Falcons on the Floor is a 300 page novel set in Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq in 2004. It follows Salim and Khalil, two young men living in Fallujah, as they leave the city on the eve the first coalition siege. With two years of research and help from Iraqi refugee Haneen Alshujairy, I was able to create as authentic a novel as possible.
Falcons on the Floor has been taught at major universities such as SUNY Buffalo and was named best indie novel of the year by two book review blogs. It has been praised by The American Book Review, Rain Taxi, The Colorado Review, The Rumpus, and The L Magazine (NYC) among others.
BLURBS and PRAISE:
Falcons on the Floor is the rare novel about war that re-humanizes everyone involved. Through excellent writing and a deep understanding of what occupation does, to civilians and soldiers alike, Sirois and Alshujairy take the reader on a deeply personal journey where we are shown how and why war should be avoided at all cost.
Dahr Jamail, independent journalist and author of Beyond the Green Zone
Falcons on the Floor is witty and darkly funny when it needs to be, and its sad and disastrous moments are perfectly timed... Sirois knows his craft.
Jeff Ludwig for American Book Review
A classic male debut novel... This book will change your life.
Sirois makes no political speeches and his characters are totally overwhelmed and lack the language to describe what they have lost, the novel may seem grim, but its single-minded focus on the damage done to civil life by war, the negation of the social, gives the novel both a critical position and a ruthless emotional power.
Adam Novy, for The Rumpus
Justin Sirois’s debut novel is exciting and eye-opening, with a sad finish that will leave the reader with a fresh disgust for war.
Robert Tumas, for The L Magazine (NYC)
Apart from its obvious value in and of itself as a frequently striking piece of prose, Sirois’ novel is also notable for its perspective. After an unrelenting slew of movies and books telling the invasion story from American or British or Western points of view, this is a narrative that does at least some justice to the people of Iraq by telling it from their side.
Declan Tan, for 3:am Magazine
Falcons on the Floor has a distinct advantage over many books being published today. That is, it feels deeply, drastically important to read.
Shane Jones, author of Light Boxes
This book is important.
Christopher Newgent, Vouched Books
The writing is excellent, and I say that as a reader who enjoys action in his fiction novels. There is a certain buddy cop vibe to the two main Iraqi characters, Salim and Khalil. But the novel is more Albert Camus and Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov.
Muslim Media Review
Sirois has done something pretty damn beautiful here, both culturally and in terms of mixing the poetic with the prose, so respect must be paid, and the book highly praised.
J.A. Tyler, author of Inconceivable Wilson and A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed
Sirois disproves that art has no place during times of war. He illuminates the absurdities and complexities of war, details a ravaged, gorgeous landscape and the hearts of men in a way only a novel can do. Compelling, heartfelt, intelligent- Falcons on the Floor shows us how young men, all over this sad planet, become pawns in a world beyond their control.
Paula Bomer, author of Baby and Other Stories
The battle of Fallujah seen on the ground by Iraqis. Two young men slip out of the city under siege to walk through desert patrolled by Coalition commandos to Ramadi. Two young men with conflicting appraisals of the situation, and with the loyalties and lusts of youth and hopeless hopes. The writing of this complex novel makes it a lyrical and sensuous poem – an astonishing and mesmerizing book.
Alphonso Lingis, philosopher and author of The First Person Singular and Body Transformations
I hesitate to call this a brilliant first novel. It is a brilliant novel. Sirois demonstrates a succinct mastery of active language that manages to strike a lyrical cadence. The prose is poetry at times... the dialogue and action move so fluidly and with such grace that it feels like he is retelling a personal experience, or like he stumbled upon such a story, which just happened to take place on the eve of the sieges.
Seth Amos, Dark Sky Magazine