Fatal Light

Richard Currey, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (195p) ISBN 978-0-525-24622-0
Currey's debut novel is a powerfully written, haunting account of a young man's voyage to adulthood, confusion and alienation, beginning in America, taking us through his experiences in Vietnam and his return home. Apart from its honed lyricism, what makes this Vietnam novel superior to most others is that it is unself-conscious, allowing us to share the combat experience of Vietnam through a brilliantly chosen series of vignettes. The book shares a kinship with Michael Herr's Dispatches and, moreover, is fiercely focused and crafted with great skill. Curry has condensed his four years' experience as a combat medic into a slim but potent literary slide show. On his return to the States, as if to subtly emphasize this point, the narrator shows his Vietnam photos to his grandfather. ""You plan to show these pictures . . . to anyone else? . . .Don't do it. Put these in a shoebox somewhere. . . . They're too damn hard.'' The narrator, alienated from the central experience of his life, is also alienated from himself. In a symbol, not only of Vietnam, but of life after that wasteful conflict, the narrator dreams of an endless walk through the cathedral light of the jungle. Men drop away, but the rest continue walking, ``unable to continue and afraid to stop.'' This is a stunning narrative by a writer to watch. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 195 pages - 978-0-14-011945-9
Paperback - 195 pages - 978-0-395-85995-7
Ebook - 210 pages - 978-0-9819661-2-0
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