Travelers

Larry Bograd, Author Lippincott Williams & Wilkins $11.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-397-32128-5
Jack Karlstad has never forgiven his father A. J. for getting killed in Vietnam when Jack was only four. Now a senior, Jack wants to find out more about the father he never knew. He leaps at the chance to make a car trip to California with a school friend. Jack intends to look up some of his dad's army buddies on the way, to find out what made the man tickto find out if A. J. wanted to die in Vietnam. Jack eventually reconciles himself to the past and tries to get on with his life. At one point, the story seems to be showing how tough it is to deal with life's ambiguities, especially in the remembrances of each ex-army buddy Jack encounters. But an unfortunately pat ending undermines the novel's credibility. It's an ambitious undertaking to use the Vietnam legacy as a vehicle for a teenager's search for self-identity, but this effort falls short. Bograd's emphasis on sex, drugs and alcohol on the road trip seems gratuitous and grows tiresome. (12-up)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1986
Release date: 03/01/1986
Hardcover - 184 pages - 978-0-397-32129-2
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