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paigeawesome

paigeawesome

Currently reading

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel
Rachel Joyce
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
Ellen J. Prager

Casualties of War

Casualties of War - Daniel Lang Okay, so maybe it wasn't "amazing." But I'm giving it 5 stars anyway. I saw this in the library while I was browsing. It is a tiny book--like 120 pages or something, and they are small pages with sort of large print. It looked really hokey and like it was just one of those companion books to a movie. There WAS a move based on it, but as it was published in 1968, the book did come first. It had all sorts of rave reviews on it, including one from the Boston Globe saying it was the best piece of writing to come out of the Vietnam war. I thought, that's interesting, I've never even heard of it. As it happens, to even FIND this book on Goodreads or Amazon, I had to enter the title and the author.

So it's not that well written. It's a lot of "He said this, he said that. Then he did this, and then the other person did that." It was not complex at all and I read it in one sitting.

I'm giving it 5 stars, though, because of what a great story it was anyway. It deals with a very important topic that doesn't get nearly enough coverage: rape. This is the story of a gang rape and murder of a young Vietnamese civilian by a patrol unit. The one guy who didn't take part in the rape faced taunts about his masculinity and even death threats from his fellow soldiers because he refused to kill an innocent girl. When he tried to report it to his superiors, he faced many obstacles (including being thrown in jail for "his own protection"!), as the army did not want to punish their soldiers. When he was finally successful in bringing a case against the rapist-murderers, his life got even more hellish as the defense questioned HIS integrity and morals! I already knew things like this happened...but many people would be completely shocked to read this true story.

Anyway...if you can get your hands on a copy somehow, it's well worth it, despite the not-so-hot writing.