War Trash

War Trash

by Ha Jin
3.0 8

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War Trash 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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jgower More than 1 year ago
Ha Jin's "War Trash" is a novel that is rich in detail, giving the reader an extraordinary experience. His choice of words in every situation is exquisite, and it is difficult to sense that any sentence is less than perfect as his main character genuflects on the fog of war. The novel follows Yu Yuan, who despite being a graduate of a Chinese military academy, is ill-trained and ill-equipped by the new communist Chinese government as he is sent in 1951 to join North Korean forces in the Korean Conflict. His unit is quickly decimated, and Yuan is captured and sent to a series of prisoner-of-war camps that in many instances were worse than the battlefield. Jin's carefully selected prose gives the reader a rare insight into the politically-motivated violence inside the POW camps of that time and what it was like to be repatriated after the war to a communist-ruled China, where surviving a war meant years of re-education and family shame. An outstanding war memoir, one that emphasizes that the perceived glories of war are rarely enjoyed by the common soldier, the ones that pay the highest personal price of being easily expendable (or 'war trash') by political elites.
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