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The Committed

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The long-awaited new novel from one of America’s most highly regarded contemporary writers, The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but stil ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 2nd 2021 by Grove Press
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  • The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen
    The Committed
    by

    Release date: Mar 02, 2021
    The sequel to THE SYMPATHIZER, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and went on to sell over a million copies worldwide, THE COMMITTED tells t ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 25 copies available, 26 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 15 - Feb 01, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Robin It's a follow-on novel to "The Sympathizer". I think it's best to read them in order as the characters first come to life in the first book and the st…moreIt's a follow-on novel to "The Sympathizer". I think it's best to read them in order as the characters first come to life in the first book and the story in the second book will make more sense if you've read the first one. (less)

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.04  · 
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     ·  47 ratings  ·  22 reviews


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    Ari Levine
    Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
    3.5, rounded up. A sequel to Nguyen's Pulitzer-prize-winning The Sympathizer, with which it shares some of the same strengths and weaknesses. Here, the Sympathizer, aka Crazy Bastard, has survived a Viet Cong reeducation camp and an Indonesian refugee camp to wash up in Paris in the early 1980s, adopting the disguise of a Japanese tourist to sell hashish and heroin to haut-bourgeois Marxists as an accomplice of a Vietnamese exile organized crime and prostitution syndicate, based in "the worst As ...more
    Jill
    Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer was simply a stunning book, focusing on the absurdity of Saigon in the mid-70s from the perspective of an unnamed Vietnamese national. Our Sympathizer is blessed with the curse of sympathizing with conflicting perspectives, often uncovering the preening and pretentiousness of those involved. I read it with awe and couldn’t wait to be a first reader of its sequel.

    The Committed follows the dual agent, half-French Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris in the early 8
    ...more
    Dan
    Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    ”We were the unwanted, the unneeded, and the unseen, invisible to all but ourselves. Less than nothing, we also saw nothing as we crouched blindly in the unlit belly of our ark. . . Even among the unwanted there were unwanted, and at that some of us could only laugh.”.

    Reading Viet Thank Nguyen’s The Committed brings to mind multi-layered Matryoshka dolls and the iconic scene in Orson Welles 1947 noir, Lady from Shanghai, with Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane shooting at each other in a hall of
    ...more
    Amy | shelf-explanatory
    I am once again in awe of Viet Thanh Nguyen's writing, wordplay, and his ability to pack so much into his prose. The writing and narration style changes somewhat in this book, and there's several places where second person narration and page long run-on sentences are used. These devices are used to illustrate the altered mental state of the Captain following the events in THE SYMPATHIZER. I can see how these could be a turn off for other readers, but I felt that they did a good job at depicting ...more
    Phương
    eARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

    And the truth is: I don't like this book. I was so confused half of the time and exhausted in the other half. I'm not saying what I typed below was lying. It was just an extreme effort to utter out what positive things could be said about this book without spoiling anything since I saw so many people praising it and I'm scared to be offensive to those who have read it. This comes from a Vietnamese btw. It's good to see a Vietnamese auth
    ...more
    Vartika
    Ah, contradiction! The perpetual body odour of humanity!
    In this electrifying sequel to his Pulitzer-winning spy thriller The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen pursues his unnamed protagonist out of a Vietnamese re-education camp and into Paris, where he confronts the duality of his being anew: whereas he was torn before by his ideological diplopia—his cursed ability to sympathise with both sides of a conflict—he is now tortured by the fact that the "screw" separating his two personalities
    ...more
    Stephanie
    Oct 29, 2020 rated it liked it
    Thank you NetGalley for letting me read a digital copy of this book!

    I want to start by saying, I've never read Nguyen's first book based on the main character, The Sympathizer. I wasn't sure if I wouldn't be able to catch on to the sequel, but the back story is summed up fairly well in detail, describing the reeducation camp during the Vietnam War. "...ever since the childhood moment when a Viet Cong cadre aimed the accusatory finger of a revolver at the back of his father's head, puncturing the
    ...more
    Danny
    Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
    I’m fairly new to this ARC reviewing lark and I certainly did not expect to be granted the sequel to Pulitzer-prize winning ‘The Sympathiser’, a book that I loved (although I can still never look at a squid the same way again.) I also thought Viet Thanh Nguyen’s ‘Refugees’ was so good that I put it on a school course last year.

