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Novel Without a Name Paperback – Jun 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140255109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140255102
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 570,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Translation by Phan Huy Duong & Nina McPherson. Edition Picador 1995. Just tanned edges. Otherwise the unread book remains intact. Text all clean, neat and tight. Prompt dispatch from UK

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ticosilver on 21 Sep 2002
Format: Paperback
The Vietnamese author was involved in combat herself, and as a result this novel is often gritty in its realist approach to life during combat and conditions in Vietnam.
The loose narrative follows the daily life of Vietnamese soldier, exploring his changing attitudes to the regime he has fought for over the last ten years and his relationships with his family and friends, giving a fascinating insight into what it is to have lived in Vietnam at this time.
The novel is often lyrical and beautiful, but also sickening and shocking in its description of the reality of war, its language and sexual content.
The author is a dedicated promoter of human rights and reform. Her novels have been withdrawn from circulation in Vietnam and this novel's publication caused her to be arrested and imprisioned on false charges of having sent documents containing state secrets abroad. The fact that is novel is on sale in the western world is a literacy and humanitarian triumph for her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Oct 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is narrated by Quan, a twenty-eight year-old soldier of the North Vietnamese Army who, after spending ten years in the jungles of central Vietnam, is thoroughly disillusioned by the horrible and absurd realities of war. The narrator's tone is one of disenchantment, of wistful longing for all that has been lost--youth, life, love, family. As also shown in Paradise of the Blind, Duong Thu Huong has a skill for detailed descriptions of everyday objects and scenes, which are often made grotesquely surreal by her minute, harsh, objective observations. For example, in describing the decrepit mental and physical state of Quan's childhood friend Bien, she writes, "He sat in a pile of filth and excrement, surrounded by pools of milky, rancid urine. A torn calendar. An old tin can filled with water." Everything touched upon by the war--the natural environment, the people--is made ugly, thus adding to the war's horror. Even her flowers are drenched in red colors of blood. In such an environment of degradation and death, people struggle to retain the smallest hint human decency. This struggle is movingly portrayed in the episode when Quan spends a night in a field station, the sole personnel of which is a homely girl who heroically goes about burying her dead comrades. Though forced by duty to spend the best years of her life in a bleak environment, she tries to retain some of her youthful feminine idealism by decorating her cave-room with pictures of French singers and a paper flower, and washing and combing her hair to get rid of the stench of human corpses which never goes away. Her futile effort in trying to get Quan to make love to her expresses a tragic desperation.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Samuel on 10 Oct 2003
Format: Paperback
This novel tells the story of a young Vietnamese soldier, sent home on leave during the Vietnam War. His travel through the country, and through his own war-centred memories, make a haunting tale, elements of which stick in the mind strongly for a long time afterwards. Weaving together family stories, personal experience, dreams and cynical reflections, the story convinces of the ruin of war, at an individual level and at ever higher complexities of society. I found the oddly mundane feel of the telling of extraordinary events especially disturbing - humans can and do adapt to almost anything, this book says, and it's true.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
A wondeful novel that throws open the horrors of war and in particular the "The Vietnamese Expereience". It describes the cynical manipulation by politicians of their people, the reality of the ideals expounded by them and the sufferings of war. Quan talks of times when he was filled with revolutionary fever, when he committed inhuman acts and finally his descent in cold, bitter cynicism. Through all the horrors, Quan still mets kind and gentle people; the most touching being the girl and her grandfather living in a bomb shelter; who share their food with the 'Uncle Bo Dai' and nurse him to health. I was moved to tears on several occasions.
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