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The Farther Shore

The Farther Shore

Author(s): Matthew Eck

Location(s): Somalia

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Contemporary

Narrated by a young soldier caught in the deadly fog of war, Eck’s first novel is a harrowing exploration of contemporary warfare. “What brought you here?” is the question asked of Eck’s young narrator, Joshua Stantz, from the army’s 10th Mountain Division. “Accidents and intentions,” is his response, the answer of a man disillusioned long before his time.

Having escaped the chaos and brutality of a hostile desert city ruled by rogue warlords, a handful of soldiers from Stantz’s division realize that their only hope is to keep moving. Their odyssey is a surreal nightmare of swirling sand and flying shrapnel as they stay steps ahead of marauding gangs, warring clansmen, and pitiless mercenaries. Bewildered, plagued by the memory of home and family, not all of them will survive. Those who do will wonder why, as they try to make sense of the inexplicable. But their struggle is futile — the rules of engagement they dutifully carry in their packs provide little information about the circumstances they face or the reason they’re conscripted to this hellish place.

Haunting, evocative, stripped of sentiment and convention, The Farther Shore is a war novel second and a powerful work of literature first.

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