Saigon Zoo: Vietnam's Other War Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780741420459
  • Publisher: Infinity Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/14/2004
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    insanity in Viet Nam!

    Initially, I thought being in the 'nam' was all 'doom & gloom'. Pete Whalon shows in his book that the R.E.M.F's actually took a miserable situation and had a 'ball'.Whalon's toughest assignment in Viet Nam,, besides sex, drugs and rock & roll, was the tough task of being a lifeguard! On the serious side, Whalon points out the dark side of the Viet Nam conflict such as heroin abuse amongst G.I's, racial tension between black & white soldiers, and constant conflict between the regular enlisted man -vs- 'the Lifer' 'career soldiers'. A must read for anyone studying the conflict of America's role in S.E.Asia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2004

    Wild Times n Nam!!

    Zoo's' A Keeper Reviewed by: Dave Siemienski (6/7/2004) I read this book with the same trepidation that I had when I was 'dodging' the Vietnam War. Namely, I didn't think I was going to like it. However, I couldn't avoid this work like I did that insidious war. Afterall, Pete was my friend, and he wanted me to read one of his first drafts. With great reluctance (knowing like he did, that I would have to tell him the truth), I began the journey through the distasteful memories of my struggle to stay away any kind of military service. I soon realized that maybe I was wrong. That war wasn't so bad, and neither was Pete's writing. In fact, from the moment I picked up the manuscript, I couldn't stop laughing. OUT LOUD! Hysterically. I couldn't put it down. The only other time I remember feeling that way about a book was my first youthful experience with 'A Catcher In The Rye.' This work provided the same empathetic, vicarious feelings of being inside someone else's thoughts, and thinking the whole scenario was a living comedy. This all seemed so real, yet still was a foreign lifestyle being described. The book follows Pete's 'career' in the military, something I did everything within my power to avoid. Finding out how Pete was duped into joining, and what he was thinking all the way, make this all the more enjoyable when you view it from the voyeuristic perspective of not having to relive unpleasant experiences. But contrary to my preconceived notions of 'Nam,' Pete made it sound like Disneyland in uniform. I began regretting I ever missed this wonderful opportunity for camaradarie with fellow soldiers, while sympathizing with his early terror in boot camp. Pete unfolds this real-life saga in stages of assignments, and you continually become amazed as he gets deeper into a bizarre world that you never imagined existed quite this way. The book reveals aspects of the overall negative view Vietnam that never occur to the casual historian. I was only into one of the 'sex, drugs, rock'n roll' elements of his subtitle, but through Pete I can indulge and experiment with a culture only previously known to his friends and other 'enlisted' young men. I highly recommend you explore this strange underworld and all its fun-loving, naive denizens. You can't help but laugh at their antics, shudder through their training, and smile at the ingenuity they found in turning a disasterous war into their own vacation from the usual rigors of 'growing up' in the 1960s. I resent the fact that Pete ended up having more fun in Southeast Asia than I did in Southern California during those crazy years at the end of that decade. Some guys have all the fun.

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