Carry Me Home

Carry Me Home

5.0 1
by John M Del Vecchio
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The author of the arresting Vietnam novel The 13th Valley captures anew the lives of soldiers who find themselves behind enemy lines--within their own country. In 1969, faced with a withering barrage of personal tragedy and bureaucratic deception, three veterans stumble home to a nation changed. Carry Me Home is a story that bears witness to the ultimate battle--the

Overview

The author of the arresting Vietnam novel The 13th Valley captures anew the lives of soldiers who find themselves behind enemy lines--within their own country. In 1969, faced with a withering barrage of personal tragedy and bureaucratic deception, three veterans stumble home to a nation changed. Carry Me Home is a story that bears witness to the ultimate battle--the war to reclaim the American dream. HC: Bantam.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this immensely detailed and nearly humorless final installment of his trilogy about America's war in Southeast Asia (The 13th Valley; For the Sake of All Living Things), Del Vecchio focuses on veterans who returned home in the late '60s only to find themselves viewed largely as lepers. Back from his second tour in Vietnam, Marine Sgt. Tony Pisano, 20, bears a leg wound, is assigned to burial detail, marries student nurse Linda, tries out college and faces widespread hatred. Tony's story, central to the novel, melds with that of his doomed buddies, who are now rootless ``expatriates'' in their own country. More grounded is the also returned Capt. Robert Wapinski, whose Pennsylvania farm becomes a haven for many vets fighting public castigation, post-traumatic stress disorder and the effects of Agent Orange. Del Vecchio shows these vets' fury at the V.A. (which combats recognition of their various addictions, insanities, damaged genes, etc.) at the whinings of the``Me'' generation, and at the media, which the vets accuse of misrepresentation, and for which they hold a mock trial at Wapinski's farm. In one telling moment, Tony, recovering from one of many breakdowns, is told by his indignant wife, ``Your daughters' daughters will live with your psychosis long after you and I are gone.'' At every turn, Del Vecchio sacrifices pace for infinite detail, but the overall purpose of his powerful proletarian art demands such detail to underscore his characters' pain and, for a few, uplifting recovery. (Jan.)
John Mort
In "The 13th Valley" (1982), which has become almost a cult classic, Del Vecchio battered away at the reader with cruel, gritty, deeply sympathetic portraits of black and white soldiers in Vietnam. "Carry Me Home" completes a trilogy (the second novel, "For the Sake of All Living Things" [1990], dealt with Cambodians and the Khmer Rouge) begun by "The 13th Valley", and deals, much like James Jones' "Some Came Running", with veterans trying to adapt to civilian life. Robert Wapinski and Tony Pisano, both from a Pennsylvania mill town, are done in by their demon memories of combat. Wapinski, jilted by his fiancee, catches another woman on the rebound and follows her to California where he makes money selling real estate but poisons his soul; Pisano falls into a deep spiral of drug abuse and then, as he begins to pull himself together, becomes physically sick from the effects of Agent Orange. (The scenes in veterans' hospitals, in which Del Vecchio takes the wholesale administration of psychotropic drugs to task, are so sad and bitter that they are difficult to read at one sitting.) Also in California, and crossing paths with Wapinski, is Tyrone Blackwell, a black veteran who is drawn into various quasilegal housing schemes. Del Vecchio's method with all three is to trace the history of their relationships with mostly patient, sometimes unadmirable, but always recognizable women. These volatile relationships become, ironically, rather tedious, but in the end they gain a frightening power from Del Vecchio's accretion of utterly authentic detail. And Wapinski, at least, comes to a hard-earned redemption through the example of one fine old man and a beautiful, communitarian idea.
Harry W. Hayes
"Arresting, fury and chattering...the most eloquent novel ever to examine the American Vietnam veteran and his return home to a nation that had failed them." -- International Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553072242
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/1995
Pages:
736

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

Al Santoli
"A magnificent achievement. A defining novel of the post-war Vietnam experience."
Samuel Zaffiri
"Not since James Jones'...has anyone so clearly and forcefully portray the experiences of men returning home from war."

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Carry Me Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quite simply, one of the finest books I have ever read. If you wish to read a defining story of the entire Vietnam experience this is the book.