Customer Reviews for

The Lotus Eaters

Average Rating 4
( 137 )
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5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    A NOVEL FOR THE AGES AND ONE THAT DESERVES EVERY AWARD IT SHOULD GET

    This may very well be the best novel of 2010, or of the new century. There isn't a false step in it. Pathos, angst, and the perfectly conceived description of love in a time of war, but love defined by the time, the place and the unspeakable horror of the Vietnam War. The photographer Helen Adams will find herself in a place in time that ultimately defines who she is, and what she will become. Helping to define her in a land on the brink of utter collapse and never ending blood letting is Sam Darrow, and the link that ties them together, the Vietnamese Nguyen Pran Linh. This is a book of truths. About who we think we are, who we want to be, and ultimately, who we become, whether we relish that becoming or loath it's cloak of inevitability. The metaphor, the simile, the overwhelming evocation of time and place is so carefully crafted that there simply isn't a false step in the narrative. The writing is incredibly beautiful and is sustained throughout the book.
    The dialog is just right on. Whether on the fields of battle, or along the environs of a Saigon just holding on without knowing that it's time is coming and coming in the measured cadence of black pajama clad soldiers with sandals made of the rubber from tires. Slipping like a thief in the night into a house with it's doors left unlocked, are other characters who slide in and out of the novel providing some comic relief, but more trenchantly, an unadorned glimpse into what the times were like for those who covered the Vietnamese war as newspaper correspondents and photographers; and, not to be forgotten for a moment, the soldiers who fought and died in it. Think of your very favorite novel, and its author. This is that novel; this is your novel.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2010

    The Lotus Eaters

    I had never read a Vietnam book [novel], written about a journalist. I could not put this book down. It grabs you from the 1st page to the last. I would recommend this book to all adults. It's a wonderful education on the time America was in Vietnam and personalizes it. Great book.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Anonymous

    This is a very intriguing and compelling book. The kind of genre I am not used to reading. But the title "The Lotus Eater" had me even more intrigued. It took me on a unforgetable journey from the beginning to the end. My mind was racing trying to keep pace with all the images of people, places, cities, countryside, death, and life. The character of Darrow still lingers in my mind, he thought he was invincible. What would he do with his life if the war suddenly stopped. The fact that he had a wife and child waiting for him was secondary to him. Then there was Helen, lived and loved for the moment only. She made reckless choises both in her professional and personal life. I didn't know whether to love her or hate her. The choice she made in the end would probably come back to haunt her. Mixed marriages were not readily accepted in that era. This book gave me an insight into the life of a photo journalist and how they risked their life to capture "the moment" photo and the coveted spot in the front page of Life Magazine. This would catapult them into fame and recognition. Their own exclusive club, a notch above the rest. These were a different type of breed of people, they went behind enemy lines, they didn't wear a uniform, they were willing to risk it all and the ever present strap accross their shoulder carried their most prized possession, their camera.

    This is book is highly recommended by me and worth a five star rating.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Beautiful book!

    Just finished The Lotus Eaters - couldn't put it down the last 3 days! Very well-written - Soli is extremely talented at drawing the reader into the story and the place. I don't have a negative thing to say except that the end left me wanting more, in a good way. I can totally see this being made into a movie in the future.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Beautiful

    As a child of the Vietnam era, i can remember watching on tv the last days of Saigon and hearing Nixon announce an end to the war. I never really knew why we were there. In the decades since I have read and read and then came upon this novel a few days ago. I was astounded at its beauty snd hoe my mind was visually drawn into her spider web of culture and smells and people. The main charachters were flawed but believable and one knew that Sam was destined for death. Helen had remarkable courage and yet also an innocence that slowly unraveled in the final years. This is a book for all who still remember this time with questions unanswered.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Haunting and Confrontational

    "The Lotus Eaters" by Tatjana Soli (Website) is a fictional book about the Vietnam War. Helen Adams is a combat photographer, a woman "in a young man's profession" is drawn to Vietnam after the loss of her brother in combat. Helen Adams' brother died in Vietnam and to her mother's dismay she feels a pull towards the country. Helen arrives without any experience joining a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Sam Darrow who shows her the ropes. Through brazen luck and skill she becomes known by her own right as a brave (and lucky) professional photographer. Helen falls in love with Darrow as well as with her (and his) mysterious Vietnamese assistant Linh who also has his own sad history. Together they go through turmoil and danger, much like the country they are documenting. The phrase "Lotus Eaters" comes from Homer's "Odyssey" and refers for one's will to return home being robbed away from them. This is a clue to the rest of the book and how Helen, who is so used to documenting savagery through the eye of the lens, will find life at the US unwearyingly boring. Helen is emotionally detached from her subject through the lens of the camera. She documents atrocities but feels safe and distanced from behind her instrument. Soli does an excellent job bringing to the reader the uncompromising horror of what Helen sees as well as the hypocrisy of war on both sides. Somehow Ms. Soli has managed to create an authentic experience in a fictional novel. The reader gets submerged into Helen's experiences and her own private war. The strength of the descriptive narrative comes not from an overly detailed account, but just enough to let the imagination ignite. "The Lotus Eaters" is an excellent novel, haunting, confrontational and compelling on several levels. While not written in chronological order, the book is stimulating and thought provoking as it does not deal with politics, but with the people impacted by decisions of world leaders thousands of miles away. For more book reviews please visit ManOfLaBook dot com

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Powerful

    A powerful novel. Not for the faint of heart. Well worth reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    A masterpiece

    This delicately written war novel unfolds in an imaginary domain where time and space intersect with thought provoking imagery and powerful emotions. It brings out, from the ashes of devastation, the beauty of the human spirit, triumphant and glorious.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    Captivating and memorable.

    Most interesting insight on Vietnam through a female reporter's view point. A story which explores the culture and thought process of a country which has been torn asunder by foreigners who knew what was best for their country......... Fascinating story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    falconheart

    Thank you

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    Rockclaw

    Runs in and says"help me attack BloodClan please!"(lisp all results)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Fernkit

    Hello a small maincoon kitten says may i join?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Darkmoon

    Pads in.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Icestorm

    She nodded

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    PARTYFUR

    PAAAAAAAARTY WEEEEEEE

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014

    Silvermist

    Falls asleep.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    I loved this book!

    Beautiful lyrical prose, moving love story!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Thrilling

    Loved the book from beginning to end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Outstanding

    I enjoyed this book its different and one of those where you cant turn the page fast enough half the time to see what happens next

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    great vietnam fiction

    Vietnam is vividly painted through words in this story of a female photo journalist. This follows well if you've enjoyed reading Tim O'Brien.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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