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Still the Monkey Paperback – March 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Ironcutter Media LLC; 1st edition (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978841735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978841737
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,283,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This compelling novel engages the reader and allows us into the world of honor and courage as well as the brutality of war, and the pain of its consequences.
 
--Dr. M. Tracie Shea, Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University

At its best in conveying what we clinicians call 'survival guilt,' a term that barely describes the aftermath of combat with the brutal loss of those so uniquely loved. 

--Dr. M. Tracie Shea, Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University

"A POIGNANT AND POWERFUL NOVEL..."

---- Midwest Book Review, April 2007 Fiction Shelf

"A MOVING NOVEL..."

---- VVA Magazine (Vietnam Veterans of America)

"AS A THERAPIST, found this book powerfully wields a new pathway for teaching others about combat trauma...it is cathartic and poetic all at once."

---- Jerome Beightol, PTSD Therapist and Vietnam Veteran --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

From the Author

When I spent time working on a corporate video project for the USO of Metro DC at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, my assignment was to videotape celebrities visiting and boosting morale of the war-wounded, but it was an experience that impacted me deeply and ultimately changed my assignment in life.  It was August of 2003, and at age 27, was the first time I saw casualties of war and had a context for the reports I was reading in the newspapers about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. From that point on, they were just black letters on a white page.  
 
Months later I met a Vietnam Veteran who confided he had spent 9 months serving in-country as a Marine, lost his best friend and every former sense of self he had. I was struck by the parallel. "Nine months," I said to this veteran, "that's the same amount of time it takes a woman to give birth to a baby. I bet going to war as a 19-year old and coming out a different person must have felt like you were being born again." The old veteran replied, "Exactly. Except this time, you're not born with your innocence, you're born without it."
 
Inspired, I began writing. What resulted 'Beyond the Wall: The Journey Home' (1st edition titled Still the Monkey, What Happens to Warriors after War), a reality-based work of historical fiction that depicts the mentor relationship between a Vietnam veteran and Iraq War veteran facing their post-combat struggles.  The novel portrays historically accurate depictions of battles in Vietnam and Iraq, the journey through the minds of warriors struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and the rigors of rehabilitation for loss of limb, innocence and emotions.
 
Of the estimated 25 million veterans living in this country today, 30 percent of those who served in Vietnam have reported symptoms of PTSD, and an estimated 30-40% of veterans returning home from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are reporting disabilities attributed to this anxiety-based disorder.

I wrote this book to help better understand how our generation can support returning Service Members, Veterans and their families. A large number of our current Service Members are serving in two, three, even fourth tours of duty. It is important for us then as a society to uphold our social contract to them.  We can do this by having awareness and compassion of re-adjustment and health issues, such as PTSD, and remove the stigma often attached.
  --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

More About the Author

Alivia Tagliaferri is an author, producer, documentary filmmaker and founder of Ironcutter Media.

Her debut novel, Beyond the Wall: The Journey Home (2nd Edition: November, 2009), is a work of historical fiction that chronicles the journey of a Vietnam veteran mentoring an Iraq War veteran as they navigate their way home after combat. (1st Edition, titled 'Still the Monkey, What Happens to Warriors After War?' published March 2007)

Called "a moving novel" by Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine, "powerful and poignant" by Midwest Book Review, and "an important book" by a professor of psychology at Brown University, the novel has received recognition from the veteran, military and mental health communities for its stirring story and non-biased portrayal of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Impassioned to better understand post-combat issues in America, Tagliaferri subsequently directed and produced Beyond the Wall: Homeless Zone to explore factors that lead to homelessness among veterans. The documentary premiered at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the 2010 GI Film Festival, and has been selected to air on Discovery Military Channel.

She founded Ironcutter Media, LLC in 2004 as a platform for independent artists to share their creative works with social value. Based in Washington, D.C., the company provides publishing, media production and creative consulting services.

An alumnus of Pennsylvania State University (BA, History, 1999), Tagliaferri is actively engaged in how we as a society can best support returning warriors. Understanding the power of good guidance, she enjoys being a professional mentor for high school students at West Potomac Academy (Alexandria, VA) pursuing creative careers.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Alex B. USMC, Iraq and Afghanistan Vet.
Bean
As I read page after page of the story of the feature character in the book, the detail made me feel as if I was walking beside him every step of the way.
Gonzo
Beyond The Wall is very well written and researched.
Charles Giasson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancy E. Mantelli on March 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! It was very easy to read and it captured the reader's attention from the beginning. I found myself looking for any free moment during the day to read so I could hurry up and finish it. The author really did her research and it shows. I highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David B. Clark on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
The captivating book "Still the Monkey" gives the most vivid descriptions of the severe physical and mental trauma experienced by soldiers in heavy combat that I have seen in a long time. Although the book is a novel, I had difficulty reading it as such.

