September 26, 2015

The Watch

The Watch
Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya


(September 26, 2015)

Antigone in Afghanistan, part of a planned cycle that will include novels based on Seven Against Thebes and Ajax. Skillful and showy writing tease out the many strands of conflict outside a US Army outpost in Kandahar province, where a legless but determined young woman has come to bury the body of her slain brother.

The Watch appears to be the most highly-regarded story of our recent wars, and one of the few stories that do not chiefly concern the tribulations of the damaged soldier returned from battle. It’s well done, if somewhat schematic; the prequel based on Seven Against Thebes will be interesting. (Eteocles is Lt. Nick Frobenius, a Vassar graduate who has let his wife slip away and who carries a copy of Antigone through Kandahar province.)

Still, at this point after WW2 we had The Naked And The Dead and The Caine Mutiny and From Here to Eternity.