The Strong Man // by Matt Briggs

What does Ben Wallace do when uncontrollable events happen to him? He gets stronger. Ben’s girlfriend is pregnant and he is called up from the reserves to go to war in this vivid, compelling, and enlightening second novel from Matt Briggs. 
Ben desperately wants to fight in a war “to experience something that would transform me into something else.” He is exploited by Sergeant Mice (in a relationship similar to Lennie and George from Of Mice and Men) because of his physical strength. Ben lives his life according to ideas or myths, which include war, family, the desert, and what it means to be a man in America. The Strong Man wants to show us what’s behind these myths, “Like most things, when I thought too much about them, I didn’t know what they
were: mango juice that was mostly apple juice, leather that was mostly plastic,
and cheese that was mostly wax.”
— Laurie Blauner, author of All This Could Be Yours and Infinite Kindness