A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Viet Thanh Nguyen
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as six other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.
A true piece of literature, and a telling portrait of a man divided, a chameleon forced to choose a color so he could live.
The protagonist of this novel takes its reader to the other side of the Vietnam war, with a description of those on the other side of the bullets, of village hootches being burned, of villagers being brandished VC by other villagers,to later be shown in the media of the time and movies made since being dropped from helicopters or lying crumpled on the ground with hands still tied in a pool of blood, of the underage prostitutes in the brothels.
This is the backstory behind the iconic picture of the last helicopter leaving the American embassy the failed (Flag raising of Iwo Jima) of my generation and the televised atrocities surrounding the Fall of Saigon and the Vietnam war as a whole. Yet it also tells of the pitfalls and struggles of the newly arrived war torn people's to assimilate into Western society, at times with similar contrasts to the mistrust held toward the current refugee crisis.
Riveting, Unique & Spellbinding.
Beautifully written - his vocabulary is astonishingly large and diverse. Use of language increíble, and , of course, the story is told in totally new perspective. But book so unrelentingly brutal I often didn't want to pick it up. Yes, I know, "it's for me own good" to understand the story he tells, but please! Sympathize with the poor reader who can only bear so much torture, sadness, and remorse!