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Posted December 30, 2011
This is one of those stories where you think you know the answers, you think you know what¿s going to happen, only to have the rug pulled out from under you as it all unfolds. This is a very interesting story about a young veteran crossing the country to meet the girl of his dreams. It¿s a very powerful story, and the ending left me breathless.
Whether or not you support the war, you need to support our troops, who risk their lives for us, whether we want them to or not. Without their sacrifices, we wouldn¿t remain free. Read this novella; it¿s amazing.
Posted October 28, 2011
I read a lot of books, and very seldom does one find its way into my hands that has me stopping when I finish saying "Wow, I did not expect that". America Goes On is one of those rare and unexpected gems.
America Goes On is a written account, much like a journal of sorts, of a young man's journey across the country after his discharge from the Marine Corps. The story is filled with memories from the young mans tours inIraq. It also illustrates the challenges many of our soldiers face when they come home from war and try to find their way as civilians.
As the widow of aVietnamveteran, I have some understanding of the things these men are going through when they come home.
I found America Goes On to be well written and descriptive. The characters are well developed and realistic. My only real dislike about the story is the rather rampant use of curse words throughout the story. Now I have been known to cuss like a sailor at times but I find that using it in a written story leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I just think there are more descriptive ways to impart the "roughness" of a character without tossing around f-bombs and words like it.
I have to admit that I enjoyed and yet was slightly disturbed by the end of the story, and as odd as this may sound that dual reaction makes me like America Goes On even more.
All in all America Goes On is a good story that I highly recommend.
Posted September 30, 2011
This was an unusual novella. I had rather mixed feelings about it until the ending - which was a bit of a jaw-dropper. I thought it was rather clever and very definitely worth reading. I was quite attracted by the book's hook; a war veteran, Frank, travels across the Californian desert to New York to meet up with a girlfriend and drop in on his close ex-comrades along the way. I was keen to read how a war veteran copes with 'normal' life after being part of indescribable horrors-ones no young man today really imagines he will witness-and how Frank would readjust, mentally. Having only been to America a couple of times, I thought too, I might learn about a different part of this vast country. The novella is written in the first person and in the present tense (although it did once wander off course). Frank describes how he ended up fighting for his country; I'm not so sure that in the beginning it was for all the right reasons, but certainly, by the time his second tour of duty was over, the patriotism of this young man is very evident. As he travels across the desert and stops to catch up with his friends or to rest, he encounters various people who realise from his appearance that he is or was a Marine. It is on these occasions he discovers an indifferent attitude to war and those that serve in it-an attitude that riles him somewhat, believing he deserves more for putting his young life on the line for his country and it engenders a level of cynicism in him. He is keen to get to his destination and the lovely girlfriend he is eager to spend maybe a little time with, maybe a lifetime with, who knows, and to reacquaint himself with civilian life, albeit with a different perspective. His last port of call, however, gives him some answers to where his destiny lies.... This story isn't great literature - the language is harsh, regional and rough-edged. The sentiments, however, are clear and thought-provoking and just as you begin to think that this is just a hard-hitting, but sometimes poignant collection of reflections from a hardened war veteran which looks as if it will end rather sweetly..you get a metaphoric slap in the face. As it happens, I didn't learn anymore about America's geography. However, despite Frank's perception of his own compatriots' lackadaisical attitude to war, personally, I have never undervalued the sacrifice made by men and women who put their lives at such tremendous risk and the respect, awe and admiration I have for them is beyond measure. Now, it's infinitesimal.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2011
Since I rarely read something about a war veteran, or stories told through the eyes of a war veteran and written by someone who had been in war situation himself, I just jumped in at the opportunity without ever thinking of what I will encounter. Will it bore me? Will it contain disgusting violence? Or will surprise me with tear-jerking moments? America Goes On didn't have any of those factors at all. Still, it did well in capturing my emotion with its unforeseen wittiness, provocative muses and enduring hopes.
Frank is a fascinating character himself - the way the author wrote this story in Frank's voice was almost impeccable that most of the time, I felt as though Frank was talking to me in person. He was cynical without being too offensive and disrespectful, and I laughed every now and then at his antics which I found humorous. More importantly, most of the things he uttered were sadly true. I am certain that other 'Franks' out there could relate to this particular Frank.
Toward the end, I was kept guessing by the mystery of this 'girl' until I turned to the last page. I loved the surprised factor and it sent chills down to my spine.