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In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War
Hardcover, 221 pages
In his highly acclaimed, award-winning This Boy's Life, Tobias Wolff re-recreated the peculiar, almost fantastical world of his childhood, and his devious yet miraculous escape from its oppressive circumstances. But his new prospects soon faded away and he enlisted in the army, looking for another chance to redeem himself.
In Pharaoh's Army is Wolff's unflinching account of his tour in Vietnam, his tangled journey there and back. Using his old wiles and talents, he passes through boot camp, trains as a paratrooper, volunteers for the Special Forces, studies Vietnamese, and--without really believing it himself-becomes an officer in the U.S. Army. Then, inexorably, he finds himself drawn into the war, sent to the Mekong Delta as adviser to a Vietnamese battalion.
More or less innocent, self-deluded but rapidly growing less so, he dedicates himself not to victory but to survival. For despite his impressive credentials, he recognizes in himself laughably little aptitude for the military life and no taste at all for the war. He richochets between boredom and terror and grief for lost friends, then and in the years to come he reckons the cost of staying alive.
Wolff's portrait of his youthful self, both in Vietnam and upon his restless return home, is harrowing and hilarious, brutally honest yet never despairing. He captures vividly the everyday unease of war as well as a remakable variety of experiences, the friendships of young soldiers, forays into Saigon nightlife, close calls pulled off with amazing luck, a Thanksgiving celebration in the bush complete with Bonanza on a stolen TV, the Tet offensive as it overruns his peaceful Delta town.
This copy is in excellent condition, both book and dustjacket are without writing, marks or tears and this is very little cover wear. There are no remainder marks and this is not an ex-library copy.