Finalist for the National Book Award: a work that has served as a literary cornerstone for the Vietnam generation.
The 13th Valley follows the terrifying Vietnam combat experiences of James Chelini, a telephone-systems installer who finds himself an infantryman in territory controlled by the North Vietnamese army. Spiraling deeper and deeper into a world of conflict and darkness, this harrowing account of Chelini's plunge and immersion into jungle warfare traces his evolution from a semipacifist to an all-out combat-crazed soldier. The seminal novel on the Vietnam experience, The 13th Valley is a classic that illuminates the war in Southeast Asia like no other book. It is the first title in Del Vecchio's Vietnam War Trilogy, which also includes For the Sake of All Living Things, about the Cambodian holocaust, and Carry Me Home, which addresses the aftermath of war.
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- James Brancucci
Describes a place and time, and a warrior class.
The descriptions of the infantry way of life in the field during war.
Down to minute details, this book engaged me whenever what was taking place was in Vietnam. I liked how the units involved used tactics that conformed to the entire situation. I couldn't stop listening.
His voice transported me. Everything he said felt urgent and was driving toward the next action. Most of the time, I thought Sean Runnette disappeared into the story or merged into it.
Cherry was probably the most memorable character for me, although there were others. Cherry had to adjust to the hardships, the ways that had already changed all the other men. I could feel how this experience changed him forever.
The parts of the story that occurred in the U.S. were conversations that often went over my head, I admit. But everything that took place in Vietnam grabbed me in full.
- A dad