"Searching for Gurney is a tender, convincing, sometimes harrowing, and wonderfully written novel that explores the psychological aftershocks of the American war in Vietnam. For veterans and their families this is a must read."
-Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried
"Searching for Gurney'will open your mind and heart to the sad reality that too many Vietnam veterans faced when they returned home. Jack Estes has given us powerful characters who allow readers to understand a time when young men risked everything and lost much to serve their nation's bidding."
-Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn
This fine novel by Jack Estes is a bracing and brutal tale of four soldiers whose lives intersect during the Vietnam War and whose bodies and minds are forever impacted by their wartime experiences. The main characters-three U.S. Marines and a North Vietnamese Army soldier-may be separated by geography, race and the circumstances of their upbringing, but they have much in common as they struggle mightily in the aftermath of their service. Estes puts you right there on the ground, writing with the authority that comes from having experienced the camaraderie among these brothers in arms, as well as the terror from violent, deadly encounters with the enemy, often in the blackness of night. As these individual stories unfold, going back and forth in time, we see how these young men begin their military service with some mix of pride, bravado, idealism and adventure-but also get a glimpse of their fears. We see how they bond (or not) with fellow warriors, how they are shaped by their battlefield experiences, and how they deal with domestic life.Bottom line: Jack Estes has written an outstanding novel that's painful to read, but also important to our understanding of the demons that so many of our veterans live with. It's at once an account of the brotherhood forged in war and the physical and psychological issues that make it so difficult for these troubled men to find their place again among the rest of us.
-George Rede, former Opinion editor at The Oregonian/OregonLive.com
"In Estes' war novel, Searching for Gurney, four soldiers cope with the effects of a deadly engagement between U.S. Marines and members of the North Vietnamese Army. The staggered timelines offer readers an almost Cubist vision of PTSD, providing its context while dramatizing its aftereffects. It all builds steadily to the key event, which, by the time it arrives, has grown to near-mythic proportions."
"Estes, a Marine Corps veteran who was wounded in Vietnam, brings both personal experience and meticulous research to the page. This brutal novel of American and Vietnamese soldiers' struggles during and after the war will enthrall fans of character-driven drama. Great for fans of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War.