** spoiler alert **
I found this story to be a bit confusing. The Vignettes, while still relating to the general topic of war, were not within the main storyline and therefore a bit distracting and confusing. I often found I wasn't quite sure how old Nick was in each scene, and when the short stories switched to ones of other people I was thrown off track as I was expecting Nick to be in those too, only to find it was about completely different people. The imagery, however, was very vivid, for the most part, and I could generally tell what was going on even if I didn't understand the context around the events. In the end Nick seemed very disillusioned with life in general, as he didn't seem to hardly care that his home town was burnt down. The story reminded me of Slaughterhouse 5, because of its depictions of times before and after wars, with their various effects on people and places. Although definitely having a message and a progression of the main character, Nick, growing up, this story seemed to lack a definite plot. More than the usual progression of a story, it was more like various events in Nick's life which demonstrated changes in his character. The stories about people in Europe I found largely unnecessary except to possibly show what life was like for Americans living in Europe, I suppose. All in all, I prefer more linear, continuous stories to ones like this, although this was an interesting, different experience.