Jul 05, 08
Read in July, 2008
I finally finished this amazing book. I am a fan of anything about the Vietnam war, you know, the first one we lost. That is what this novel is about, and naturally delves into each characters' "heart of darkness."
Denis Johnson paints unfiltered portraits of a general, a corporal, a marine, a navy newbie, VC's, CIA operatives, assasins on both sides, a volunteer nurse, a priest, a double-agent, a girlfriend back home, an ignorant mom- every possible character perspective of a war that began SNAFU and ended totally FUBAR.
Not for the faint of heart, this book goes right for the jugular and had me almost in tears by the end of the first chapter.
This book masterfully illuminates how an innocent boy becomes a killer because of a war without sense or reason and how he copes with his primal self that religion and society are constantly trying to keep in check.
Men and their wars: always a fascinating subject, made more poignant since we are now smack in the middle of another "history repeats itself" moment.