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I am a fan of Tracy Kidder and have read all of his books. Like John McPhee he has a true ability to convey what is taking place around him. In this volume he reveals the Viet Nam war through his own eyes and his own point of view. Certainly, he shares his own failings and change during this tour of duty honestly.
You'll not find anything really heroic in this volume. In the end, it seemed as though Kidder picked up his former fiction manuscript and decided to write a memoir about his experience. Unfortunately, he still seems to be nursing old "wounds" about slights and bureaucratic snafus that he endured while there.
The reader is warned by Kidder at the outset that this is the saddest story you'll ever hear. That is self serving and not really true. The reader will get a distinct picture of one Officer's experience in and feelings about the war. The volume is well read and written. Ultimately, it contains insight into the conflict that is narrow in focus, but valuable nonetheless.
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