|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
From Literary Aficionado
by Grady HarpD.S. Lliteras has looked at the 20th century and found it wanting. Or rather, the audience for excellent literautre has yet to recognize his importance so perhaps it is we, the wanters, who are still lost, searching for a voice to define the last fifty or so years. His credentials are impressive: he has written twelve books since 1992, his first novels were biblical in nature and while they gained accolades from the press it was only when he decided to enter and related that part of his psyche that was most vulnerable that his books burst into significance. Lliteras joined the US Navy after high school and became a corpseman assigned to the USMC First Reconaissance Battalion First Marine Division near DaNang, winning a Bronze Star for valor. He was trained as a diver and further endured the Vietnam War in that role. Following his discharge from the USN he gained his BA and MA in Fine Arts from Florida State University and worked as a theatrical director until 1979, resigning to become a merchant sailor. In 1981 he aligned with the USN as a deep sea diving and salvage officer, following which he resigned his naval commission and became a professional firefighter. And yes, all of this is pertinent to the content of this, his newest and most brilliant book.There are many novels written about all aspects of the Vietnam Warsome famous for recreating all aspects of the Vietnam Warsome famous for recreating the atmosphere of that major mistake in US history both in the ill-defined battle ground of Vietnam and in the rebellion by those in the US who either violently protested the war or ran way from it to Canadabut to date this reader (who served in Vietnam from 1968-1970 in the same region as the author assigned by the USN to the USMC, etc) has not encountered a novel that breathes the humid musky air of that jungle war so accurately as does Lliteras' Viet Man: even the title is tellingabout the mixed emotion of participating in that war. As a corpsman Lliteras takes us through his arrival in Danang, his preparation for recon search and destroy missions with the Marines, his response to every aspect of that robbed year of service, the terror of near death episodes, the ever-respect paranoia of not knowing where the 'enemy' was, the physical exhaustion of patrols and combat enounters, yet he also shows a very human aspect of the interdependence among his marines, the humor, the use of drugs and other escape hatches to breathe outside the line of fire if only for moments, and the bonding with men on whom to depend for protection while he provided medical readiness for the results of engagement.But one aspect (of many) that makes his book so rich and so real is his extraordinarily literate ability to place his descriptions of thoughts poetically while relating the acrid details of the war zone thinking in piercingly penetrating, sharp prose. He compares 'Patrol Reports' (set on gray sheets and all in military terminology) with his relating from a corpsman's mind and memory what really happened. This attention to both feelings and observed details is what makes the books more credibleand it is that combination that makes his eventual return to the US to find a country that seems to disregard him as a meaningless non-existent piece of unnecessary reminder dung that we all felt when returning "home" to the country for whom we had placed our lives on hold in a zone of persistent cerebral damage we are still feelingit is that aspect that has been missing.What Viet Man offers us is not only a work worth of literary accolades, but a tribute to a time when the world was confused and tenuousas we have never been able to understand why, until now, where between the covers of this book we find our own Wilfred Owen. Highly Recommended.