Freshly back from war in the Middle East, Jack Lewis penned a pain-dotted screed against the world. It was titled Angry White Mail and there were no good guys. There was no hope. There was only The End, happening and happening again until you wished it would happen to you, too, because it was too terrible and burdensome to be left behind.
Lewis threw that manuscript away but good people encouraged him to keep going.
Nothing in Reserve, published by Litsam, Inc. in April 2011 is the result. Critics applaud the clear narrative voice, authentic detail and moral insights drawn from his experiences abroad and at home. New fans of Lewis simply call it a must-read.
Not a story about war but the tale of a life punted from comfort to conflict, Nothing in Reserve is a parable on the human condition, a reckoning of costs, a primer on warriorhood itself. Lewis’s war turns out not to be with Iraqis, the chain of command, dissembling government, feckless civilians or disintegrating marriage, but with the shifting nature of his own gun-sighted reality.
Writer Sharon Allen (Operation Homecoming, Random House 2006; Powder, Kore Press 2008) observes, “A person doesn’t have to be a veteran to appreciate this book. He or she just has to be human.”
Best-selling editor Andrew Carroll (Letters of a Nation; In Our Own Words; War Letters; Behind the Lines; Operation Homecoming) sees Lewis as a breakout voice for veterans of recent conflicts.
“Every once in a while an author comes along who, through the sheer force and intensity of his prose, knocks you flat,” Carroll writes. “To me, Jack Lewis is that writer and truly one of the great, literary heavyweights of his generation.”
This is a work not be missed. If you read only two books this year, make Nothing in Reserve the first.