Long Ride Back:

John Jacob, Author Thunder's Mouth Press $19.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-938410-46-1
In a powerful fiction debut, poet Jacobs (winner of the 1980 Carl Sandburg Award) has written one of the most complete and credible evocations of the Vietnam War era. The hero, Travis Jones, spends the first half of the 1960s as a soldier in the jungles. After his discharge, he joins the campus protesters of the late '60s and early '70s. The novel's setting reaches into the era of Reaganite reactionism, and the administration's shabby treatment of Vietnam veterans despite rhetorical flag-waving. Until now, most interesting writing about the U.S. and Vietnam has been done by news reporters and ex-servicemen stationed there in the 1960s. The focus has been on combat, setting aside the fact that some of the generation that fought in the war also fought against it at home. Jacob brings both aspects of the war into clear relief. His combat scenes have a visceral impact, and his description of the atmosphere in the antiwar movement will resonate with authenticity for anyone who remembers it with a reasonable amount of objectivity. The simplicity and authority of Jacob's prose add a significant dimension to a memorable novel. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-938410-47-8
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