4.0 2
by Scott Ely

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Many good Vietnam war novels fall into two classes: the highly realistic narrative of men in combat and the surrealistic or even supernatural approach to this most surrealistic of wars. This ambitious and exciting first novel can be placed into the latter category, although with some very chilling moments of realism as well. Tom Light is a legend in Vietnam, a loner who goes into the bush to snipe at the enemy with his rifle and starlight viewfinder. Feared by American troops as a harbinger of doom, Light is unwelcome at any firebase or camp. But one frightened young soldier named Jackson strikes a pact with Light, befriending him in return for a guarantee of safety, which he believes Light, with his mystical viewfinder, can provide. Plunging from absurd to hallucinatory, this is a consistently electrifying novel and a powerful debut. (April 6)
Library Journal - Library Journal
When radio operator Jackson is assigned to Major Hale's unit in Vietnam, he feels he has a chance to survive. Then Tom Light, a loner sniper, appears on the scene. Light is held in awe and suspicion by the troops because of his success in killing and surviving. Light's ``starlight,'' an optical device for night shooting, seems to exert strange powers. Jackson and Light become buddies with Light promising to protect Jackson. A hopeless engineering endeavor and an enemy sniper throw everything into a turmoil. Jackson believes the starlight predicts deaths, the troops believe Light can raise the dead to life, and the two buddies become enmeshed in events that are surreal and/or hallucinatory. A brief story that holds the reader and delivers a memorable experience. Recommended.Robert H. Donahugh, Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio

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Grand Central Publishing
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Starlight 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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