    So, what a pleasure to have the chance to read this a couple of months earlier than most. And for the most part, it was such a joy to be back in the world of Nguyen’s name
    ...more
    Dave
    Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This follow up to the incredible, pulitzer prize winning ,"The Sympathizer", is very much worth looking forward to. I feel I may reread upon publication as, at times, this novel of ideas and the duality of man was complicated to follow. Overall most of this book didn't engage me as much as his previous work, but then there were parts that were over the top outstanding. I would definitely recommend, especially to those interested in history, colonialism, and literary fiction that gets pretty meta ...more
    Jen
    Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Nguyen is one of America’s finest writers and thinkers. This follow up to The Sympathizer follows our double agent protagonist in Paris after surviving the re-education camp at the end of the first novel. I greatly appreciate the Advance Readers copy, but I did struggle a bit with the meandering prose. While Nguyen’s talent and intellect shine through, this one takes a patient and dedicated reader.
    Cherrie
    Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wowowow. Still digesting. Review to come.
    Jennifer Caloyeras

    Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Committed is spectacular. “Captain” has just immigrated to Paris, France, the birthplace of his father along with his friend, Bon. It’s 1981. What not many people know is that “Captain” is a spy and a communist sympathizer who was recently in a reeducation and then a refugee camp in America. “Captain” is caught between two identities and faces rampant racism in a post-Vietnam War society and he does whatever it takes to survive, including becoming a hash dealer. But under
    ...more
    Bagus
    I might be a minority among the readers of this book since I haven’t read The Sympathizer prior to reading this book. My brief introduction to Viet Thanh Nguyen is only through his collection of short stories The Refugees which paints the many faces of Vietnamese refugees in the United States. Now this book gives me a different flavour. Prior to reading this, I tried to read some synopsis of The Sympathizer to get a brief summary of Nguyen’s magnum opus which won him a Pulitzer in 2016.

    The Commi
    ...more
    CB_Read
    Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2020, reviews
    **My sincere and grateful thanks to the good folks at Grove Atlantic for taking a chance on me as a first-time reviewer for NetGalley.**

    Our revolutionary returns in this immediate follow-up to "The Sympathizer"; if you haven’t read that one first, you’ll be able to follow this sequel, but its most significant moments will have less of an impact. Assuming we’re all on the same page, however, the story very much continues right where the first novel left off.

    Our narrator now has a name—Vo Danh, “
    ...more
    Keith
    Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    In The Committed, Viet Thanh Nguyen gives us a second volume of the “confessions” of an unnamed Vietnamese national who served both sides during the war and is now exiled in France trying to reconcile his past and plot out his future. As a sequel to The Sympathizer, the author’s Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, this volume continues the initial framing device that the narrator is burdened with the ability to see every position of any conflict—to sympathize with both sides, in fact—to the exte ...more
    Stan Dunn
    Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I took a great interest in ‘The Committed’ in part because of my work in 1978 and 1979 in reuniting Vietnamese families who had come to the US but were separated in different military bases. There was a network of us that worked nearly around the clock to help reunite the refugees.

    ‘The Committed’ takes place a few years later, in the early ‘80s, when we follow (the unnamed) “The Sympathizer” and his colleague “Bon” in Paris as they reconnected with family and try to assimilate into the French cu
    ...more
    Wendy
    Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Beautifully written yet heavy tale of war, torture, identity and survival.

    Let me start by saying that this was my first book by this author. Therefore, while it is a follow-up to the widely known and beloved novel The Sympathizer, I was completely new to the story. While I'm sure that there were some parts that I missed because of this, it wasn't something that would prevent me from understanding the plot or the backstory, which was subtly but thoroughly explained.

    In The Committed, we read the s
    ...more
    Sandy
    Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book, in return for a fair and honest review.

    This book follows The Sympathizer, as the protagonist has now moved to Paris to live. His primary connection in Paris is the woman who was his "handler" when he was a communist spy infiltrating the anti-communist Vietnamese group in the United States. His life as a double agent became more complicated, as he was ordered back to Vietnam where he wound up being tortured in a "reeducation camp" by one of his two old
    ...more
    Steve Essick
    Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Thank you #NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Viet Than Nguyen’s #The Committed.
    First, while not necessary, I urge you to read Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Sympathizer, which is the predecessor to #The Committed. When I saw that #The Committed was being released , I honestly didn’t know if it could contain the same intensive drive and emotional power as the first book. Not only does it, in sheer narrative punch it, at times, surpasses it. Telling a chilling tale of the aftermath of
    ...more
    Diane
    Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I deeply appreciate Nguyen’s activism and the way he uses his voice. This is a sequel to The Sympathizer and we are in Paris of the 1980’s with a good summary (that doesn’t feel like one) of the re-education camp and how it affected the characters. I found this narrative to be looser and more tangled than I’d like, but appreciated characters encountering unexpected obstacles to establishing new lives. I also found the main character’s struggle with being half-French and wrestling with a sense of ...more
    Sunni C. | vanreads
    Thoughts and review to come!
    Tracy
    Jan 12, 2021 added it
    Review to come
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    Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of the novel The Sympathizer (Grove Press, 2015). He also authored Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and co-edited Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field (University of Hawaii Press, 2014). An associate professor at the University of Southern California, he teaches in the departments of English and ...more

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