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Escape from Saigon: A Novel Hardcover – January 3, 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 40 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Novel Revives Vietnam War Memories -- and Lessons
         
           If the Kennedy brain trust had read "The Quiet American," Graham Greene's masterful novel about Vietnam, published in 1955, things would have turned out differently. 

         "Escape from Saigon" has the same ring of authenticity. It should: the authors both served in Vietnam. Michael Morris was sent to Vietnam when he was just 19 years old and, as an infantry sergeant in Northern 1 Corps, he saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. He was wounded and his bravery was rewarded with a Purple Heart.

         Dick Pirozzolo was an Air Force information officer in Saigon. Perhaps that is why the city is so well described, from the watering holes to hotels, like the Caravelle and the Continental where so many journalists stayed and drank. Drinking was a part of Saigon in war.

         When I finally made it to Vietnam in 1995, I traced the war from Hanoi, replete with its French boulevards down through Da Nang, Hue and China Beach. All so peaceful, after so much bloodshed. Battlefields are that way.

         "Escape from Saigon" could be a sad book, or a book of recrimination, or an attack on the American role. Instead, it is a novel of facts told through the lives of the people: journalists, a bar keeper, a priest, a CIA official, South Vietnamese who worked for the Americans and sometimes betrayed them, and those who fled by plane and boat.

         The novel is exceptional in authenticity. Its portrait of city in extremis is chilling and completely engrossing. It will take many back and some forward -- forward to new foreign involvements.

         Llewellyn King, executive producer and host of "The White House Chronicle" on PBS. 
For the complete review visit: bit.ly/2ds6S6j


"The near-total confusion and breakdown of a great city is well portrayed and works well as a cliffhanger thriller. I highly recommend it to those who are interested in what it was like at the end in Saigon in April 1975.
·
"While I was safe at home in Maple Valley, Washington, part of my heart was in Saigon, the Paris of Southeast Asia. I shed a tear when I heard the announcement on the radio, and I shed a few tears reading this fine thriller."
·
David Willson--The VVA Veteran 


"Escape is as much about the war as it is about reporting on the war. 
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"Through two of the characters -- Lisette Vo, NBS-TV's first Vietnamese-American war correspondent, and Sam Esposito, the hard-hitting journalist with The Washington Legend who infuriates President Nixon -- we are reminded of how grindingly cumbersome it was to deliver the news to the American public 40 years ago. 
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"Vietnam was America's first television war, and there were only three networks, whose anchors were trusted,larger-than-life people whom we invited into our living rooms."
·
 Bob Brown--Swellesley Report


The authors gather the perspectives shared by their characters into a delicately counterbalanced story that will both entertain and educate readers on the reality of war: with every thrilling victory comes loss. Men, women, soldiers, civilians, journalists, and politicians are all caught in the same chaos. The sum of their experiences brings an indistinct picture of Vietnam into brilliant focus. Escape from Saigon is intensely human, thoroughly compelling, and true to history.

Sylvia Gaezenzle -- American Grit 

This historically accurate novel follows the lives of NBS-TV's first Vietnamese-American correspondent and the hard-hitting Sam Esposito of The Washington Legend whose news reports infuriated Richard Nixon, an American businessman who risks his life to smuggle out his employees; an American soldier searching for his wife's relatives, and a French expatriate barkeep hanging on the last vestiges of colonialism, along with US diplomats, including the disillusioned Ambassador Graham Martin, CIA operatives and double agents.

BookWorld.com

From the Author

When Michael Morris and I embarked on "Escape from Saigon - a Novel," I knew I would be stretching my historical research skills and creative muscles to write this debut novel, but I never realized that when I crawled down the rabbit hole and wandered into the pivotal event in my life -- indeed the lives of most of my generation --  that it would be such an emotional journey.

Since my wartime tour as an information officer in Saigon, I've returned to Vietnam many times, reporting on the progress that has been made toward U.S.-Vietnam reconciliation. Today, Vietnam is a key ally of the U.S. with Navy ships calling on its ports and an active trading partner.
·
As I rummaged through old papers and photos to recapture the tone and fabric of pre-1975 Saigon I came across an editorial that I wrote for Insight Magazine in 1994 when the US and Vietnam began their path toward reconciliation in earnest.  I think the last paragraph says it best:

Remember too that for every fallen American, there are thousands of Americans like myself who returned from Vietnam with unanswered questions and left wondering whether any of us did any good and, when we put away our uniforms, we just ended up alone.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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Top international reviews

Beth
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts a face on the last days even though it is fictional.
Reviewed in Canada on August 3, 2018
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ron matsu
3.0 out of 5 stars A good summer read
Reviewed in Canada on September 3, 2018
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