Over the years, I have read a number of book regarding the Vietnam war. However, I had never read a book on the Long Range Patrol units or LRPs. I had no idea how they operated and I was looking forward to reading a heart-pounding story.
Reading the prologue brought a tear to my eye. The prologue of the book showed the true talent of this author, even before the story began. The prologue was a story about how the first LRP reunion came to be after the war. I felt the words and the emotions the author were able to convey were quite powerful.
Once the story started, through no fault of the author, the book went downhill quickly. One of the difficult things about writing a non-fiction book is sometimes the story is not that interesting. The first 150 pages got to be a little monotonous. It seemed the same sequence of events were occurring over and over again, with only the date changing. It was very interesting at first to read about how LRPs operate, but it got to be the same thing over and over again. There was little contact with the enemy to write about, but the story did have some interesting tidbits here and there that made me want to keep reading. However, after awhile I felt my commute to work would have been more exciting to read about.
That all changed with the entry for November 4, 1968. The LRP becomes engaged with the enemy and really get in over their heads. Once again, here is where the authors writing abilities really began to show. The action described in the book rivaled any Hollywood script. The scene has everything from tragedy, heros, to the good guys coming over the hill for the rescue.
Overall, I thought this was an OK book. The book was really lack luster until the entry for 11/4/68. From that point to the end of the book was pretty extraordinary. The authors description of the big battle as well as the events at the USO show were astounding. I felt a bit cheated by the fact this book only covers 1968, and if you want to read about the rest of the authors tour in 1969, you have to buy a second book. While I would not call this the best memoir on the Vietnam War by far, it was still a decent book and I was glad to have read it. I felt the story was good enough where I will be picking up the next book.
Upon reading some of the Amazon reviews and doing my own research, there is a lot of controversy about this author. I am not a soldier and for all I know, the entire book could be fabricated. All I can say is that the author is a talented writer and for the most part, the story seems plausible. Personally, I did not let the allegations get in my way of trying to enjoy this read. Approach the book with an open mind and I think you will enjoy it.
LINDERER WALKS THE READER THROUGH THE BOOK WITH THE SKILL OF A SCOUT LEADING HIS PATROL THROUGH HOSTILE TERRITORY,AND NOT ONLY THAT, BUT YOU CAN'T HELP BUT REALLY LIKE THE GUY ON TOP THAT.