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A Bad Attitude: A novel from the Vietnam War Paperback – September 15, 2002
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About the Author
Dennis Mansker served as a company clerk in two US Army transportation units in Vietnam during 1968-1969. He is a graduate of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.He lives with his wife Susan in Olympia, Washington, where he works as a web page designer.He has four children and eight grandchildren.
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Plus sides: Well there is the obvious in that it was clearly edited well, spelling is correct, grammar is correct and you were never confused by who was speaking - the "voices" were clear enough I could hear them in my head. Past that the characterizations were entertaining and unusual. I doubt I will ever forget Mongo. And without ever stressing it you still got the feeling for the land and the war. They weren't the main character in the book nor were they so minimized that the novel could have taken place anywhere. Vietnam was always there, as intrusive and in-your-face as the war itself was. Life went on despite Vietnam and men were just as petty and childish as they are in real life. Equally they were as noble, as sweet and as endearing. Men don't change when you make them soldiers, they are still men.
I could go on at length. I almost never review a book unless it is extremely good (or on the rare times it is extremely bad) but this one I would have given even more than 5 stars if I could.
The reality of life tends to slap some of us around: some fall down, some stand tall. Mr. Mansker stands tall as he relates his wartime experience to the reader with his dry wit, slightly sentimental heart and bright honesty that makes this book very different from others whose authors shared the era. This is not a criticism of others, but a note that 'A Bad Attitude' can be approached with a middle of the road point of view and a warning that those who do so will most likely grab firmly ahold of the vine that is swinging to the left as it goes by.
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