David Winner

Enemy Combatant

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ENEMY COMBATANT is a hyper-charged misadventure driven by a young American's rage against his government. After stumbling on evidence of CIA secret prisons in Armenia and Georgia, Peter recruits an old friend to help free a dark-ops detainee — an impossibly reckless prison-break mission, with no skills and no resources, no connection to the captured soldiers and no solid plan for getting home — fueled by too much alcohol, a pressure-cooker marriage and the recent death of a parent. Set during the second Bush administration, ENEMY COMBATANT takes readers on a fantastical, adrenaline-packed journey from a smelter in Caucasia across the Turkish borderland to Homeland Security at JFK. Dark, comic and action-packed, ENEMY COMBATANT is the story of an aggrieved man acting out on the global stage, a raucous portrait of collateral damage from America's war on terror.

«ENEMY COMBATANT covers a lot of territory, factually and metaphorically. It appropriates Americana, from road movies to virtual reality games, and provides –as the cliché goes — 'a rollicking good time,' while undercutting that notion entirely, as selfish, unaware, and dangerously self-serving. Sound like any country you've ever heard of? So, as I read it, this novel gathers its tropes and its metaphors as it speeds toward a kind of enlightenment for its two hazardously American male characters. It's obviously a cautionary tale and a cosmic warning. To make a bad pun: It's a take no prisoners book.» — Ann Beattie, author of A Wonderful Stroke of Luck: A Novel

“With his unsettling and completely original style, Winner brings together the buddy film, the war on terror and extravagant foreign settings in this novel that feels like a soon to be discovered blockbuster. Over and over, sentence by sentence we're caught off guard, leaving us in state of eerie suspense the whole book through.” — Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen: A Novel

“David Winner's hypnotic page-turner, ENEMY COMBATANT, takes us back to the Bush era, during the Trump one. Winner's humor and agile imagination make the improbable story of two crazed Americans trying to rescue a prisoner from a CIA secret prison in Armenia both moving and believable.” — Karl Geary, author of Montpelier Parade
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213 printed pages
Original publication



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