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The parade
2019
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Summary
From a beloved author, a spare, powerful story of two men, Western contractors sent to work far from home, tasked with paving a road to the capital in a dangerous and largely lawless country.

Four and Five are partners, working for the same company, sent without passports to a nation recovering from ten years of civil war. Together, operating under pseudonyms and anonymous to potential kidnappers, they are given a new machine, the RS-90, and tasked with building a highway that connects the country's far-flung villages with the capital. Four, nicknamed "The Clock," is one of the highway's most experienced operators, never falling short of his assigned schedule. He drives the RS-90, stopping only to sleep and eat the food provided by the company. But Five is an agent of chaos: speeding ahead on his vehicle, chatting and joking with locals, eating at nearby bars and roadside food stands, he threatens the schedule, breaks protocol, and endangers the work that they must complete in time for a planned government parade. His every action draws Four's ire, but when illness, corruption, and theft compromise their high-stakes mission, Four and Five discover danger far greater than anything they could pose to one another.

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Booklist Review
Four knows instantly that Nine, his new partner, is an agent of chaos. The two strangers with their terse pseudonyms have been hired to pave a new road connecting the north and south of a poor, civil-war-ravaged country. The protocols are strict; the schedule is tight they are to complete the road in time for a celebratory parade and the dangers are many. Four pilots the grand RS-90, which lays down perfect asphalt; Nine rides ahead, scouting for obstacles. They are to set up tents next to their vehicles at night, keep their weapons handy, eat rations, and avoid contact with locals. Four is monastic in his discipline. Nine is a man of frank carnality and curiosity, as friendly as a bounding dog and utterly reckless. Clearly things will go awry, but how and how badly? The ever-incisive, wordly-wise, compassionate, and imaginative Eggers (The Monk of Mokha, 2018) maintains the tension of a cocked crossbow in this magnetizing, stealthily wry, and increasingly chilling tale of First World corporate mercenaries way out of their element. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Requests will pour in from Eggers' many fans as well as devotees of concentrated and suspenseful works of culture-clash fiction.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2019 Booklist
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