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Thread: Bao Ninh: The Sorrow of War

  1. #1
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    Vietnam Bao Ninh: The Sorrow of War

    Having recently read the NYT bestseller MATTERHORN, a 'big fat book' [according to the Liam system of classification!] I was immediately transported back to an earlier read printed in 1994, The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh. (I can't recall when I got to it, found it).

    Whereas Matterhorn is well written and disturbing The Sorrow of War is a book brimming with humanity and suffering. Having only read American accounts of the war, it was quite a splash when it came out and wasn't so much a case of just 'showing the conflict from the other side' but showing how human beings are chewed up and destroyed in the process of war. As reviewers on Amazon have said: it is probably one of the most touching books you'll ever read.

    I'm generally not one for endless accounts of war in fiction, but when the writer can write, it's a genre that can really deliver experience of life like no other, another exceptional read, quality of writing, the visual imagery, was FIRST LIGHT, the account of a Spitfire Pilot during WWII and the Battle of Britain, also a BBC TV programme.
    Last edited by Hamlet; 08-Apr-2012 at 20:51. Reason: tinkering
    "Man cannot do without beauty, and this is what our era pretends to want to disregard"
    Myth of Sysyphus ~ by Albert Camus

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bao Ninh: The Sorrow of War

    Sorrow of war is a little gem of a book. I always prefer to read the war tales fom the sufferer's point of view , and not those heroics that interest the movie makers.
    Jayan



  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bao Ninh: The Sorrow of War

    It's also a love story, for those who may decide that any 'war' fiction, is just that. The separations and dislocation that war ineviatbly brings, families torn apart, belief-systmes to get you through, and this long-suffering soldier is a victim of both sides, it's told in this objective way, and not just because he's fighting the Americans and that they are the boogey-men, everyone gets sucked up into the vortex of the war.

    I remember the title of the first chapter-

    Jungle of the Screaming Souls, a place where the ghosts of the dead walk. I'ts a battlefield, where so many have died, we join the grim Body Truck, the soldiers are frightened of this part of the jungle, they can hear the dead screaming and whaling at night. This introduces the Vietnamese belief systems.
    Last edited by Hamlet; 09-Apr-2012 at 08:55.
    "Man cannot do without beauty, and this is what our era pretends to want to disregard"
    Myth of Sysyphus ~ by Albert Camus

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