Piper Hammond has the perfect view to watch the world go by. Tucked up inside her family’s historic home, she records the ins and outs of life in Riverboro in her magazine Riverboro Rocks. But when a catastrophic storm brings the town to a halt, Piper’s world spirals quickly out of control. Her once peaceful home is suddenly filled with displaced monks, lie-crafting teenagers, and big promises from a fringe politician, including one to get three-year-old Donny on TV. As Piper struggles to wrench her life out of the hands of over-eager guests and a nefarious blonde, she starts to realize that a cheerful blog is a long way from a perfect life. When calamity strikes and the house itself turns against her, Piper must choose to step outside her perfect narrative or be trapped for good.
If Jack Kerouac went to Vietnam, this is the book he would have written–created without any filter–with all the vividness, craziness, bloodiness, harshness, kindness, sensuousness and godliness that is war.
Landing Zone Zebra, Planet Earth, 1968. John Coltrane and John Lennon. Peace talks in Paris and nightly mortar attacks. Secret patrols to Laos and best friends flown home in body bags. The chaos that passes for life in a guerrilla war. This is Long Before the Next War. Part poetry. Part prose. And all great read.
“Here is a tone poem of the terrible beauty of human lives. Its setting is the Vietnam of the early 70s but it speaks for the condition of war, and it’s interface with the human heart, in all ages, all places. This book is a small, quiet treasure that belongs on shelves next to Homage to Catalonia, The Naked and the Dead, and Slaughterhouse Five. That said, more than being solely about war it is a book that reaches into the human heart and spells out its relationship to the mind and the world. It is a story for all seasons, its rhythms and notes evoking loss, love, cruelty and hope. All those who wish to better know and understand these qualities of their own hearts are likely to be enriched by attending to Anthony’s words. ‘War is the biggest damn drama, comedy, tragedy, farce the mind ever invented. It’s lucky we have hearts to ease the pain.’” – Ajahn Amaro, Abbot, Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, Author of Small Boat, Great Mountain
“This novel is war in the moment, on the page, intimately brutal and psychologically surreal. Anthony’s prose opens a soldier’s shattered heart and pieces it together with strands of beauty and grace that illuminate his full humanity. Not just a war novel, Long Before The Next War is a journey through the ferocious jungle to the inner sanctum of the soul.” – Jane Parker Resnick, author, The Secret Garden
“Rarely does a literary work emerge that delves so deeply and courageously into the human psyche. Long Before the Next War is such a book.” – Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming
Author: Tony Anthony