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The Watch
by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

RRP €18.50

The Watch
by Author Name Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

Book details for title
List Price:18.50
Format: Paperback, 230 x 152 x 25mm, 336pp
Publication date: 17 May 2012
Publisher: Hogarth
ISBN-13: 9781781090039

Dubray Review

Nizam is a young Afghan woman whose suffering is beyond measure. She has lost her home, her family and, most recently, her brother Yusuf, who died following an attack on an American military outpost in Kandahar. Her only wish now is to retrieve and bury her brother’s body in accordance with her strict religious beliefs. She must face down a garrison of American troops, all of whom suspect that Nizam herself plans on destroying their base.  The Watch is unlike many war novels in that it is little concerned with the conflict itself. Rather, its focus rests primarily on the aftermath of disaster in the wake of war. Most compelling here are the various mechanisms characters employ in order to maintain their sense of self and their sanity as the world about them falls to pieces.

- Leon Hickey, Blackrock


Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother's body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic or what she claims to be: a grieving sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? As she persists, single-minded in her mission, the camp's tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next. "The Watch" takes an age-old story - the myth of Antigone - and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. The result is an unputdownable, deeply affecting book that brilliantly exposes the realities of war. It is also our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of this very contemporary conflict.


"Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya's lyrical and poignant evocation of war is a potent reminder of the murderous futility of our imperial adventures in the Middle East. He captures the raw brutality of industrial warfare, along with its trauma, senselessness, random death and stupidity. His characters, including the soldiers who prosecute the war and the innocents whose lives are maimed and destroyed by it, are consumed alike in the vast orgy of death that sweeps across war zones to extinguish all that is human -- tenderness, compassion,understanding and finally love. He forces us to face the evil we do to others and to ourselves." Chris Hedges, author of NY Times Bestseller War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning "Ours is a time of enduring conflict ... As a soldier and veteran, I want my countrymen and women to understand what they continue to ask their military to endure ... As a person, I want us to remember our common humanity. The Watch confronts all of these without apology ... I applaud it." Captain Richard Sullivan, U.S. Army