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DRAGON LADY [Kindle Edition]

Gary Alexander
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $4.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $3.82
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Book Description

Istoria Books
eBooks You Want to Read at Prices You Want to Pay

DRAGON LADY by Gary Alexander
In 1965 Saigon, Joe, a young draftee, becomes obsessed with a Vietnam girl named Mai, his own "Dragon Lady" from his beloved Terry and the Pirates cartoon strips that his mother still sends him. As he pursues a relationship with her, Saigon churns with intrigue and rumors--will the U.S. become more involved with the Vietnamese struggle? What's going on with a special unit that's bringing in all sorts of (for the time) high tech equipment? Will the U.S. make Vietnam the 51st state and bomb aggressors to oblivion? But for Joe, the big question is--does Mai love him or will she betray more than just his heart? Gary Alexander’s intelligent voice, filled with dry wit, and his own experiences give this story a sharp sense of truth, recounting the horror and absurdity of war. Reminiscent of books such as Catch-22, Dragon Lady serves up equal measures of outrageous humor and poignant remembrance.

Gary Alexander was one of 17,000 US soldiers in Vietnam that spring. When he left in the fall, there were 75,000 troops in-country. He is the author of several mystery novels, most notably the Buster Hightower series, and numerous mystery short stories. DRAGON LADY is his first literary novel.

“Positioning the narrator in the afterlife gives Dragon Lady a third dimension that elevates it above a simple boy-meets-girl story... But his love-sick pursuit of his impossible dream is entertaining.” Bill Furlow, Great Books Under $5 blog -

“Take one part M*A*S*H, add one part The Quiet American, throw in an offbeat love story, fold in some screwball characters, and top it off with an out of this world (and I mean out of this world) narrator, and you get the zaniest war novel since Catch 22. Alexander delivers a jeep-load of laughs in Dragon Lady as well as unflinchingly candid insights into the Vietnam War.” - Ron Cooper, author of Purple Jesus and Hume’s Fork


Product Details

  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Istoria Books (March 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TCLM98
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,865 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, Intriguing and well-written April 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Dragon Lady was an interesting and refreshing book. I loved the fact that the author made the narrator of the story looking back on his time in service in Vietnam and relating his present day life in "The Great Beyond". Yes, the narrator is dead. And yes, that makes the book very interesting.

I like how the author interspersed the after life and the past life. It was really nicely done and it never launched into the other life at a moment that felt wrong. The book is not jumpy at all. The after life adds interest without taking away from the storyline of the past. Both storylines just work very well together and I think this is something that is hard to do but Mr. Alexander does it well.

I really liked Joe. He was sarcastic, witty, had some anger management issues, was honest but the author made him feel really human as well. He's not one of those sarcastic characters that is removed from life, just living on his sarcasm and wit. No, there is a lot more to Joe, the sarcasm and wit just make him entertaining. I liked getting into his head both in the past and in "The Great Beyond". He's a fascinating character and watching him grow at times and backpedal at times is extremely interesting. Joe as a character drives the book very well. I also liked Ziggy in his past life - the man could come up with quotes at a moments notice and he's Joe's best friend/partner-in-crime in Vietnam. And I liked Smitty, Joe's neighbor in "The Great Beyond" who proves to be interesting as well.

The setting is wonderful as well. The book really benefits from the fact that the author served in Vietnam during the time of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not All Dragons Breathe Fire February 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Story: A+
Yep, you read that right. This book not only gets an A, it gets a plus added on. When I started this book, I wasn't sure what to make of it. It had quite a bit of army lingo; it is based on Joe's time in 'Nam (never a topic I would have picked...yet I picked it. Go figure), as told from The Great Beyond.
Gulp. Right off the bat, I felt I was in waaaay over my head. I read a few pages, contemplated shelving it, and took a nap.
No, I'm not exaggerating. That's really how it happened.
Somewhere between dozing in the rusty, old Explorer and making dinner, I decided to give it another go. There was something about the story (undefinable at the time) that kept calling me back.
Two chapters later, I couldn't put it down.
But what exactly drew me in? I'm still trying to put it all in a neat, little box. At first, it was the descriptions of the afterlife. Quite unique. Funny. Dry humor. I get it. Then, it was the 803rd's mission. What the heck was going on next door? Alien invasions? Torture? I hadn't a clue; but I *really* wanted to know...
And then there was Mai. Was she a spy? Would she fall in love with Joe and come back to the States? Would she be captured and killed? The suspense was killing me. I won't give you the answers. Where's the fun in that?
I loved this book. I know my husband will love this book as well. Sadly, I can't get it in e-pub for his nook (gasp! I know...he's a TRAITOR!). I wanted to send him overseas for his annual military training with this little gem--alas, it was not meant to be.
If you like war fiction, Vietnam stories (Gary Alexander actually did some time over there), love stories, and just plain old *good fiction*, this book is definitely for you.
But only if you have a kindle. Sorry e-pub readers. In this case, you are SOL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some Dragons Create Hell - Others Make it Bearable September 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
320 pages, 443 KB
Footnotes/Endnotes: No
Illustrations: No
Suitable for eReaders: Yes
5 Stars

Any book that sends me to the dictionary, either hard copy or online, or better yet, the encyclopedia, is bound to become a favorite of mine. And Dragon Lady did just that. I was sure Ton Son Nhat was the wrong spelling, that it should have been Ton Son Nhut. Guess what? I learned something!

This novel is by a Viet Nam Vet, and the flashbacks take place back when it was still two words, Viet Nam. The first thing Mr. Alexander did that I enjoyed, was have the narrator living (is that the right word for a dead man?) in The Land Beyond vs. The Land of the Living. Our narrator, Joe, is wonderful as he looks back on his life in Saigon, and his love, the Dragon Lady, the beautiful Mai.

In the first place, I'm not one hundred percent sure Joe is a fictional character (though how he writes from They Land Beyond is, well, beyond me) as I'm sure I met him when I was in the WAC. Or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. Or was that me? Well, never mind.

Joe, and his pal Ziggy, were wonderful, and though I might not want to invite them home for dinner, I'd probably love to know them. Joe is sarcastic, a screw off who actually gets more done than Radar O'Reilly (M*A*S*H) and has a great time doing it. He loves Terry and the Pirates, and his mother faithfully sends him the Sunday funnies every week so he can read about Terry and the real Dragon Lady.

And then he meets Mai, and falls head over heels in love with his own Dragon Lady. But who is Mai? Which story she tells is true?

This is a war story more on the lines of Catch-22 than All's Quiet on the Western Front.
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More About the Author

DISAPPEARED, first novel in the Buster Hightower mystery series, was released by Five Star on 10/6/2010;ZILLIONAIRE, second in the series, in August 2011; INTERLOCK in May 2012; LOOT, the fourth, will be released in September 2013.
DRAGON LADY, my Vietnam novel, is available in Print On Demand.
My updated biography? Some of the sordid details are available on This includes access to DRAGON LADY POD.

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