Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story

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9781785900433: Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story

It was just one remote hilltop in an unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt today, foreshadowing the chaos of 21stcentury conflicts in the Middle East. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; 'flowers' was the military code word for casualties.

Part memoir, part reportage and part haunting elegy for lost youth, award-winning writer Matti Friedman's powerful account follows the band of young soldiers - the author among them - conscripted out of high school into holding this remote outpost, and explores how the task would change them forever.

Pumpkinflowers is a lyrical yet devastating insight into the day-to-day realities of war, and a powerful coming-of-age narrative. Raw and beautifully rendered, this essential chronicle casts an unflinching look at the nature of modern warfare, in which there is never a clear victor and innocence is not all that is lost.

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Review:

"In Pumpkinflowers, Matti Friedman has created one of the most original and powerful works of non-fiction I have ever read. [...] Friedman creates a mythic yet intimate work that distils what Wilfred Owen called 'the pity of war' with a visceral and unforgettable intensity." -- Sydney Morning Herald

"Pumpkinflowers should be well on its way to joining the select group of wartime narratives that continue to grip and grate on the conscience long after they have been read, put back on the shelf, or passed along. [...] Pumpkinflowers is both searing and sobering. Friedman tugs at our feelings about nobility, absurdity, and tragedy by capturing mood and melancholy with the spare sketches of a gifted wartime correspondent." -- Jewish Standard

"A book about young men transformed by war, written by a veteran whose dazzling literary gifts gripped my attention from the first page to the last." -- Wall Street Journal

"A beautifully written insight." -- Jewish Chronicle

"Matti Friedman's haunting war memoir reminds one of Michael Herr's unforgettable Vietnam memoir, Dispatches. It, too, is destined to become a classic text on the absurdities of war. Evocative, emotionally wrenching, and yet clear-eyed and dispassionate, Pumpkinflowers is a stunning achievement." -- Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize winning biographer and New York Times bestselling author of The Good Spy

"Pumpkinflowers is a sad, lyrical book proud and fierce on its own terms. Friedman's prose is elegant and concise, yet it is studded with gems from the Talmud and Torah that only a writer deeply learned in the Jewish tradition could offer. His memoirs of his time in the mist and the mountains of Lebanon are full of haunting insights into what it means to be a soldier. It will be remembered as a classic." --Prospect

"A haunting yet wry tale of young people at war, cursed by political forces beyond their control, that can stand alongside the best narrative nonfiction coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq." --Kirkus Reviews

"The collective portrait [of young Israeli soldiers] puts Pumpkinflowers on a par with Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried - its Israeli analog." --New York Times

From the Back Cover:

"A compelling narrative, freighted with explosive geopolitical implications." --Booklist, starred review

When I went back to the Pumpkin in the fall of 2002 I thought it was a conclusion--an end to that war, and to the disquiet it left me and the others it touched. But I know now that I was wrong. It wasn't a conclusion. On the hill in 1995 we had been at the start of something: of a new era in which conflict surges, shifts, or fades but doesn't end, in which the most you can hope for is not peace, or the arrival of a better age, but only to remain safe as long as possible. None of us could have foreseen how the region would be seized by its own violence--the way Syria, a short drive from the outpost, would be devoured, and Iraq, and Libya, and Yemen, and much of the Islamic world around us. The outpost was the beginning. The present day might still be the beginning. The Pumpkin is gone, but nothing is over. --from Pumpkinflowers

"Poignant and fascinating. Matti Friedman tells a war story with a journalist's rigor and eye for detail, and a poet's touch. He manages to be lyrical, graceful, and deeply evocative even when tackling the harshest subjects imaginable." --Lucette Lagnado, author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

"Evocative, emotionally wrenching, and yet clear-eyed and dispassionate, Matti Friedman's haunting war memoir reminds one of Michael Herr's unforgettable Vietnam memoir, Dispatches."--Kai Bird, author of The Good Spy

"A historical jigsaw puzzle and an examination of Israel's fraught national identity. Friedman illuminates the confusion at the heart of the conflict and chillingly echoes America's own slide into prolonged wars in the Middle East." --Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

"Inspiring, heartbreaking, illuminating. Matti Friedman's brilliant account of a forgotten war seen through the lens of a simple soldier is at once a coming-of-age story and an essential chronicle about how the twenty-first century was born."--Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Like Dreamers

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Book Description Biteback Publishing, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was just one remote hilltop in an unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt today, foreshadowing the chaos of 21stcentury conflicts in the Middle East. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for casualties.Part memoir, part reportage and part haunting elegy for lost youth, award-winning writer Matti Friedman s powerful account follows the band of young soldiers - the author among them - conscripted out of high school into holding this remote outpost, and explores how the task would change them forever. Pumpkinflowers is a lyrical yet devastating insight into the day-to-day realities of war, and a powerful coming-of-age narrative. Raw and beautifully rendered, this essential chronicle casts an unfl inching look at the nature of modern warfare, in which there is never a clear victor and innocence is not all that is lost. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9781785900433

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Book Description Biteback Publishing, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It was just one remote hilltop in an unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt today, foreshadowing the chaos of 21stcentury conflicts in the Middle East. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for casualties.Part memoir, part reportage and part haunting elegy for lost youth, award-winning writer Matti Friedman s powerful account follows the band of young soldiers - the author among them - conscripted out of high school into holding this remote outpost, and explores how the task would change them forever. Pumpkinflowers is a lyrical yet devastating insight into the day-to-day realities of war, and a powerful coming-of-age narrative. Raw and beautifully rendered, this essential chronicle casts an unfl inching look at the nature of modern warfare, in which there is never a clear victor and innocence is not all that is lost. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9781785900433

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Book Description Biteback Publishing. Book Condition: New. An unflinching look at the way we conduct war today. Part memoir, part reportage, part elegy for lost youth, Pumpkinflowers powerful narrative captures the birth of today's chaotic Middle East and the rise of a 21st century type of war in which there is never a clear victor, and innocence is not the only casualty. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 1FBL; 3JJPR; BTM; HBWS. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 208 x 138 x 26. Weight in Grams: 334. . 2016. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781785900433

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Book Description Biteback Publishing, 2016. Book Condition: New. An unflinching look at the way we conduct war today. Part memoir, part reportage, part elegy for lost youth, Pumpkinflowers powerful narrative captures the birth of today's chaotic Middle East and the rise of a 21st century type of war in which there is never a clear victor, and innocence is not the only casualty. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 1FBL; 3JJPR; BTM; HBWS. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 208 x 138 x 26. Weight in Grams: 334. . 2016. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781785900433

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