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Posted February 2, 2006
This book wasn¿t just a notable story, or a noteworthy drama¿nor even a tome of decent fiction¿on so many tangential planes it was a heartfelt journey of epic proportions. The main character, Larsen, an innocent, sheltered, rather reclusive kid from Iowa, does more than become just another enlisted man in the navy¿he becomes consumed, degraded¿utterly corrupted on near every social level imaginable (or unimaginable). A young kid, so desperate to be a man, climbs that looming, metaphorical ladder few are ever forced to ascend, falling¿repeatedly¿into the outer fringes of hell¿but then, relentlessly, up again he goes. In the day an a half it took to read this book, I initially found myself looking for action, for combat¿for the all-out blood¿n guts of war¿you betcha. But the war, I eventually realized, was Larsen himself, psychologically raging into, through and around him. His merciless plight consumed me again and again¿and again. For anyone stepping into, and hopefully through, the Conformist Stage of life, this book gives the worst (and the ultimate best) of what the true journey entails. My hat¿s off to Steve Mitchell and his ability to breathe such a fiery realism into Larsen, and those off-center characters surrounding him, masterfully molding this young man's life¿on every conceivable stage of his development. Thank you, Steve. Sincerely. Never,thy pen, lay to rest.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2002
This is a wonderful story of a man joining the navy and growing into manhood during the Vietnam era. The author's masterful use of words captured my attention in the first chapter and I felt that I knew each of the characters personally by the end of the story. The main characters hopes and fears after joining the navy had me there next to him on that ship wondering what would happen next. I could feel the pain, the fear, and the joys the character expressed as though the feelings were my own. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who truly enjoy the characters they read. Mitchell has a wonderful way with words that puts you into the hearts of his characters.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.