La Fille d'Hô Chi Minh-Ville
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La Fille d'Hô Chi Minh-Ville

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  150 ratings  ·  26 reviews
La rencontre d'une jeune Vietnamienne, Tien, qui se croit orpheline depuis 1975 et un vétéran américain, Ben, qui revient dans un pays déchiré pour clore son histoire et prendre la mesure de la paix. Morceau par morceau, ils reconstituent le passé. Or Ben a eu une liaison avec une prostituée en 1966, dans la rue où habitait la mère de Tien qui, elle-même, a eu Tien, de pèr...more
Mass Market Paperback, 185 pages
Published May 4th 2001 by Rivages (first published January 15th 1998)
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Lisa Allender
I've already written a review at Barnes & Noble.com, but what you need to know is this:
Buy this book and read it for the LANGUAGE--for the poetic ways in which a tumultuous love affair turns into the things myths, fables, are made of. Though some have criticized this novel for being "too predictable", I would say it has an uncanny sense of "inevitability"--the excitement is not in the ending, but in how Mr. Butler gets you there. And get you there, he does!
Elizabeth
DAMN IT NO.
spoiler alert: exactly what you think is going to happen, from the first fucking page, happens, and then the book is immediately over.
Jami
This book was absolutely amazing. The alternating male/female narrative really puts the reader into this very complex and compelling "situation" in a way that makes the reader uncomfortable and excited and anxious and angry all at the same time. It is a difficult novel to put down once you get started and the sensuality of this novel as a whole is, in my opinion, unmatched by anything else out there today.

Dane Rune
Robert Olen Butler is a beautiful writer. As most of these reviews have said, the plot in itself isn't the best part about this novel, but I was propelled through the book anyways. Butler's sense of his characters is absolutely amazing, and every paragraph is beautiful in its own right.
Diana
Definitely a compelling, erotic story. Simply written, and unsurprising in its denouement, what was interesting was knowing the tragic (and unsavory) nature of the love story from almost the beginning, and yet being drawn into it nonetheless.
Caty
WARNING, SPOILERS:

Though the racial and historical dynamics could've been dealt with better--though Butler certainly gives it a good try--what I found most interesting about the book is the revelation of incest at the end of it. The two have fallen in love only to discover they are father and daughter. A book could play this for laughs or disgust, etc, but instead, it shows the true anguish and love of the two antagonists and the accident of history and biology that allowed them to meet years af...more
Leanne Hunt
This struck me as a very unusual book. Told from the point of view of two characters, it switches back and forth from the present to the past, weaving legend, family lore, memory and perception together in a most charming way.
The present-day story moves very slowly and is described in exquisite detail, with attention to sensuality and internal puzzlement. The back stories cover three generations of Vietnamese and American people, drawing in the character of each country and the social issues per...more
Gwen
A return to Vietnam story, this book tells the story of a love affair between a young Vietnamese woman and a Vietnam veteran in the early 1990s. There is some beautifully detailed writing, as the author tells the story moment by erotic moment, first in one character's voice and then the other's. It is an allegory for the American experience in Vietnam. The narrative is like a fairy tale or a myth, poetic and larger than life, but told with lots of emotional detail, which makes it a compelling re...more
Richard Ruby
This is one of the very best novels I have ever read, though one could say that of most of Robert Olen Butler's work.

Butler writes like Ingrid Bergman looks. The stunning beauty of his prose alone make the book worth reading. The story of the main characters, Tien and Ben is at once deep and profoundly moving, as well as tragic on a Greek scale.
Kristen
This book won a pulitzer prize, which led me to beleive that the first 80 pages would NOT be a sex scene. But, as is often in life, I was wrong. The writing was good, but the fact that I felt uncomfortable reading it on a plane (where people could read over my shoulder) means it onlt gets four stars.
Sandy
Robert Olen Butler is greatly influenced by Viet Nam. This is a creepy tale of a former GI and a woman he meets and befriends. This book did not live up to my expectations which were pretty high as I loved A Good Smell from a Strange Mountain. A short story collection by Butler.
Kurt
I loved this book. Yes, the subject matter was disturbing, and yes, the denouement was forseen, but the language, the "pillow talk" between these doomed lovers lit up every page. An erotic, tragic duet, and literary pas de deux that, like all art should be, is not for everyone's taste.
Ellen
I feel like writing to the library to ask that they take this book out of their collection.
Lots of sex details and very creepy. The author is very talented. I think he misused his talent in this book. It seems like the reviewers here either love the book or hate it.
Sarah Beth
The author is a very talented writer, and I learned much about thelives of mixed-race children of Vietnamese "bar girls" and American GIs during and after the war.

The ending is quite shocking.
Loraxe
Interesting story idea which could easily have been a true story, but I sort of wish it had just been part of a larger story, I wanted to know more about what happened after.
Kirsten
Would have liked to rate it higher, but the story itself doesn't seem to warrant it. His writing is really beautiful, I'm really looking forward to picking up some of his others.
Erma Aker

Couldn't decide how many stars to give this book. The writing is beautiful and evocative, the plot predictable and the ending melodramatic.
K. L. Petersen
This book was remarkable. I look forward to reading more of Butler's work. He's a gutsy writer with extraordinary talent.
Kikidee
Robert Olen Butler has managed to take a taboo and turn it into a love story that is by turns haunting and terrifying.
Justin
Hugely disappointing...prudish, uptight, overly mannered, with a preposterous ending. Some will like it though.
Jeff Ereverock
Vietnam Vet takes the only appropriate action to extricate himself from an inappropriate affair.
Monica
Was so disappointed I actually returned it.
Jeanne
wow, what an ending!
sandra
Beautiful prose and pacing.
Sarah Sammis
This one has stuck with me.
Braden
Braden marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2014
Teri
Teri marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2014
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90820
“I’ll never stop believing it: Robert Olen Butler is the best living American writer, period.”
– Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Robert Olen Butler has published eleven novels which includes The Alleys of Eden, Sun Dogs, Countrymen of Bones, On Distant Ground, Wabash, The Deuce, They Whisper, The Deep Green Sea, Mr. Spaceman, Fair Warning, and Hell, as well as five volumes of short fiction; Tab...more
More about Robert Olen Butler...
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain A Small Hotel Hell From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction Severance: Stories

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