Publication Date: 03/06/2021 ISBN: 9781838852351 Category:


Phil Klay

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publication Date: 03/06/2021 ISBN: 9781838852351 Category:
Paperback / Softback




‘Expansive, explosive and epic’ Marlon James
‘A courageous book’ New York Times Book Review


Neither Mason, a US Special Forces medic, nor Lisette, a foreign correspondent, has emerged from America’s long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan unscathed. Yet, for them, war still exerts a terrible draw – the noble calling, the camaraderie, the life-and-death stakes. Where else in the world can such a person go?

All roads lead to Colombia, where the US has partnered with the local government to stamp out a vicious civil war and keep the predatory narco gangs at bay. Mason is ready for the good war, and Lisette is more than ready to cover it.

Publisher Review

[A] sweeping, searing, wrenching and wise addition to the great literature of America's postwar imperialism * * Guardian, Book of the Day * * If Redeployment was about what happened when we ship wars abroad, then Missionaries is what happens when war comes roaring right back. Expansive, explosive, and epic -- MARLON JAMES Wrenching and insightful * * New Yorker * * Missionaries has a sweep and incisiveness to it I had almost forgotten novels were capable of. I haven't been so gripped by a book in years. It is immensely smart and far-seeing, and utterly unsparing. Extraordinary -- GARTH GREENWELL By means of a well-oiled plot, complex characters and adrenaline-fuelled action, Klay opens our eyes to the globalised nature of modern conflict * * The Times * * Missionaries is a courageous book: it doesn't shy away, as so much fiction does, from the real world . . . Is there such a thing as a "good war", like the one Mason seeks? Missionaries is skeptical at best; it does believe, however, in fiction's ability to illuminate these dark places. And so the novel goes on, undeterred, exploring and revealing whole human worlds that would remain inaccessible without it -- Juan Gabriel Vasquez * * New York Times Book Review * * This impressive debut shines a light on the globalisation of violence . . . Klay, himself a former US marine, has crafted a gripping novel that doubles as a prodigiously well-researched attack on the horrors of war and on America's covert counter-terrorism tactics. Stunning * * Mail on Sunday * * Missionaries is an urgent, detailed, compassionate and quietly furious novel about America and her Forever Wars. Intensely readable, exciting, funny and heartbreaking - it will change you -- A.L. KENNEDY Powerfully written . . . A page-turning saga of good guys taking out bad guys, bad guys being bad, and bad guys turned good guys struggling to do the right thing * * Independent * * Missionaries shook me to my core. Klay takes the reader into the heart of Colombian darkness; the abuses of power, the forgotten lives of girls and women and how quickly human dignity - and conscience - get eroded in extreme times. This is audacious, heartbreaking, epic fiction. It touched me greatly -- MARY COSTELLO

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