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am 19. September 2000
This novel is a cross between "The Caine Mutiny" and "Catch 22" It is short, strong and powerful. A naive young sailor goes to Viet Nam aboard a destroyer and is surprised to see that the hippies were right, the war is immoral. His ship pounds the jungle with gunfire and commits covert agression against northern Viet Nam by violating her waters with an electronic surveillance net. And when his ship is attacked in the Tonkin Gulf, she sinks 5 PT boats and abandons the survivors. Some crewmembers decide the only way to save their honor is to attempt to take their warship away from the Navy. And then the action really begins! But it has romance too. The young sailor's fiancee deceives him, just as his government does by calling Viet Nam a "military conflict." It was a war and a damn dirty one full of lies. A bright change of pace occurs when he has a fling with a Chinese woman while on liberty in The Pearl of the Orient, Hong Kong.
I rated this book at 3 stars in order to appear to be neutral about its quality. Actually, it's the kind of book I wish I'd read before I joined the Navy and went to Viet Nam twice. Therefore, my personal opinion is that it rates 5+ stars. I've written poetry and short stories and so the words in here are the right ones properly assembled.
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