War of the Encyclopaedists: A Novel
Bargain Book Copy
On a summer night in 2004, prepping for another blowout party in the arty Seattle enclave of Capitol Hill, Mickey Montauk has just learned that he won’t be joining his best friend, Halifax Corderoy, for grad school in Boston. Global events have intervened, and Mickey’s National Guard unit will soon deploy to Baghdad. But before he can make this stunning revelation, events spiral beyond their control. In the bleary-eyed dawn, Mickey and Hal glimpse their radically altered future, the start of a year that will transform them all.
Months later, Mickey struggles to lead his platoon safely through an increasingly violent and confusing war. In Boston, Hal finds himself unable to play the game of intellectual one-upmanship with the ease of his new classmates. When Hal’s new roommate, Tricia, and ex-girlfriend, Mani, come between the best friends, Hal and Mickey find that cool irony and youthful self-regard cannot insulate them from the damages of love and conflict and the messiness of living. As Mickey and Hal’s lives move further away from their shared dream, they keep in touch by editing a Wikipedia article about themselves: absurd and hilarious updates that morph and deepen throughout the year, culminating in a document that is both devastatingly tragic and profoundly poetic.
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