Fives and twenty fives summary

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fives and twenty fives summary

Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre

Its the rule-always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead.

Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marines life in the road repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger.

Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And theres Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture-from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries-is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country.

Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them. A debut both transcendent and rooted in the flesh, Fives and Twenty-Fives is a deeply necessary novel.
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Fives and Twenty-Fives Summary & Study Guide

When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger. Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank.

It's the rule-always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters.
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Fives and Twenty-Fives Summary & Study Guide Description

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The place without rules. These are the words of 2nd Lt. Donovan is one of a trio of narrators who tells the story of the increasing dangers faced by a platoon of Marines who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The book takes its name from a common battle drill in which troops scan first five feet from their vehicles for bombs, then an area of twenty-five feet on foot. The name is fitting as that drill and other warfare maneuvers described in the book help to keep the Marines alive. Other themes include relationships, leadership and the treatment of war veterans.

Lieutenant Pete Donovan and Corpsman Lester Pleasant are both southern boys from humble backgrounds, nice guys before the war got to them. Each comes to face his own particular shame and must struggle to find some kind of peace. The poignancy of their struggle is enhanced by reminders that, although the men sound like grizzled veterans of a brutal war, they are barely out of their teens. The strongest and most complex character is Kateb, and it is a great relief to find an Iraqi featured in an American novel. Kateb is the most fully realised and fascinating character in Pitre's book, and he inspires the most honest observations, as in the passage where his father sums up the situation in Iraq: "The Shia in the south want to give our country to the Iranians. The Sadrists in Baghdad kill men like us for spite.

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  1. Fives and Twenty-Fives Summary & Study Guide includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis, quotes, character descriptions, themes, and more.

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