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4.4 out of 5 stars
15
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was only going to give this book 4 stars because I am not a fan of war type books but having read it, I decided that I could not mark it down on my taste. The story was excellant and fast paced so can definately be described as a "page turner" and the writing was first class. The characters were well developed and through the descriptions I actually felt as though I were in Saigon in 1967.

I have read "Daniel Isn't Talking" so my expectations were high and I was not disappointed at all.

As with all of my reviews, I will not relay the plot but will express my own opinions of the book. If you like an adventure story then this book is for you.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 November 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Wow..., what a read. The story is beautifully crafted and I reiterate BEAUTIFULLY. The story follows the lead character Susan a reporter in Saigon and a photographer named Son and Marc a kind of love interest. The story depicts vietnam in intimate detail and it actually made you care about what is happening around you.

Most of the story is set in the jungle and has great comparison to Apocalypse Now. I have a feeling maybe the the writer may have spent sometime in Vietnam as the details of Saigon were pretty accurate(As I've been Saigon myself, 6 months back packing). A deep and gripping story and in some respect depicts the reality of war.

Overall, a brilliant story and thoroughly recommend the book to all.
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The way this book is written brilliantly conveys the constant feeling of tension in Vietnam at the time of the Vietnam War. Sometimes it can be a bit hard to read without doubling back to check the meaning but the sense that you're there, in the midst of it, is impressive.
As another reviewer says, you also feel the incredible waste of both human life and land as the war machine marches through.

The three main characters were well drawn and real and the relationships formed a wonderfiully stark contrast to background events.
The story is told mainly from the point of view of, Susan Gifford, a female reporter based in Saigon. She adopts (or is adopted by) Son, a Vietnamese photographer, with whom she works closely, covering the events of the war. Fellow reporter Marc whom she meets while cowering from incoming missiles, completes the trio. He is an experienced reporter who doesn't shy away from the action in the interests of good reporting.

Although I admire the sense of action, I marked it down to four stars because it is mainly based around one event and I felt I spent too much time trudging through the jungle. This may suit many readers but for me it became a bit tedious. Otherwise an impressive second novel.
I must move Daniel Isn't Talking up my 'to be read' pile.
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on 27 June 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've not read "Daniel" but if it's anything like "The Man from Saigon" it deserves the hype. Leimbach is a sensitive and gifted writer who brings the horrors and sorrows of war very strongly to life. Vietnam is flawlessly depicted in this book which traces a reporter's capture in the jungle and the tangled relationship between her, her Vietcong friend who is never quite what he seems, and the man with whom she is having an affair. The reader can almost smell and taste the battle, the humidity, the jungles of Vietnam, the waste of war.

My one criticism is that no character is particularly empathetic or likeable - I felt distanced from them all so I couldn't really care about them. I wanted to know how it ended, but not because I had my fingers crossed it would be OK! I'm not sure if this is because the affair between Susan and Marc is unpalatable (personal taste!) or because the author wanted it that way. As in all reviews, this is highly dependent on the reader and reviewer!

My main memory from this book is that it has given me as powerful a glimpse of Vietnam as Platoon or Apocalpyse Now and is very well written.
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on 31 August 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To compare any novel to The English Patient is high praise indeed. But The Man from Saigon had much the same feel to me. Of course, they're both set amid the detritus of war - the outsiders, the displaced and the brutalised. But the similarities go beyond that. The flipping back and forth in time and place, and the fluctuation between past and present tense are shared by both novels, as is the feeling that, at times, you're seeing the characters at distance - as if through a lens - rather than close up. In this regard, The Man from Saigon has a definite cinematic quality to it.

Such comparisons aside, it's a wonderful book. Truly engaging, strong characters and a simple yet extraordinarily powerful story. One slight criticism is that the mid section is perhaps marginally too long and could have done with a wee bit of an edit. But this is a minor, minor thing. Overall an exceptional and truly moving novel.
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on 3 August 2009
The Man from Saigon

Very gripping tale of life and love in times of war. Susan Gifford is reporting on the Vietnam War. Her colleagues and her TV reporter lover try to persuade her to deal with the softer issues of war, to keep her safe. Susan has other ideas. She teams up with Son, a Vietnamese photographer, with whom she forges a close relationship. For a while they manage to keep out of danger, reporting from the sidelines. Then they get caught up in an ambush, and life will never be the same again.

Compelling - impossible to put down!
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on 2 November 2009
Like several other reviewers, I don't normally go for war related books (there's enough of that in the newspaper) but I loved this book! It is meticulously researched and refreshingly unsentimental. One scene in particular had me virtually fighting for breath such was the claustrophobic tension. Would recommend this wholeheartedly.
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on 11 August 2009
A great read which keep me absorbed from start to finish. The strong lead female character and her extreme situation was entirely credible and it is apparent that a lot of background research into the situation in Vietnam was undertaken to give the story a really authentic feel.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Set during the Vietnam War, this is a love story (triangle?) with the constant background of US bombing and the horrors of the jungle war. The heroine is captured by the Viet Cong and sees the war from their side. Very vivid writing brings the whole nightmare (see Apocalypse Now for further detail!) to life with the chaos of Saigon and the dense, claustrophobic jungle. We get to see the appalling waste of life (and land) as the napalm incinerates the country. Perhaps there are some echoes today in Iraq and Afghanistan...
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VINE VOICEon 14 April 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Unlike another reviewer I actually like war stories having read many books about the Vietnam war, including those by participants. Whilst this is based upon an unusual love triangle, it is also an exceptional war story with perfect detailing and it gives the feeling that something like this may well have happened during that chaotic conflict. I congratulate the author on her immaculate research, the impression of time and place is masterful as are the characterisations.
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