Phil's Reviews > A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
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Dec 11, 11

bookshelves: realistic-fiction-ya, theme-coming-of-age

This Pulitzer-prize winning collection of short stories portrays the many ways in which cultures can clash, in this case Vietnamese and American cultures – during the war, after the war, immigrants to America, soldiers’ post-war experiences. While not all stories may not be appropriate for use in school (Fairy Tale tells the story of love between an American, Vietnam War veteran and a Vietnamese immigrant prostitute in New Orleans, and Love is the story of a man who used to provide false information to American spies in order to have his wife’s lover’s homes bombed), I particularly recommend Crickets. In this story, a Vietnam immigrant tries to impart to his American-born son a game he used to play with his friends, in which they would stage fights between wood crickets and fire crickets. Of course, his son is ultimately uninterested, and the differences between old home and new home, old generation and new generation, show themselves in various ways.
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