In part, this is because the Viet Nam combat experiences of the fictional Marine "Dennis" are based on those of a real Marine who was there for nine nasty months in 1967. In that brief "lifetime", or "pre-birth", the Marine saw too much, did too much, felt too much, lost too much, and suffered for 40 years thereafter from what is now termed Post Traumatic Stress Disorer (PTSD).

And in part this novel felt so "real" due to Ms. Tagliaferri's very detailed and wide ranging research into all aspects of the Viet Nam war. She has become quite knowledgable about the weapons, the tactics, the jargon, the organizations and military designations of the fighting units, and the historical background of some of the decisions made in Washington by the Big Shots that (in my opinion) seriously and tragicaly mismanaged the War. Ms. Tagliaferri's background in history has served her very well.

We have all seen or read stories about Iraqi War veterans who have been maimed for life by terrible "multitrauma" wounds, many of them very serious head wounds, and we are hearing now of serious problems with their treatment (or lack thereof) after they have served their country and recieved their Purple Hearts and more than their "fair share" of PTSD. Most of us shake our heads, say "How sad", wonder briefly what PTSD really is, why some soldiers get it and some don't. Then we very quickly return to our normal happy lives. But Ms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DANA WELCH on July 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Revealing. Riveting. Rewarding. Read this book. Now!

It will make a difference...if you let it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miller on June 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful read! My book club read this for the month of May - just in time for Memorial Day! What a great tribute to all that have served our country. There were several quotes that I wrote down to share at our book club meeting. It was a quick read! Really makes you appreciate all that we have and sympathize w/ what the survivors of a war continue to battle with every day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Haines on April 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Still the Monkey" is a portal to the experiences and emotions of Dennis Michaels, a soldier who had to face unimaginable horrors in Vietnam. In order to survive, he had to shut the human part of him down. He became a different person...reborn. The innocence and feelings of safety were long gone.

Although I have never experienced any war situation first hand, or even second hand, I was captivated by this novel. "Still the Monkey" speaks to anyone who has gone through an extreme life-changing trauma and continues to carry the "monkey on his back".

This book is a loud wake-up call to all of us who are content to change the channel when we see any unpleasant images or stories on the news. It is because of our soldiers that we do not live in war torn neighborhoods, but are able to sit safely in our living rooms.

I recommend this book to anyone who has experienced, or knows someone who has experienced war or other traumatic events and is searching for healing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Leecivalier on March 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I came of age during the Viet Nam war and this book brought back painful memories of that period of our country's history. We send boys (and now girls) to war unprepared for the real cost and not knowing the reasons they are sent as our sacrifices. PTSD is devastating and has too often been ignored. My father lost his right arm from the invasion of France during WW II and never got over the experience till his death at age 84.

We are repeating the Viet Nam experience in Iraq. Do we know the real cost? Read this book before you answer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Zeitsiff on March 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I must say that I really enjoyed reading this book and learning more about what our veterans go through after the war is over. It helps people like me - who never served this country during a war - understand what horrific things many of these people went through. I think this is a book that everyone should read, as it will help them appreciate what our solders do for this country and how much they really sacrifice for the rest of us. Very well written, easy to follow, and kept my attention the entire time. A very worthwhile and entertaining read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David G. Rathgeber on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of meeting the author by happenstance. When she told me about her book I must admit I was a bit skeptical. After all, what could a young woman her age who had no military experience know about the topic. As a retired Marine I was sure what I would find was a highly political one-sided anti-war missive. However, having told Ms. Tagliaferri I would read her book I was determined to do so. I am so glad I did.

What I found is a book that avoids both praising and condemning, and tells the story of the impact of war on some of its participants in a touching, moving, straight forward and compelling way. Parts of it had such an impact on me personally that I had to stop reading and catch my breath. The author treats her subjects with compassion and dignity, without pity or condescension. She has an understanding of, and connection with, the issues of PTSD well beyond what anyone could expect. Couple this with her gripping story line and writing style and you have a final product that belongs in everyone's libray.

Since first reading her book I have recommended it to everyone I can, and I must say that all who have read it have been equally impressed. Whether you are military or not, prefer novels or history, this is a must read book.
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