"Empire City is a passionate, scary, wise, and perhaps even prophetic novel, one that can be appreciated on numerous levels. Set in an alternate world in which the U.S. has emerged triumphant from the Vietnam War, this book has the feel of a powerful admonition and warning, but it also has the dislocating, heart-thumping feel of a nightmare. Matt Gallagher has populated his story with characters undergoing ferocious moral struggles in response to an America teetering on the edge of cataclysm." —Tim O’Brien, award-winning author of The Things They Carried
“Empire City is a dark, nimble book that pulls no punches. While the novel tracks an alternate historical reality, time and again I found myself taken aback at just how prescient and applicable its insight is to our very real present. Gallagher once again establishes himself as a preeminent voice in American writing.” —Sara Novic, award-winning author of Girl at War
"Part political thriller, part satire, part fevered reflection of a deeply troubled American culture, Matt Gallagher's Empire City is a brilliant and daring novel. Gallagher's prose is sharp, energetic and witty, his characters are fiercely alive, and the cracked vision of America he creates is a monstrous thing of beauty." —Phil Klay, award-winning author of Redeployment
“A keen extrapolation of a country launched down a radically altered historical continuum . . . An admirable diversion into alternative history and humanity’s inherent nature that plays to the author’s strengths.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Super-powered soldiers, civilians, and government secrets tangle together in this alt-reality military science fiction tale. Gallagher’s (Kaboom) sharp prose, fine details, and emotional characters highlight the divisions between the nation’s leaders and residents." —Library Journal
Praise for Youngblood
"On one level, the novel is a parable -- with overtones of Graham Greene's The Quiet American...On another, it's a story about how we tell stories to friends and strangers, trying to convey experiences they will never know firsthand, and how we tell ourselves stories to reckon with the past...Mr. Gallagher has a keen reportorial eye, a distinctive voice and an instinctive sympathy for the people he is writing about, and he uses those gifts here to immerse us in his characters's lives...With Youngblood, he has written an urgent and deeply moving novel." —The New York Times
"While [Gallagher's] nonfiction was visceral, immediate and reportorial, his fiction transforms direct experience into something more layered and complex. Gallagher’s voice is vital, literary and sometimes lyrical...smart, fierce and important."
– The Washington Post
“A timely and moving story of the realities and psychological consequences of war.”
– Harper's Bazaar
"[Gallagher] writes about war like you've never read before ... in its emotional nuance, Youngblood codifies the fact that this is a voice to be reckoned with."
"The Iraq Novel We've Been Waiting For. [A] dark, suspenseful meditation on [the] impact abroad ... America's first great work of reckoning."
– The Daily Beast
"Gallagher’s riveting combination of gritty military jargon, sharply drawn characters, and suspenseful story line adds up to one of the best modern war novels since Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam classic, The Things They Carried (1990). Highly recommended."
– Booklist, starred review
“A complex tale about the Iraq War, intrigue, love, and survival. Gallagher follows up on his successful first book, the memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War (2010), with a smart Iraq War novel that adds something new to the genre—new genres. Gallagher subtly weaves throughout this excellent, brutal tale intrigue, a mystery, and two compelling love stories… A fresh twist on the Iraq War novel adds depth to this burgeoning genre.”
– Kirkus, starred review
"A flat-out great novel about the Iraq war and about much, much more. It's truthful, urgent, grave and darkly funny. Everyone should read it."
– Richard Ford
"Youngblood is not only a 'war novel,' it is a rich, fully formed, and beautifully executed novel-novel, way beyond the chicken coops of genre, a novel about the human heart in contest with itself, a novel about memory and longing and grief and hope and guilt and late-night ironies that raise a chuckle to the lips of the dead. Yes, the people and events in this fine novel are certainly 'tangled up' with war, as the author puts it on page one,but it is the same sort of entanglement that Lord Jim has with the ocean, or the sort of entanglement that Huck Finn has with the river."
– Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried
“Thrilling, tragic, and darkly funny, Matt Gallagher's Youngblood is a brilliant portrait of command in the modern, morally bruising battlefield.”
– Phil Klay, New York Times bestselling author of Redeployment
"Not only does Youngblood rank among the very best books of our seemingly endless Iraq war, it's one of the best novels I've ever read of war, period . . . Matt Gallagher's fierce, brilliant novel should serve as a slap in the face to a culture that's grown all too comfortable with the notion of endless war."
– Ben Fountain, New York Times bestselling author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk