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Inhaltsangabe

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2016.

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong.

The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause.

A gripping spy story, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

©2016 Viet Thanh Nguyen (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

Kritikerstimmen

"A fierce novel written in a refreshingly high style and charged with intelligent rage." ( Financial Times)
"[A] dark and exciting debut novel.... Black humour seeps through these pages." ( Wall Street Journal)

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  • Gesamt
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    4 out of 5 stars

Vietnam, its wars and warriors: drama & philosophy

A deep essay about an ordinary man in war times. The narrator shares with us, his listeners, his painful story of meandering between cultures (the Vietnamese and the American), periods (the war and the afterwar), countries (America and Vietnam), and ideologies (serving, and being betrayed by, both American nationalism and Vietnamese revolutionary thinking).

It's a dramatic story of war and piece, of love and sex and suffering, of murder and , and above all things, of friendship. The story is told in a nonlinear mode which provides sufficient room for philosophical considerations and time jumps, rather than being a straightforward drama. It offers a unique and rich look at the American engagement in Asia, which is, at least for me, a much welcomed complement to the countless, America-focused movies about the Vietnam war (the part about the narrator clashing with, and reflecting about Hollywood, is my personal highlight). Be prepared for deep emotions and equally deep reflections.

But be warned: Mr. Chau, who reads the book, is not the usual "reader". His hoarse and harsh voice is of a very limited bandwidth, and the reading approach exhibits limited empathy., Both makes it quite hard to listen for a longer time, and I considered giving up more than once. But in the end I got used to it -- and even began to enjoy the vocal monotony as being an adequate complement of the story's exploration of poverty and sparseness itself.

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