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The Alleys of Eden
 
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Robert Olen Butler
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The Alleys of Eden

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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  69 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Set in Saigon and in America, this debut novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler is the tragic story of a man and a woman of widely diverging cultures who are brought together by the turmoil of war, only to drift apart in the aftermath of the crisis. Clifford Wilkes -- the last U.S. Army deserter left in Saigon -- has lived for the past five years in a small hote ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 12th 1983 by Henry Holt and Company (first published 1981)
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Paul Brent I have read several books by Robert Olen Butler and have found him to be an excellent author who started his professional writing career writing about…moreI have read several books by Robert Olen Butler and have found him to be an excellent author who started his professional writing career writing about experiences of Vietnam soldiers returning to the US and their interactions with the Vietnamese people. The book is more a novella in that it is only 250 pages. While an interesting story, there were times where the dialogue went on a bit much and I think some editing.(less)
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Kie
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This lyrically written book broke my heart.
Penny
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book moved me. I remember seeing the striking images of the evacuation of Americans and “at-risk” Vietnamese – footage on TV and photographs in magazines. This author does an excellent close-up of this historical time through the personal perspective of the novel’s characters, and in a way I relived it but it was more real to me in this book.

There are many stories about veterans of that war whose struggles back in America were documented, but this one is different, about a deserter who has
...more
Jacob Nelson
I really enjoyed this novel. Eighty percent of the book takes place in two rooms; a small apartment in Vietnam and a small rented room in America. Clifford Wilkes is a deserter from the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war. He worked in intelligence and is fluent in Vietnamese. He decides to desert after an interrogation session goes wrong and a man dies. After running away from the Army he spends the next four years living with a local girl that happened to be a Vietnamese prostitute. He falls in l ...more
Krista
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think I was disappointed because I didn't love this novel the way I was knocked out by Olen Butler's short story collection, but it was still a good read. Very intense ride inside the head of an ex-intelligence officer in Vietnam who deserts and then has to decide what he and his Vietnamese girlfriend will do as Saigon is falling. A bit tiring to read due to a lack of chapters (it's split only into two parts), but I guess stylistically it makes sense, since it makes for a tumbling pace.
Eddie
Mar 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Vietnam deserter gets out and returns to US
Della Scott
Sep 12, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12178795
Isadora Wagner
Recommended.
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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 sixteen novels—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, Hell, A Small Hotel, The Hot Country, The Star of Istanbul, The Empir
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