The Volunteer

The Volunteer

Title:The Volunteer
ISBN:9780525558521
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:432 pages

A long-awaited new novel from Salvatore Scibona, National Book Award Finalist, the epic story of a restless young man who is captured during the Vietnam War and pressed into service for a clandestine branch of the United States government

A small boy speaking an unknown language is abandoned by his father at an international airport, with only the clothes on his back and a handful of money jammed in the pocket of his coat. So begins The Volunteer. But in order to understand this heartbreaking and indefensible decision, the story must return to the moment, decades earlier, when a young man named Vollie Frade, almost on a whim, enlists in the United States Marine Corps to fight in Vietnam. Breaking definitively from his rural Iowan parents, Vollie puts in motion an unimaginable chain of events, which sees him go to work for insidious people with intentions he cannot yet grasp. From the Cambodian jungle, to a flophouse in Queens, to a commune in New Mexico, Vollie's path traces a secret history of life on the margins of America, culminating with an inevitable and terrible reckoning.

With intense feeling, uncommon erudition, and bracing style, Scibona offers at once a pensive exploration of how we are capable of both inventing and discovering our true families and a lacerating interrogation of institutional power at its most commanding and terrifying. An odyssey of loss and salvation ranging across four generations of fathers and sons, The Volunteer is a triumph in the grandest traditions of American storytelling.


    The Volunteer Reviews

  • Mike A.

    The Volunteer by Salvatore Scibona is a solid work of contemporary literature and also a good read. I stayed up most of the night to finish it -- on a work night no less, so yea, it grabs! Mr. Scibona...

  • Madeline

    I just didn’t find myself wanting to continue onwards. The beginning put me off a lot, and the main character didn’t seem that redeeming. I also don’t think I’m in the mood for a war novel rig...

  • Nikki

    I got my hands on an ARC through the variety box delivered to my work back in October.I read about a hundred pages and had to put it down. DNF.The premise was....enough to pick the book up, I guess. B...

  • Brie

    I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads contest.I really wanted to like this book. It had a promising storyline and I started to read it.I have decided in 2019 to only read a few chapters of books ...

  • lisa

    When I received an ARC of this book I read most of it over lunch breaks, and annoyed my co-workers by constantly changing my mind about this book. Did I like it, or did I hate it? Was a piece of misog...

  • Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com

    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.comThe Volunteer by Salvatore Scibona is a generational saga, spanning about 100 years in which the effects of the Vietnam War a...

  • c2 cole

    A number of pages in, I was thinking this might be my first "real" 5-star read since Dec. 2016. On my personal list, where I can be more discriminating, I gave this a 3.5, which maybe I should change ...

  • Chris Wharton

    A new name for me, and an impressive voice. The author’s second novel, it follows a twisting route through and around America’s wars of the past half century (and, briefly, into future ones) throu...

  • Kate

    A well imagined book. It was an informative read, that also told a fascinating story. Totally conceivable, totally unusual. Geographically this book brought me like a local to towns in Socorro, New Me...

  • Noralo

    I enjoyed some of the subplots of this book, but wouldn't say I enjoyed all of them, or totally understood why they coexisted in the same novel. The modern day ones were the hardest and most painful t...