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Extended Audio Sample The Good Lieutenant, by Whitney Terrell 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: Whitney Terrell Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Good Lieutenant literally starts with a bang as an operation led by Lieutenant Emma Fowler of the Twenty-Seventh Infantry Battalion goes spectacularly wrong. Men are dead—one, a young Iraqi, by her hand. Others were soldiers in her platoon. And the signals officer, Dixon Pulowski. Pulowski is another story entirely—Fowler and Pulowski had been lovers since they met at Fort Riley in Kansas.

From this conflagration, The Good Lieutenant unspools backward in time as Fowler and her platoon are guided into disaster by suspicious informants and questionable intelligence, their very mission the result of a previous snafu in which a soldier had been kidnapped by insurgents. And then even further back, before things began to go so wrong, we see the backstory unfold from points of view that usually are not shown in war coverage—a female frontline officer, for one, but also jaded career soldiers and Iraqis both innocent and not so innocent. Ultimately, as all these stories unravel, what is revealed is what happens when good intentions destroy, experience distorts, and survival becomes everything.

Brilliantly told and expertly captured by a terrific writer at the top of his form, Whitney Terrell’s The Good Lieutenant is a gripping, insightful, necessary novel about a war that is proving to be the defining tragedy of our time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With The Good Lieutenant, Whitney Terrell has unwound the myths of one of our most encrusted literary forms—the war novel—and remade it to be humane and honest, glowingly new and true. Terrell knows his facts on the ground, but this is emphatically, triumphantly, a work of imagination and literary ingenuity. It opens in conflagration—everything having gone wrong for Lieutenant Emma Fowler in one explosive instant—and from there the mystery of how we got to this disastrous moment unfolds backward, Memento-like, as we watch Emma become more innocent, her life more full of hope and possibility, with each day less of war that she has experienced. This is brilliant, bold, heartbreaking storytelling for material that demands nothing less.”

    Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • The Good Lieutenant is a terrific exploration of courage, leadership, and loss, as experienced by American soldiers in Iraq. Terrell captures the humanity and the absurdity of the conflict in a way that feels both specific to the Iraq conflict and also unnervingly timeless. A stunning and heartbreaking testament to Terrell’s genius and the nature of modern war.”

    Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • The Good Lieutenant has the grand complexity of war embedded in its bones. It makes ingenious, compelling art out of those complexities. For that reason alone, its considerable graces are saving ones.”

    Richard Ford, New York Times bestselling author

  • “So exhilarating in its tautly rendered, faultless reality, so timeless in its play of human emotion in extremis, The Good Lieutenant dazzles and shames us as it breaks our hearts. In Lieutenant Emma Fowler, Whitney Terrell makes real the confused politics, personal heroism, and human cost of the Iraq War. The Good Lieutenant joins the ranks of great war novels that explain, too late, why ‘victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.’”

    Jayne Anne Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

  • The Good Lieutenant is a stirring performance grounded in the hard realities of combat. The human beauty here is of the brutal variety—complex, dark, and impossible to forget. Lieutenant Emma Fowler is our guide into a contemporary heart of darkness. This novel should be read by all.”

    Anthony Swofford, New York Times bestselling author

  • The Good Lieutenant is a wild Humvee ride of a novel that embeds us so deeply and so sympathetically in its beautifully realized characters…that we can scarcely draw breath until their journey comes to its harrowing conclusion.

    Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Terrell shows us how soldiers think and address one another with a stinging combination of military argot and pop culture references. The book’s last line echoes the title of one of the first novels about modern warfare, Thomas Boyd’s Through the Wheat, to which this novel is an entirely worthy successor.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This latest book from Terrell focuses not so much on military action and battle scenes (although those certainly are here) as on the interactions of a group of unheroic individuals thrown into an extreme situation…It is exactly these confrontations among and within individuals that give the story its power and appeal.”

    Library Journal

  • “Whitney Terrell has been in his career both a great novelist and a great war reporter. In The Good Lieutenant he is both, and the effect is overpowering. One job of the reporter is to use facts to let us understand who these men and women are whom we ask to kill and die for us. One job of the novelist is to use imagination to explain the interior lives of others and the infinite nuances of life. It is extraordinary and rare that one writer can do both, but Whitney Terrell does, and masterfully.”

    Arthur Phillips, international bestselling author The Egyptologist

  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick for Summer 2016
  • A BookRiot Pick for New Books of June 2016
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • Longlisted for the 2017 Carnegie Medal for Literature
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