American War - Omar El Akkad

American War

By Omar El Akkad

  • Release Date: 2017-04-04
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
Score: 4.5
From 257 Ratings


NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—this gripping debut novel asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself. From the author of What Strange Paradise

"Powerful ... as haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy [created] in The Road." —The New York Times

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.


  • Just okay

    By obizsolo
    Interesting POV on what the future might hold
  • Riveting and heartbreaking

    By Spinnin' Wheeler
    Excellent writing and characters, a terrifyingly plausible future, all made for an insightful look at what people do and are capable of doing in these types of horrible circumstances. Can’t wait for his next novel!
  • Unexpectedly Good

    By Skyler06
    It’s been a few months since I’ve read this book, but as someone who usually avoids books about war, I’m really glad I read this one. It is definitely more of a speculative fiction with decent commentary about race and class. Overall, extremely enjoyable and thoughtful.
  • Fundamentally Flawed

    The book’s core premise of environmental disruption is ominously plausible. However, the storyline is fundamental flawed. The author completely misses on the ethnic composition of his apocalyptic South. African Americans comprise a vast percentage of Southerners. They are essentially nonexistent in this book, with no explanation as to why. This casts a pall of illogic over the entire book.
  • American war

    By chriswillis147
    Wow very thought provoking,
  • American war

    By Zergnasty552
    Extremely well written
  • Best new book in a while

    By Dhdbdhsjajdvahhsja
    This was a great read, very conceivable near future with an unexpected twist and compelling characters.