The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam [Bao Ninh, Frank Palmos, Phan Thanh Hao] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The daring and. The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam. Bao, Author, Bao Ninh, Author, Frank Palmos, Editor Pantheon Books $21 (p) ISBN Fifteen years after Bao Ninh’s admired war novel, he explains his When it was first published 15 years ago, Ninh’s novel, The Sorrow of War.

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The literary strength of the novel comes from the way it is told. And as mentioned, the meta-fictional aspects of the wxr felt a little overdone, even though I normally like this sort of approach in a novel.

Lawrence Blair will fill your bucket list with incredible places to go. Subscribe to the Mekong Review Travelfish. Kien is a survivor of the Viet Nam war, a North Vietnamese survivor.

Why Vietnam’s best-known author has stayed silent | World news | The Guardian

Kien, a lone survivor from the Glorious 27th Youth brigade of the Vietcong, revisits the haunting sites of battles and relives a parade of horrors, as he grapples with his ghosts, his alcoholism and attempts to arrange his life in writing. Women suffer more as the men have been trained to be violent, be emotionless and rape is a result of that doctrine.

I really wanted to fall in love with this book, but the writing style made it impossible for me. Ninh says such harsh reactions now belong to the past. My Life With Bob: Most read stories First look: The story is told in a series of flashbacks as Kien tries to capture his war experiences on paper. Each page revived one story of death after another and gradually the stories swirled back deep into the primitive jungles of war, quietly re-stoking his horrible furnace of war memories.

Like the dead, one felt no fear, no enthusiasm, no joy, no sadness, no feelings for anything. While their experiences are important, they are hardly representative of the Vietnam War, much less Vietnam. There is a force at work in him that he cannot resist, as though it opposes every orthodox attitude taught him and it is now his task to expose the realities of war and to tear aside conventional images. Trudging up with an assistant on the eve of the new millennium, he reflects on his life and its highlights and lowlights along the way.

Rather than rely on linear nattive, This was my first time reading anything from the vast oeuvre of Vietnamese literature, so I can’t compare it to a canon Bao was off inspired by. Vietnam had seen its share of war memoirs, but no novelist had dared to write about the brutality of the war, and the lasting damage it inflicted on a generation of Vietnamese. Not just the violence but, as Kien himself contemplates, the worthlessness of it all-after all what exactly has really changed since before the war to justify the loss of lives of so many people?

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

His peace is as a worn out alcoholic, all his family, friends, and comrades dead. It was a daness, a missing, a pain which could send one soaring back into the past.

The Sorrow of War

His post-war work of travelling the nation attempting to identify the remains of the thousands of unmarked dead so that their families could get closure keeps him close to the ghosts of those who had passed. In the second half of the book there is a lot more focus on the main character Kien and his childhood sweetheart Phuong. His life and that of so many others xorrow so horrible it could hardly be called a life. Yes, he sees ghosts. Rich Stories from the Land of the White Elephant is a collection of colourful snippets from various written sources about Bangkok, mostly from the s through to the s.

I do not feel so happy or so proud about the war; the victory of war, somehow, personally, I do not feel that. President George Bush spent the weekend in Hanoi, discussing closer co-operation on security with Vietnam’s communist rulers. The recent ye The Future Lied To Us A reminiscence, rather than a memoir, tumbling between the time before war, eleven years of brutal fighting, and then its aftermath.

Wwar novel ends with a passage by a pf narrator, who explains that he has received Kien’s novel from the mute girl. There is much back and forth among the timelines. No trivia or quizzes yet. I can read each line and see faces of friends. But this is more of a grievance with some reviews, and not with the author or the novel. He was one of the victorious North Vietnamese soldiers who took Saigon for the Communist forces 20 years ago.

Although the novel was reissued in Vietnamese last year, it has yet to be published under its original title. Then a mute girl whom Kien has begun seeing when drunk, and has been bouncing his ideas off, obtains the text after he left.

Jul 31, Andrew added it Shelves: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Maybe a nice short story.

The account he writes refuses to follow a simple linear structure, circling back and forth through time: What a refreshing, shocking, beautiful, thought-provoking read.