On Two Fronts by Sgt. Adam Fenner and Lance Taubold
Copyright 2013 by 13Thirty Books
Rating: * * *
Sgt. Adam Fenner, deployed as a medic to Afghanistan with the Nevada National Guard, and his friend at home, Lance Taubold, write about their separate experiences of the deployment. The book, written largely during the deployment, consists of each of them writing chapters in their own style and from their own perspective. The story concludes shortly after Adam’s return from Afghanistan.
I love the asides: notes from Adam included in a chapter by Lance, and vice versa. Often as simple as [Adam: Eye roll], the interactions make me chuckle. Lance’s splashy style contrasts with Adam’s pragmatism, making an interesting combination.
Lance is in patriotic, save-the-world mode from start to finish, as a way to support Adam. Adam is more matter-of-fact, only showing depth of emotion at one point, in the form of disillusionment following an explosion in a village thought to be friendly. Adam’s chapters convey mind-numbing boredom interspersed with fierce activity, which he indicates is usual for deployments. He speaks in broad terms about friendship and love, but rarely displays the emotion with which Lance’s chapters vibrate. Lance deals more directly with the fears and feelings of separation experienced by those at home, the things Adam downplays or puts out of mind in order to focus on the here and now in a combat zone.
I struggle with the timeline in the book, sometimes unable to determine what is present day and what is being recounted from earlier. All in all, an interesting read.
I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.