park

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About the Narrators

Gore Vidal (1925–2012), winner of the National Book Award, wrote numerous novels, short stories, plays, and essays, as well as nonfiction.

Armando Durán has appeared in films, television, and regional theaters throughout the West Coast. For the last decade he has been a member of the resident acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2009 he was named by AudioFile as Best Voice in Biography and History for his narration of Che Guevara. A native Californian, he divides his time between Los Angeles and Ashland, Oregon.

Andrew Eiden, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is an actor and voice artist. He has been acting since the age of four, working at regional theaters including La Mirada Theatre, the Glendale Center Theatre, and the Pasadena Playhouse. He has starred in dozens of national commercials, guest-spotted on numerous television shows, and has been a series regular on three programs: Discovery Channel’s Outward Bound, Disney Channel’s Movie Surfers, and most notably ABC’s Complete Savages