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Perfume River Nights

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In PERFUME RIVER NIGHTS eighteen-year-old Jimmy Miller, called Singer by his platoon mates, wants to prove his bravery in the trials of war but he never considered how hard it would be to kill a man or what might happen if he did. He doesn’t think about death and dying. He only imagines the glory. But when a vicious North Vietnamese Army ambush engulfs Singer and his frien ...more
Paperback, 329 pages
Published May 15th 2016 by North Star Press
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PERFUME RIVER NIGHTS astounded me with all of the horrors of the Vietnam War. This novel was written by someone who had been there, and it was written so very realistic. I want to thank Mr. Maurer for writing such a powerful book to help me understand what it really felt like to be there. This war screwed up so many soldiers. I highly recommend this book to all!
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Scott- this is not a book that you set down to enjoy. It becomes obvious immediately that this is a deep and personal conversation with the author about reality, decisions and war, that should give the reader many sleepless nights to think about our values and perceptions of what we hold to be true .
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I have read several books about the Vietnam war, both fiction and non-fiction. This book ties them together. If even 1/3 of the book is based on true events it makes you realize the way the war was fought was wrong from the very beginning. I respect war veterans even more after reading this book.
Jen Maurer
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An intense and captivating read! Characters that jump from the page and into your heart. A real page turner you won't be able to put down! ...more
Sherri Silvera
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads

This was a difficult book to attach a number or star rating to. It was fiction but really felt like it could be semi autobiographical. This was a controversial time and a disliked war. It was also, in my opinion, not taught well in school.

The novel gave me a better appreciation of what a soldier just entering the Vietnam War went through. I did find the plot a bit tedious throughout, but maybe that was the day-in-the-life of a paratrooper. This story really made you understand how the Vietnam
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great read, well developed characters, very intense. Perfume River Nights is a work of fiction, but I have to believe there is more truth in it than the reader will ever know. If you have never served (like me) you will never pass a man or woman in uniform without saying THANKS after reading this book.
Kathy Heare Watts
A book that takes the reader on the journey of life in 1968 from Pope Air Force Base/Fort Bragg, NC to Vietnam. Jimmy Miller, aka Singer, an eighteen-year-old will experience the roller coaster ride of war, death, dying, killing and the nightmares that go along with it.

As the daughter of a retired soldier, this was where we lived, Fayetteville, NC, and the very timeframe my father was in Vietnam the first of his two tours (1968-69.) For my father, Vietnam is a closed subject, one that haunts him
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book at the county fair, the author had a booth set up and was selling it and talking to people about it and his life, his experiences with the Vietnam war, etc. It was an interesting moment, and I'm really glad I visited the booth, and even gladder that I got the book.

Basically this book really blew me away. Its not enjoyable, per se, but its so interesting, so well written, and such an incredible story that you just can't stop reading it. Its content is not always easy to read ab
May 23, 2020 added it
Review to come
Derek Moore
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's 1986 and Michael P. Maurer takes us to Vietnam. Eighteen year old Jimmy Miller called Singer wanted to know how it would feel if he killed a man. This is a poignant story about war and the bonds the men build. This is not the type of book I usually read. It was a well written and intense novel. Readers can only imagine what our troops went through and respect what the Vietnam vets actually experienced. Thank you for the opportunity of receiving this book. have already passed it on to a frie ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Perfume River Nights is the story about 18-year-old Jimmy Miller and his experiences in Vietnam. Jimmy is looking forward to Vietnam but he learns very quickly that it is nothing like he thought. This book was hard to read at times and at other times, I couldn’t put it down. The story stayed with me for a long time and I'm getting teary just thinking about it. It's a book that everyone should read. ...more
Gail Sarasohn
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a powerful book. At times it was difficult to read because it was heart wrenching
and so real. I really got into the mind of a
soldier. I felt as if I was there with him.
Aug 21, 2019 marked it as to-read
Intense and very thought provoking.
But.......beautiful and beautifully written.
Thanks !!
Susan Terry
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Michael P. Maurer, North Star Press of St. Cloud and the Goodreads Giveaways team for the lucky chance provided to read this book. It is a truly touching story depicting the experiences of our young men sent off to serve in war and particularly the Vietnam war. It brings to life the gut wrenching decisions they are asked to make daily and renders visceral images of the contrast between the beauty of the place, the humanity of the people and the true horrors of war. Love the title an ...more
Mark   Eckstein
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
received as a goodreads give away.

I was really excited to read this book and it more than lived up to my expectation. A gripping looking into the horrors of war and the struggle to maintain one's self in those horrors. I couldn't put it down from start to finish.
Stacie Saurer
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.

Wow, this is in my top 2 books I've read this far in 2018. High School history focussed a lot the world wars and somehow never made it as far as Vietnam, despite the fact that most of us had dads or uncles that fought in it. My own dad was drafted, but never spoke much about his experience. This book fills in so many of the gaps.

