There is no way to say how bad this book is - just awful! No history and completely anachronistic characters. I was tricked by the good reviews - one has to cross reference the good reviewers to see what other books those people liked. The narration is really bad too - hyper dramatic. Yuck.
I have read two of his other books which were quite dissimilar and very good - Skeletons at the Feast and Midwives. This book was many steps down in every way - plot lines that went nowhere, flimsy charactors. I am not even done quite yet, and I will finish, but I can't even believe it was written by the same guy. His publishers must have been hounding him to finish something. The homeless angle was lame.
I was a child when this book took place and knew nothing about Vietnam. This book taught me a lot of things that all Americans need to understand about Vietnam and the kids who fought there. As a parent now I realize what a sacrifice it is for people who send their children to war - even wars that seem to have an honorable purpose. War, even the "good" ones will always devolve into madness and futility. This is a must read for anyone interested in Vietnam. The narration was one of the best I have heard - multiple characters in recognizable voices.
I too wish I had read the reviews but I had so anticipated this book by this author that I foolishly rushed in! The narrator is awful leading me to wonder if she has read Gliead and if she understood the spiritual nature of this book. It must be re-recorded - I will now have to re-read in paper form. The worst recording ever!!!
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