I'm not a war-story fan, especially about Vietnam, which was too close for comfort for my life. But this novel is a masterwork. The realism, the terror, the ambition, the racial tension, the heroism, the losses, the grudging regard for the enemy, the futility and anger over taking a hill only to abandon it ... all the things you feel you knew about Vietnam but, after reading this book, you realize that - unless you were there - you really knew nothing about it. And instead of the typical bang-bang, blow-it-all-up type of ending so often gratuitiously employed, this novel comes to a perfect, thoughtful, poignant conclusion. Ranks right up there with All Quiet On The Western Front, Apocolypse Now, and such. Now I understand what our 'Nam veterans really went through and how strong they truly were and are.
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