Fiction

What Am I Doing Here?

Title: What Am I Doing Here?
Author: Jim Kesey
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

"What Am I Doing Here?" is a story that takes an otherwise terrifying event in American History that is familiar to all Veterans and brings it into a realm of understanding for the families of those who were there. Kesey weaves a suble but perfectly orchestrated humor through an environment of chaos.

Vietnam in early 1965 was just a place on a map. On a foggy morning of March 8th our reluctant hero, Marine Lt. Dusty Kohl, was shocked to find himself standing on a sandy beach north of Danang, Vietnam with a lei around his neck.

You are given a rare look into what it was like to spend a tour in Vietnam. You will follow Lt. Kohl's comedy of errors that brought him to that beach in Danang. You will see both the humor and the grim horror of war. This novel is not just a war story but a uniquely written insight into the life of a young Marine who finds himself in a situation where he has no control. As each day passes, time tests fate. Is Kohl going to make it home to his young wife and family? Does God have a plan or is it just dumb luck who lives and who dies? Or is there something else in store for Kohl? Survival means more than just staying alive.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Kesey, Jim

Saigon Party: And Other Vietnam War Short Stories, A

Title: A Saigon Party: And Other Vietnam War Short Stories
Author: Diana J. Dell
Genre: Fiction, Collection
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1893652904

After her brother Kenny was killed in the Mekong Delta, Diana Dell went to Vietnam with USO. Her short stories are not about battles, blood, gore, or angst. They are about participants of the war other than grunts: war profiteers, disc jockeys, rock stars, landladies, pedicab drivers, movie stars, pickpockets, beggars, journalists, celebrity tourists, and other REMFs. Irreverent, outrageous, cynical, satirical, intelligent, and insightful are a few of the words used to describe A Saigon Party (And Other Vietnam War Short Stories).

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Dell, Diana J.

Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order: the final years of the Vietnam War

Title: Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order: the final years of the Vietnam War
Author: Dan Dane
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Joe Fabel

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595654037

Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order offers a glimpse of conditions around Bien Hoa during the last years of the war. Bill Blake encounters fragging, racism and heroin addiction while defending soldiers in court-martial trials as a young Army lawyer. Much like the soldiers he defends, Blake finds himself in conflict with his superior officers.

The story of a drafted, civilian attorney serving as an Army lawyer in Vietnam gives this book a unique perspective. Captain Blake's experiences accentuate many of the troublesome aspects of the war, including the draft, authority of Commanding Generals, domestic demand for troop withdrawal and in the end, the delivery of heroin to the American troops.

The historical fiction genre allows vets to recognize historically correct settings in Vietnam during 1971-1972 in this book. The fictitious characters and circumstances provide an entertaining read for those who lived through the era as well as those for whom Vietnam is only a curiosity out of the distant past.

Other books by Dan Dane include Fireflies in the Delta and Bloodlines of Tyranny.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Dane, Dan

C.M.A.C.: The Saga of a Saigon Warrior

Title: C.M.A.C.: The Saga of a Saigon Warrior
Author: James Finnegan
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595178863

Radios, Rockets and Radar greatly influenced the life of Lieutenant James. A. Callaghan during his U.S. Government sponsored stay in Viet Nam. The Conflict, prior to his arrival in country, had spawned what was known to the world as the Tet Offensive, an extensive and well coordinated action launched by the Viet Cong on the Republic of Viet Nam. During the mayhem caused by the advance of the 13 regular regiments from the north it became obvious that there was a need for a coordinating command to insure the protection of Saigon. This was the birth of the Capital Military Assistance Command, C.M.A.C.. It was hastily setup in an old French Foreign Legion compound and was soon home for the new Radio Officer, Lieutenant James Callaghan. C.M.A.C. highlights his adventures.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Finnegan, John

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