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Novel without a Name
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on May 3, 2015
This book invites comparison to All Quiet on the Western Front, but it makes Front look like a stroll in the park. Compared to Duong Thu Huong, Camus, Kafka and Nietzsche seem like weenie whiners. No wonder we lost the Vietnam War, if the North Vietnamese were really capable of going through what the main character in this book endures. When Sherman said "War is Hell," he didn't even have a clue. Duong Thu Huong makes us see what Hell really is; what war really is. I would like to give this book a better rating, but the truth is, I could scarcely bear to read it. No matter how good it is as literature, my litmus test for Amazon ratings is, would I recommend this book to a friend? No, I wouldn't really recommend this to a friend, even one interested in the subject, because it is just too anguishing to read.
As Americans, we bear a terrible moral responsibility for what happened in Indo-china during the 60's and 70's. Over three million North Vietnamese were killed; since most died as a result of bombing, it follows that most were civilians. If you add in the 2 million Cambodians killed by the Khmer Rouge (who would never have come to power had it not been for our involvement in the Vietnamese civil war), you get 5 million, nearly as many as those who perished in the Holocaust. That is not a popular thing to say; it is not a pretty truth, but alas, it is true.
How the North Vietnamese endured this, the suffering they went through, is almost unimaginable, as Duong Huong makes clear in Novel Without A Name. Yes, Vietnam was a mess; yes, there may have been strategic reasons to fight there; but in the long run, what we did there is a stain on our soul that we have not even begun to realize. Not to mention that our shameful treatment of the returning Vietnam Vets was and is a national disgrace.
At least the Germans have fully acknowledged their national guilt about the Holocaust. If only we would do the same about the deaths we caused in Vietnam and Cambodia.
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on April 25, 2017
Decent read. A bit boring as I thought it would relate fighting w/American Soldiers. Still a good read showing the trials & tribulations of a formidable enemy during the VN War.
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on February 17, 2018
read it
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on April 17, 2016
I really enjoy this book. This author clearly loves her country and yet she was kicked out for writing books like this. It is a very enlightening perspective of a warrior serving his purpose to his country but slowly comes to realize the issues with his purpose.
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on July 21, 2017
interesting read---gives some insight to NVA long term strategy, not well written; however, maybe due to translation to English.
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on August 6, 2016
A good read
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on August 9, 2016
Great Read
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on September 20, 2017
BIG fan of Vietnam war novels, never read one from the North Vietnamese perspective. Very interesting.
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on November 9, 2013
It is an ok book. Gets lost a little when it jumps back and forth in time. Some things were hard to picture when talked about. Compared to some other books I've read about Vietnam, the writting doesn't measure up.
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on December 21, 2013
Great book to read for any age group. I read this for my college course and it helped a lot to understand what it's like during those days. Recommended for anyone wanting to understand more about the Vietnam War from the North's point of view.
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