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The God of War: A Novel by Marisa Silver

The God of War: A Novel (2008)

by Marisa Silver

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171469,515 (3.91)6



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In the late 70's, 12-year-old Ares Ramirez is growing up with his mother and 6-year-old disabled brother (undiagnosed autism) in a poor community in California. As he struggles with his past memories and what the future may hold, Ares finds himself in the throws of adolescence which causes him to act out in a variety of ways in the attempt to handle the internal turmoil.

This was a good coming-of-age story. I enjoyed meeting the characters and found that the story being narrated by Ares added an interesting perspective. There wasn't any great connections for me, but a good story nonetheless.

Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy ( )
  ThoughtsofJoyLibrary | Jul 4, 2012 |
Pretty good story of how a young child's life can be determined by a misunderstanding. Ares thinks he is responsible for his brother being "retarded" and his mother's flighty attitude doesn't lead him to believe any differently. How differently Ares would have looked at life if he hadn't carried the guilt of being responsible for his brother being different.
  jpyzik | Jul 13, 2009 |
A beautifully atmospheric and sensitive story about living with an autistic child during the 1970s, when there were no real terms or methods of helping such children. The book is narrated by Ares, a twelve-year-old boy who lives in a trailer with his unconventional mother Laurel and his autistic half-brother Malcolm, who is six. Five years earlier, while holding baby Malcolm for his mother, Ares accidentally dropped the squirming child. Malcolm landed on his head in a cement parking lot, and ever since Ares has been certain that Malcolm's inability to speak and his other issues are his fault.

The story is about a young boy dealing with long-held ideas, fighting for his independence, and trying to decide who he is other than son and protector to his sibling. He has a picture of his future that always includes caring for his brother, and he is beginning to realize he wants more than that one task to define him. ( )
1 vote ntempest | May 6, 2009 |
“As a mother, it was a reminder to me of how children interpret events to either blame or reward themselves, which frequently isn't reality. I was impressed by the author's ability to show the main characters sense of responsibility conflicting with teenage angst and the pull of wanting parental love and being furious with it. It was a nice morning read. My primary complaint would be with the pacing of the book. The lead up to the climax is the first 90% of the book, then the "event" occurs and things feel wrapped up too quick. ” ( )
  kimallen-niesen | Dec 30, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
In “The God of War,” seemingly insignificant moments, carefully observed, are used to scavenge value and insight from the neglected and the obscure.
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Where I grew up, people kept their business to themselves.
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The year is 1978. Ares Ramirez, age 12, lives with his mother, Laurel, and his younger brother Malcolm in a trailer at the edge of the Salton Sea, an unintentionally man-made body of water in the middle of the Southern California desert. It is a desolate, forgotten place, whose inhabitants thrive amidst seemingly impossible circumstances. Where birds fly by day across the desert sky, by night government fighter planes and helicopters make training runs using live ammunition, and an anonymous dead body floats in from the sea. These events inspire Ares, on the cusp of his adolescence, to enact elaborate fantasies of mortal combat. His membership in a troubled family marks Ares as a casualty of a different kind of war. Malcolm, age 7, is mentally handicapped, and his mother chooses not to do anything about it. Ares' struggle with the burden of responsibility -- to himself and to others -- draws him into a world of drugs, violence, and sex that he is not prepared for, launching him into a very personal battle for his own identity, one that has a lethal outcome.--From amazon.com.… (more)

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