A Reckoning for Kings: A Novel of the TET Offensive

Chris Bunch, Author Atheneum Books $22.95 (449p) ISBN 978-0-689-11707-7
While it breaks no new ground in the crowded genre of Vietnam Warera fiction, this sprawling novel set at the time of the Tet offensive in 1968 ultimately proves a compelling, if conventional, story of men at war. The authors use a wide array of characters on both sides to map out the conflict. Of these, the most interesting are a North Vietnamese general, a West Pointtrained intelligence officer who has already become wise to the futility of the American effort and a company of ""grunts'' trying to survive their year in the jungle. Building toward a battle over a fictional provincial capital, ironically a ``set battle'' in a war that saw few of these, the book follows the intrigues, corruption, bureaucratic bungling, pettiness and everyday heroics that were part of the war, as an army from the north moves south in anticipation of the Tet attack that will signal the general offensive, an event that the Communists presume will end the hostilities. Often relying too heavily upon stock characters and cliches of conventional war fiction, the book nonetheless generates excitement and suspense as it crashes toward the final battle scene. (January 30)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 494 pages - 978-0-7434-5839-9
Paperback - 468 pages - 978-1-4401-0990-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-345-34668-1
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