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The Year That Trembled
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The Year That Trembled

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Both a love story and a wartime chronicle, this powerful novel reveals the effects of the Vietnam War on a group of friends living in a small town in Ohio. As the 1970 draft lottery nears, the young men must examine their views of war and consider the fate that awaits them; the young women face the possibility of losing their husbands, boyfriends, and friends. Each member ...more
Paperback, 182 pages
Published November 8th 2013 by Gray & Company Publishers (first published December 1st 1998)
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May 26, 2014 ☮Karen rated it liked it
I think this is the one and only book I've read with the Vietnam war as the central theme. It brought back so many memories of that time, as I was in the same age group as the guys in the book who were waiting for their draft lottery numbers to be drawn so they could get on with their lives. Whether that meant getting drafted or not, the angst they all felt came through here so well. Of course, 18 year olds, or anyone else, shouldn't have to be put through this. These young boys are just ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Cindy rated it really liked it
I am a First Reads lucky winner! Thank you!

This story is told from the perspective of Casey, an 18 year old high school graduate, who lives with three friends in an old farmhouse near a peaceful meadow. It is 1970 and Casey and his friends await their fate as draft day nears. The Vietnam war is such a controversial conflict and the author does an amazing job in writing about the fears and feelings of these young men as they try to keep normalcy in their everyday activities while fearful of what
Dec 16, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
As I read this book I was transported back in time.

Much is written about the politics of the war in Vietnam. There are some books/ movies around that show the war through various soldier's eyes. Here is a somewhat different point of view, that of the young men waiting to see if their number is up (so to speak). Waiting for the draft lottery. Waiting to see where the life was going to lead them (please not Vietnam). How does one cope with the wait, the knowledge that your future will be decided
Jayne Charles
Feb 14, 2014 Jayne Charles rated it it was amazing
This was a quality reading experience. From the very first line, where the narrator informs us he “lived beside a meadow”, the novel has a strong sense of place and time. We have the idyllic meadow, and the house-share where four hippies hang out, argue over the washing up, and chant for world peace. It is 1970 and the shadow of the draft lottery is hanging over the group.

The writing throughout is of a high standard. Characters are sketched inventively (...”Jeff looked as if he accidentally got
Darcia Helle
The first two words that came to mind when I finished this book were 'beautiful' and 'poignant'. This story is told from the perspective of Casey, an 18-year-old young man who, in 1970, was struggling to make sense of a world that was splintering around him.

The characters are incredibly well developed. I felt the confusion, the happiness, the fear, and, most of all, the carefree hopefulness of youth.

The author does an excellent job of capturing the era. We see how much Vietnam consumed the mind
John Wood
Dec 23, 2013 John Wood rated it really liked it
Since I was also 18 in 1970, like the main characters in the book, I really enjoyed and related to their story. The references to music they played and the banter of that era brought back many memories. Having the Draft numer 44, I definitely related to the angst the young guys experienced. The story was good and the relationships were well described. Although it may give some insight into that era, I'm not sure how well people that didn't live through the Vietnam era will relate to the story. ...more
Jan 04, 2014 Helen rated it did not like it
I appreciated winning this book as a goodreads giveaway, but didn't really enjoy the book. It's a nostalgic look at the early 1970's, which reads too much like a hallmark version of young adulthood. I think the author really tried hard to help people understand what it was like for young men living in the shadow of the draft, however all the description of the setting and first love compromised the integrity of the story.
Feb 12, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I received an e-book copy of The Year That Trembled through LibraryThing.

That author did an excellent job transporting us back to the 1970s and I really enjoyed all the musical references. However, I felt there just was not enough depth to the actual story line, and in the end that left me pretty disappointed.
Aug 13, 2015 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
When I was in college the Selective Service System had a plan to draft young men into the Service in order to go the war in Vietnam. It involved a lottery based on your birthday. The anxiety this produced was palpable. Lax's novel addresses this situation whereby some will go and some will not. A good story.
Jan 06, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
This is a first Book Giveaway.

The effect of the Veit Nam war and the lottery draft on a group of people in a small town. A powerful story that captures the fears and moon of the era. Well written and fast paced.
Tony Parsons
former military luv 2 read this book
Kelsey rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2013
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May 07, 2014
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Mar 30, 2014
Bill rated it did not like it
Oct 28, 2013
Kimberly Lynne
Kimberly Lynne rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2014
Dianna rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2014
I loved this. I love American history and this is a huge part of 20th century American history.
Paul rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2013
Rachel Zake
Rachel Zake rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2014
Dorothy rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2015
Douglas Esper
Douglas Esper rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2015
Michael Ferrari
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Jun 27, 2016
Nathaniel rated it it was ok
Jan 01, 2015
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Jan 05, 2014
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Oct 28, 2013
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Christine rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2014
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Scott Lax is the author of two novels (VENGEANCE FOLLOWS, Gray & Co. Publishers, forthcoming Feb. 2014 & THE YEAR THAT TREMBLED, 2nd edition, Gray & Company Publishers, Oct. 2013); hundreds of nonfiction essays and features, short fiction and a stage-play version of THE YEAR THAT TREMBLED. Scott lives with his wife, son and step-son in the Chagrin Valley.
More about Scott Lax...

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“None of us laughed at Helen. Maybe because in 1970 we listened more to new ideas, however sentimental or foolish they sound all these years later in the harsh light of the millennium’s end. We wanted to find new answers for old questions, or we just thought there were new answers. And even with all the death that came daily, the death that would come to our gathering in the meadow, life in America felt as if it were being recast, reshaped, even redeemed by some transcendent thing.” 1 likes
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