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Missionaries

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
The debut novel from the National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment

"[This] compact epic of a novel contains perhaps Klay's finest writing yet . . . Using his formidable gifts for scene-setting, meaningful irony and deep human empathy, Klay weaves together a set of stories over the course of nearly three decades . . . Amid raging fires and illness and constitutional crises, Klay's book roars something vital: Never forget about war or the blood and bone and the evil and the reckless idealism of who we all really are." --Los Angeles Times


A group of Colombian soldiers prepares to raid a drug lord's safe house on the Venezuelan border. They're watching him with an American-made drone, about to strike using military tactics taught to them by U.S. soldiers who honed their skills to lethal perfection in Iraq. In Missionaries, Phil Klay examines the globalization of violence through the interlocking stories of four characters and the conflicts that define their lives.

For Mason, a U.S. Army Special Forces medic, and Lisette, a foreign correspondent, America's long post-9/11 wars in the Middle East exerted a terrible draw that neither is able to shake. Where can such a person go next? All roads lead to Colombia, where the US has partnered with local government to keep predatory narco gangs at bay. Mason, now a liaison to the Colombian military, is ready for the good war, and Lisette is more than ready to cover it. Juan Pablo, a Colombian officer, must juggle managing the Americans' presence and navigating a viper's nest of factions bidding for power. Meanwhile, Abel, a lieutenant in a local militia, has lost almost everything in the seemingly endless carnage of his home province, where the lines between drug cartels, militias, and the state are semi-permeable.

Drawing on six years of research in America and Colombia into the effects of the modern way of war on regular people, Klay has written a novel of extraordinary suspense infused with geopolitical sophistication and storytelling instincts that are second to none. Missionaries is a window not only into modern war, but into the individual lives that go on long after the drones have left the skies.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"What happens when a novel becomes more than a novel? It becomes a prophecy. Phil Klay has written a prophecy." - Elliot Ackerman

"Phil Klay’s Missionaries is a big, rich, clear-eyed book about death and life; wise, compassionate, and, yes, as cynical as it needs to be when necessary, but full of vivid people caught up in that organized human violence which is our species’ haunting passion. I’ve maybe never read a war novel this good." - Ayad Akhtar

"Missionaries shook me to my core. Klay takes the reader into the heart of Colombian darkness; the abuses of power, the forgotten lives of girls and women and how quickly human dignity – and conscience – get eroded in extreme times. This is audacious, heart-breaking, epic fiction. It touched me greatly." - Mary Costello

"Phil Klay’s Missionaries has a sweep and incisiveness to it I had almost forgotten novels were capable of. I haven’t been so gripped by a book in years. It is immensely smart and farseeing, and utterly unsparing. Extraordinary." - Garth Greenwell

"If Redeployment was about what happened when we ship wars abroad, then Missionaries is what happens when war comes roaring right back. Expansive, explosive, and epic." - Marlon James

"Missionaries is an urgent, detailed, compassionate and quietly furious novel about America and her Forever Wars. Intensely readable, exciting, funny and heartbreaking - it will change you." - A L Kennedy

"This engaging and far-ranging novel is about the thorny battle for reconciliation in the midst of an endlessly-fought war. For all the tense geopolitics and violent special forces raids and guerilla warfare in Missionaries, Phil Klay’s true subject is the contested territory of the heart. It is here, in the novel’s poignant exploration of faith and parental love and uneasy moral compromises, that the cost of US military intervention is laid bare. A chilling and accomplished novel." - Kirstin Valdez Quade


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Phil Klay's Missionaries

Hardback Editions

October 2020 : UK Hardback
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Title: Missionaries
Author(s): Phil Klay
ISBN: 1-83885-231-X / 978-1-83885-231-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


October 2020 : Hardback
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Title: Missionaries: A Novel
Author(s): Phil Klay
ISBN: 1-984880-65-9 / 978-1-984880-65-9
Publisher: Penguin Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

October 2020 : UK Paperback
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Title: Missionaries
Author(s): Phil Klay
ISBN: 1-83885-232-8 / 978-1-83885-232-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


October 2020 : USA Paperback
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Title: Missionaries
Author(s): Phil Klay
ISBN: 0-593-29645-1 / 978-0-593-29645-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Random House USA
Availability: Amazon AU   


October 2020 : USA Paperback
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Title: Missionaries: A Novel
Author(s): Phil Klay
ISBN: 0-593-29560-9 / 978-0-593-29560-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

October 2020 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Missionaries
Author(s): Phil Klay
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon   


October 2020 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: Missionaries
Author(s): Phil Klay
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon AU   


October 2020 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Missionaries
Author(s): Phil Klay
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


October 2020 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Missionaries: A Novel
Author(s): Phil Klay
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon   


October 2020 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Missionaries: A Novel
Author(s): Phil Klay
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

October 2020 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Missionaries
Author(s): Phil Klay
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


October 2020 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Missionaries: A Novel
Author(s): Phil Klay
Publisher: Penguin Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA