Fourth Estate £11.99 (364pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Man from Saigon, By Marti Leimbach
Friday 07 August 2009
From Tim O'Brien and Denis Johnson to Bao Ninh, the war in Vietnam gave rise to long shelf of fine fiction. In this novel, set in Saigon and the jungle battlefields of 1967, Marti Leimbach nods to forerunners but still finds a path of her own through the maze of lies and fear.
Susan, her British-raised front-line reporter, is taken prisoner by Vietcong along with her enigmatic photographer, Son.
Scenes from the frenzied "theatre of extremes" she has left in the city, and of a tightly-strung affair with married colleague Marc, alternate with scarily sensuous evocations of her torrid captivity.
Emotionally rich, viscerally intense, the novel revisits a familiar terrain but finds ways to see it anew.
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