It’s the rule - always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep 25 meters. A bomb inside 25 meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead.
Fives and Twenty-Fives marks the measure of a marine’s life in the road-repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger.
Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there’s Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture - from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries - is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country. Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them.
A debut both transcendent and rooted in the flesh, Fives and Twenty-Fives is a deeply necessary novel.
©2014 Michael Pitre (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Powerfully understated debut . . . Everything rings so unshakably true. A war novel with a voice all its own, this will stand as one of the definitive rendering of the Iraq experience." (Kirkus, starred review)
"A thrilling, defining novel of the Iraq War." (Booklist)
“An unblinking, razor-edged portrait of the war...a deeply moving book.” (New York Times)
"Expertly performed by multiple narrators, this audiobook focuses on a Marine engineer platoon in Iraq…. Events are presented from various points of view, focusing on platoon leader Lieutenant Donovan, medic Doc Pleasant, and their Iraqi interpreter, who goes by the nickname 'Dodge.' Interspersed between the characters' narratives are 'official' documents that provide a framework for the story; these are splendidly read in a resonant, authoritative voice. All the characters are portrayed with adroitness, especially 'Dodge' - in a spot-on performance by Fajer Al-Kaisi. This is a production not be missed." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By lynn on 15-01-15


Very good series of intertwining story lines, bringing home the reality of the video game that war has become for us non-combatants. I found the characterizations excellent of the three main individuals both in Iraq and outside. Also the different effects upon these people were well presented showing how once having been at war it is impossible to remain the same. The narrations were very believable and in tune with the characters, very powerful book and audio presentation.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Leonard on 07-12-14

Unbelievably Great

Although this book would not be my first choice for a download, I am really glad I did. It was extremely hard to stop listening (finished in less than two days). The situations and their descriptions were eerily realistic and the multiple narrations only added to the experience. I can't recommend this book enough.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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