A group for folks who have written memoirs or like to read them.
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A recent review from a very respected reviewer and bibliographer:
5.0 out of 5 stars An Engrossing, Phantasmagorical Book,
David A. Willson (Maple Valley, WA USA) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME)
This review is from: Everything Happened In Vietnam: The Year Of The Rat (Paperback)
This is an engrossing, phantasmagorical book. I've read a lot of Marine Corps memoirs, and this is an unusual one, but very readable on every page.It's hard to explain why I find this book so singular. The author gives us some clues on the verso of the title page. "This is not a work of fiction although I have written it more like a novel than a narrative." He goes on to call the book, "true fiction," and he warns the reader the final chapter contains an event that isn't "digestible as literal truth." He is right about that, but the book is filled with such events and is the better for it. Some scholars of literature call this sort of writing, "magical realism." It works well with the material in this Marine Corps memoir.The language of the book is a mytho-poetic style that is often more poetry than prose, and the book is arranged in short, powerful chapters. It is very novelistic as Thompson warns us early on. Many of his phrases were so memorable that I found myself jotting them down. I loved his phrases for the view from a helicopter. "the emerald embrace of the vegetal world." My favorite chapter is The Letter. It packs such a powerful punch in three and one half pages that I recommend buying the book just for that chapter alone. It is worth it.In his chapter, "Mamason" is the best description of what Agent Orange is like on the ground that I have read. "...I was walking through some bush that was black and withered and the only way that I can describe it is that it was slimy, like a million snails had oozed across every leaf of every bush and turned them black and shriveled in their wake and the slime was getting all over me." A bit later he says, "This must be Agent Orange." He goes on to offer a defense of the use of the stuff, as the defoliation aspect of it enabled him to see a landmine before he stepped on it. Agent Orange saved his legs and his life.If you are up for reading another Marine Corps memoir, this is a fine one. It is short and sweet and can be read in one or at most two sittings. I read it in a great rush, eager for what was coming next. You will too.
All the best, Robert Peter Thompson Author of:
Everything Happened In Vietnam: The Year of the Rat – Kindle $3.99
Everything Happened In Vietnam: The Year Of The Rat – Print $10.34
A review of One Last Strike: 50 Years in Baseball... & One Final Championship Season by Tony La Russa - http://josephsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/i-am-i-said/
My memoir, titled Reaching is officially out.
Set in Hawaii and Oregon, this gripping narrative illustrates how children adapt to a hostile environment and stumble into adulthood while misreading their untreated traumas. And by searching for answers, can become prey to unscrupulous charlatans who heap more damage onto an already wounded soul.
For more information, please visit my blog: www.gracepete.com
Tiger Babies Strike Back by Kim Wong Keltner, a memoir on growing up within a strict and stoic Chinese family and a response to Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
Greetings! The Vietnam Veterans of America just posted a review of my book on their online "Books In Brief" site under the 'Memoirs' category. Take a look if you like. Thanks! http://vvabooks.wordpress.com/category/memoir/ .
Everything Happened in Vietnam by Robert Peter Thompson
This is a phantasmagorical book, and often takes the form of a meditation on the deaths of his friends Tater, Johnny the New Guy, and Sandy. I’ve read a lot of Marine Corps memoirs, and this is an unusual one, and one that is very readable on every page.
The language of the book is a mytho-poetic style that is often more poetry than prose, and the book is arranged in short, powerful chapters. It is very novelistic, as Thompson warns us early on.
Many of his phrases were so memorable that I found myself jotting them down. That includes this one, describing the view from a helicopter: as “the emerald embrace of the vegetal world.”
My favorite chapter is “The Letter.” It packs such a powerful punch in three and one half pages that I recommend buying the book just for that chapter alone. It is worth it.
((parts of review clipped for brevity - see link))
This fine book is dedicated to the author’s friend, Sandy, who died in Vietnam, leaving a beautiful “18 year old fiancée.” Thompson shows us Sandy as a wraith at the end of the book. But our author is one of the lucky ones who goes home as living flesh and blood. As he tells us, he “snuck back into the world. Like a thief.”
If you are up for reading another Marine Corps Vietnam War memoir, this is a fine one. It is short and sweet and can be read in one or, at most, two sittings. I read it in a great rush, eager for what was coming next. You will too.
Everything Happened In Vietnam: The Year Of The Rat – Print $10.22
Tips on getting your book reviewed
This is NOT your average War Story.
"EVERYTHING HAPPENED IN VIETNAM:
THE YEAR OF THE RAT"
A Memoir by Robert Peter Thompson (USMC 1967-1969)
An excerpt from the chapter: “THE RAT”
“The Rat had found and eaten parts of guys I knew. Guys I worked with. Bullshitted with. Guys I had laughed with, drank with, smoked with or tried to ignore. A guy I had just met the night before it happened. I mean the night that it began. You see I knew that the Rat, immediately before the boot, before my eyes flew open and I saw… Only for an instant. The eyes, face, mouth and claws of fully fledged rat expression magnified to the size of a drive-in movie screen. It was that close. I knew and I could somehow feel the lingering presence of the Rat's lips close to the point of touching my own then slightly open, slow breathing, deep sleeping mouth. And I also knew that it wasn't about to kiss me.
Everything happened in Vietnam. Not to me but to someone or something. Everything happened.”
I'd like to share the Forward I wrote for my book and a short excerpt. I wrote it for all the men and women who serve or have served our Country in time of War.
"EVERYTHING HAPPENED IN VIETNAM: THE YEAR OF THE RAT"
A Memoir by Robert Peter Thompson (USMC 1967-1969)
~ "But not everything is remembered and not everything is told. Lost with those who did not survive and with those who did not return. Lost in the chaos and confusion and the self protective suppression of the formidable and yet fragile mind. Sometimes that which affects you most is that which you can no longer see and is perhaps better left alone. But what of that which so stubbornly remains and cries out as it does from the darkness of time and says:
"I am here, I am still here, you will look at me, for I will never go away.”
An excerpt from the chapter: “WE WEREN’T ALL HEROES”
”As we barreled down unfamiliar roads, away from the city, a lingering image kept popping in my mind. Back in Danang, amidst the hustle of early morning street activity and out of the crowd as we rumbled by, I saw, only for a fleeting moment, what would remain forever impressed within my mind.
The most beautiful girl in the world.
I knew immediately that she was the offspring of a French and Vietnamese union. And I could see as well, in the aura of her angelic expression, a sense of inescapable sorrow and longing. As if she were a beautiful fragile flower, out of place and unwanted. And she seemed to be looking right at me.
Only for a moment. Never to be seen again.”
All the best,
Robert Peter Thompson
My Book Website: http://www.everythinghappenedinvietnam.com/ - (see my 1969 Vietnam slideshow)
A review of Running After Prefontaine: A Memoir by Scott F. Parker.
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