Most fiction about wars tends to romanticize or glorify it in some form---maybe a love story in the midst of chaos or a hus
Joni Haynes
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book from Goodreads, and I am honored to have the opportunity to review it. This book is stunning from the outset! I learned many things about the VietNam war that I had not known...some things I probably would rather not have known. The action seemed very real to me, even though it was a work of fiction. The only reason I only give it 4 stars and not 5 is that it kind of bogs down in too much extraneous detail somewhere in the middle of the book. Thank goodness I continued reading, h ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. This book gave me real insight into the life and changes of a young man in the military. He started out as an eager young man wanting to fight. After battle engagements, he changes. It is a great book to give anyone that has had someone serve or have wanted to serve in the military, it shows them how war changes a person. Thank you Michael Maurer for writing this book. This book would be a good book for young people to read to understand how life and ...more
Carol E.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book answers the question I have always had: what was it like for combat soldiers in Vietnam? I got the answer in this book, and it isn't pretty. Eighteen-year-old Jimmy (Singer) goes to Vietnam, excited about the upcoming "glory" he hopes to experience. He finds it to be quite different than he expected; he begins questioning everything he has understood about war, about what he is capable of thinking and doing, and about his own inner self and who he is.

At 18, one should be leaving high s
Thelma Fountain
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book in a good reads giveaway. When I first began " Perfume River Nights " I was a little surprised at how much I was enjoying the story. This is my first Vietnam era book. I have read quite a few world war ll novels and a couple of books about Afghanistan. When I reached the combat chapters the reading became more difficult because I found myself feeling depressed at times I had to put the book down and walk away for a while. When a writer can bring such an emotional response fr ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful book. A fascinating story of what happens to a young man when he faces the brutality and terror of combat. Singer and his comrades are so vividly drawn that I will be remembering them and their actions for a long time to come. This book seems so real to me that it has to have been written by someone who has experienced the reality of guerrilla warfare himself. It also will make me regard PTSD differently in the future. A story worth reading!
I won a copy of this book in a Goodr
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: misc-read
I won this book through Goodreads. Wow. Awe inspiring and terrifying look into the minds of those who serve it have served. It is unimaginable that people go through all this. I am so thankful for all our service men and woman. Just wow.
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Normally, I'm not a fan of war stories. Especially any about the Vietnam War. I grew up with being bombarded with daily news of the war and death counts. And it never seemed to end. And nobody could tell me why we were there, or at least not why it justified so many deaths and damage to our boys/men. Growing up, we were against the war. I don't ever recall being against our boys, but against the war. Anyhow, Perfume River Nights - engrossing. Easy to read. Hard to put down. Sticks in your mind. ...more
Amelia Jeanne
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I got this book sophomore year of high school when the author came into my English class to promote it and gave me a free copy. I did not read it in full until the summer before my sophomore year of college. Overall I thought it was decent. My favorite character by far was Top. He is who I want to be like and he is who I want to marry. Singer spent the whole book mourning over Rhymes but I feel like I barely even knew him so I couldn't really relate. In some parts the book was sort of choppy and ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy from Bookreads and recommend this book because it is a candid and vivid biography focusing on a short period during the Vietnam war.
Not too long, not too short, it offers a comprehensive view of this military experience and a good balance between the descriptions of the events and the evolution of the author's feelings about his involvement in the conflict.
In only a couple of months, mostly due to traumatic events, a profound reflection leads the author to question his val
Leona Sweet
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really gave you the true feelings of what happened in Viet Nam. I don't thing the average person knew how our men were living and what pain and sacrifices they went through. Thank you Mr. Maurer for telling how things were. ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
well written. not the usual book i go for, but was proud to have won it from Goodreads to add to my collection.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What an incredibly powerful read. Knowing that the author writes from first-hand combat experience makes it all that much more impactful. I would definitely recommend this book.
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Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The title: Perfume River Nights would have you thinking this is some exotic, star filled place in time, not the jungles, rivers or mountains of Vietnam. Jimmy Miller (Singer) is a new paratrooper for the 82md Airborne Division, sent to Vietnam. Reading the book, every time he stepped lightly in the darkness, I did too. When his muscles were tightened and tense, so were mine. When he felt fear, so did I. When he held his breath, I held mine also. This book has you on the edge of your seat at all ...more
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MICHAEL P. MAURER is the award-winning author of PERFUME RIVER NIGHTS (June 2016), a novel that has drawn praise from Natalie Goldberg, author of WRITING DOWN THE BONES and THE GREAT SPRING, as well as from Mary Logue, author of the Claire Watkins mystery series.

A decorated combat veteran and former paratrooper, Maurer was just eighteen years old when in 1968 he served in Vietnam as an Airborne i

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114 likes · 81 comments
“He stopped loving her a long time ago. Maybe after May fifth, when he had stopped loving himself.

There was so little left to love anymore. He had loved some of the guys around him but they were gone now. He loved his rifle. Beyond that, there was no love. Maybe he had to let go of love to do these things.”
“There was no clarity, only the power of his rifle and the proximity of death and his involvement in it all. He didn't know who he was anymore. Maybe he never had. So much had changed in so short a time. He had survived so much yet had so far to go. Would he ever make it home? Who would he be if he did? So many guys he cared about were gone. It was up to him to give their deaths meaning.” 0 likes
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