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In 1967 Larry Heinemann was sent to Vietnam as an ordinary soldier. It was the most horrific year of his life, truly altering him--and his family--forever. In his powerful memoir, Heinemann returns to Vietnam, riding the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city and confronting the memories of his war year. Black Virgin Mountain confirms Heinemann's legendary plain-spoken reputation as one of the essential chroniclers of our war in Vietnam.
From the moment his first novel was published, Larry Heinemann joined the ranks of the great chroniclers of the Vietnam conflict--Philip Caputo, Tim O'Brien, and Gustav Hasford. In the stripped-down, unsullied patois of an ordinary soldier, draftee Philip Dosier tells the story of his war. Straight from high school, too young to vote or buy himself a drink, he enters a world of mud and heat, blood and body counts, ambushes and firefights. It is here that he embarks on the brutal downward path to wisdom that awaits every soldier. In the tradition of Naked and the Dead and The Thin Red Line, Close Quarters is the harrowing story of how a decent kid from Chicago endures an extraordinary trial-- and returns profoundly altered to a world on the threshold of change.
Paco Sullivan is the only man in Alpha Company to survive a cataclysmic Viet Cong attack on Fire Base Harriette in Vietnam. Everyone else is annihilated. When a medic finally rescues Paco almost two days later, he is waiting to die, flies and maggots covering his burnt, shattered body. He winds up back in the US with his legs full of pins, daily rations of Librium and Valium, and no sense of what to do next. One evening, on the tail of a rainstorm, he limps off the bus and into the small town of Boone, determined to find a real job and a real bed-but no matter how hard he works, nothing muffles the anguish in his mind and body. Brilliantly and vividly written,Paco's Story--winner of a National Book Award--plunges you into the violence and casual cruelty of the Vietnam War, and the ghostly aftermath that often dealt the harshest blows.