Jason Panella's Reviews > Loon: A Marine Story

Loon by Jack McLean
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Jack McLean's Vietnam memoir looks at his tour as a Marine at the height of the America's involvement in the war. The book is from a fairly unique perspective; McLean enlisted after prep school, taking a route that most of his classmates avoided.

McLean splits his time between introspection and full-on machismo. The former lends some poignant moments to the narrative, especially near the end, as he looks back at the emotional wounds. The latter — which pops up mostly when McLean writes about his unit's action at LZ Loon — takes the form of rattling James Patterson-esque chest beating. It almost seems like McLean's terseness in the prose reflects his surroundings; that doesn't make it any easier to read, though.

The whole package works in the end, though, despite the shortcomings. It might not be as good as similar books by Tim O'Brien or Phil Caputo, but it's still a good effort overall.
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