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Marble Mountain Paperback – January 1, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] fine story of searching for one's genealogy with many mystery elements...an enjoyable read."—Midwest Book Review: The Fiction Shelf


"There's a new war on, and little learning from the old wars, particularly the American war in Viet Nam, the long war whose consequences we can't seem to shake off. Through the points-of-view of veterans—their side and ours—and one of their offspring, a "child of the dust," Wayne Karlin revisits Viet Nam. The reader of Marble Mountain goes on a journey of understanding and possible forgiveness. A vital book."

—Maxine Hong Kingston


"Readers familiar with Karlin will be delighted to return to the lives of Alex and Louise Hallam and their feisty half-Vietnamese, half-Black, almost-All-American adopted daughter Kiet. Readers new to Karlin will be drawn in by Nguyen Binh Duong, Le Thanh Thuy, and Sergeant Swan. Once again, Karlin demonstrates his wonderful ability to stitch together disparate worlds into a seamless whole. Once again, Karlin demonstrates that he is one heck of a good storyteller."

—W. D. Ehrhart

Book Description

Marble Mountain reads like a detective story as the protagonist, Kiet Hallam, an adopted daughter of African American and Vietnamese descent, searches for her true identity. Set in both America and Vietnam, and written from the perspective of both Americans and Vietnamese affected by the war, Marble Mountain explores the lasting damages of war to the soldiers who fought on both sides, to their families, and to the displaced and wounded children born during their parents’ conflict.

Kiet and her adoptive father, Alex Hallam—a Vietnam veteran working out his own tormented past through his passion for sculpting—travel to Vietnam. There, at Marble Mountain, a formation near Danang that is famous for its stone carvers and cave shrines, both will find the unresolved secrets of the past that connected them to each other even before Kiet was born.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Curbstone Books (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931896437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931896436
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,530,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By D. Guenther on January 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former Marine captain who served in the Marble Mountain area, let me first say that Wayne Karlin knows his subject, and he has woven quite a tale around the character of Kiet. In addition, being familiar with the setting of Nui Kim Son and what the Vietnamese call Thuy Son, and what we Marines once called Chin-strap, he recreates the setting and atmosphere perfectly through his powerful and evocative scenes. I found his Vietnamese characters to be authentic, especially Duong and Thuy. His depiction of the role the CAC Marines is accurate, and Gunnery Sergeant George Swan could have been someone I once knew. I found "Marble Mountain" by Wayne Karlin to be one of the best novels written about the Vietnam War that I have read. To say that the book is both compelling and a work of artistic complexity is an understatement. This is truly an excellent and superior work of fiction! Captain Dan Guenther, USMC
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Format: Paperback
Finding one's roots is hard. But for an adopted mixed race person, it's nigh impossible. "Marble Mountain" follows Kiet Hallam as she is faced with the lifetime question of who she is and why is she here. Half Vietnamese and half African-American, she has little clue as to where her place of origin truly lies. Despite her supportive family, it looks as if Kiet's past won't be revealing itself with ease anytime soon. "Marble Mountain" is a fine story of searching for one's genealogy with many mystery elements, and is an enjoyable read.
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