After stumbling on evidence of CIA secret prisons in Armenia and Georgia, Peter recruits an old friend to help free a dark-ops detainee -- an impossibly reckless prison-break mission, with no skills and no resources, no connection to the captured soldiers and no solid plan for getting home -- fueled by too much alcohol, a pressure-cooker marriage and the recent death of a parent. Set during the second Bush administration, ENEMY COMBATANT takes readers on a fantastical, adrenaline-packed journey from a smelter in Caucasia across the Turkish borderland to Homeland Security at JFK.
Dark, comic and action-packed, ENEMY COMBATANT is the story of an aggrieved man acting out on the global stage, a raucous portrait of collateral damage from America’s war on terror.
"An American man in turmoil pursues a disastrous plan to right the wrongs of extraordinary rendition in this novel..."
"One thing I’ve always loved about your work is how the action unfolds in a way that seems barely contained. One feels so powerfully what it’s like to be in a different country, unfamiliar with the customs or lay of the land and carried along with the action because of bad choices or things entirely beyond one’s control. It’s like being in the middle of a dream; nothing is ever predictable..."
- Joan Marcus with David Winner at The Brooklyn Rail
"I tried to create an at least somewhat sympathetic and believable character, who behaves in an insanely reckless and ill-thought-out matter. Having another character even more off-balance kind of egging him on is part of that.
- David Winner with Andrea Scrima at 3QuarksDaily
- Editor's Pick! BookLife
and whether the three protagonists of this novel, the Pakistani prisoner and the two Americans who try to rescue him, fit that category."
- David Winner with Y.S. Fing at Bloom
"By turns fleshy, spiritual, meandering, and sure-footed, ENEMY COMBATANT remains consistently entertaining..."
- starred review! Indie Reader
"Flirting with Disaster" by Molly Hatchett, "What's Love Got To Do With It" by Tina Turner... check out David's playlist for Enemy Combatant
"ENEMY COMBATANT covers a lot of territory, factually and metaphorically. It appropriates Americana, from road movies to virtual reality games, and provides –as the cliché goes -- 'a rollicking good time,' while undercutting that notion entirely, as selfish, unaware, and dangerously self-serving. Sound like any country you’ve ever heard of? So, as I read it, this novel gathers its tropes and its metaphors as it speeds toward a kind of enlightenment for its two hazardously American male characters. It’s obviously a cautionary tale and a cosmic warning. To make a bad pun: It’s a take no prisoners book."
- Ann Beattie,
author of A Wonderful Stroke of Luck: A Novel
“With his unsettling and completely original style, Winner
brings together the buddy film, the war on terror and
extravagant foreign settings in this novel that feels like a
soon to be discovered blockbuster. Over and over,
sentence by sentence we’re caught off guard, leaving us in
state of eerie suspense the whole book through.”
- Elizabeth McKenzie,
author of The Portable Veblen: A Novel
“David Winner’s hypnotic page-turner, ENEMY
COMBATANT, takes us back to the Bush era, during the
Trump one. Winner’s humor and agile imagination make
the improbable story of two crazed Americans trying to
rescue a prisoner from a CIA secret prison in Armenia
both moving and believable.”
- Karl Geary,
author of Montpelier Parade
David Winner is the author of two previous novels. The Kirkus-recommended Tyler’s Last was published by Outpost19. His first novel, The Cannibal of Guadalajara, won the 2009 Gival Press Novel Award and was nominated for the National Book Award. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, Fiction, The Iowa Review, The Millions. The Kenyon Review and other publications in the U.S. and the U.K. He is the fiction editor of The American (www.theamericanmag. com), a monthly magazine based in Rome, a senior editor at Statorec magazine and a regular contributor to The Brooklyn Rail. Most recently, he is the co-editor of Writing the Virus: Work from Statorec magazine.