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    In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of a Lost War (Paperback) By (author) Tobias Wolff

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    DescriptionHaving survived the childhood recorded in "This Boy's Life", Tobias Wolff finds himself serving in Vietnam and assigned to a unit in the Mekong Delta. Innocent, self-deluded but rapidly growing less so, he fumbles his way through close shaves and foolish risks; for, despite his impressive credentials as a paratrooper and former Green Beret, he recognizes in himself laughably little talent for the military life. A young officer out of his depth, he lives in boredom and terror and grief for lost friends, then and in the years to come, he reckons the cost of staying alive.


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  • Full bibliographic data for In Pharaoh's Army

    Title
    In Pharaoh's Army
    Subtitle
    Memories of a Lost War
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Tobias Wolff
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 224
    Width: 130 mm
    Height: 197 mm
    Thickness: 14 mm
    Weight: 149 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780330340199
    ISBN 10: 0330340190
    Classifications

    BIC subject category V2: DSK
    BIC E4L: BIO
    BIC language qualifier (language as subject) V2: 2ADF
    DC20: 813.54
    BIC subject category V2: DSBH, BGA
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FMV
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.5A
    BISAC V2.8: BIO007000
    Libri: B-090
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15700
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: HIS048000
    BIC subject category V2: 2ADF, 1FMV
    Thema V1.0: DSK, DSBH, DNBA
    Edition
    New edition
    Edition statement
    New edition
    Publisher
    Pan MacMillan
    Imprint name
    PICADOR
    Publication date
    13 October 1995
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Review text
    Wolff continues his memoirs in this excellent volume, with his keen prose, dispassionate mordancy, and writer's attention to mood and characters applied to Vietnam's moral absurdity. The target rifles, scout troops, and juvenile delinquency described in This Boy's Life (1989) find ironic parallels here in M-16s, Special Forces, and wartime cynicism. After flunking out of prep school and jumping ship in the merchant marine, Wolff drifted into the army at 18 in 1965, having given little real thought to either the war or adulthood. Basic training and officer's candidate school subsequently confirmed to him his unsuitability for the soldier's life while the Army mechanically processed him along. His field posting as a military liaison to the South Vietnamese army, however, was less hazardous than his boot-camp peers' lethal assignments to the north. Initially, his most complicated mission was trading a Chinese rifle for a distant base's color TV in time for the "Bonanza" Thanksgiving special, and his luck held throughout the constant threat of Vietcong snipers and even the Tet Offensive. Alongside the obtuse inefficiency of his gung-ho replacement and the "Quiet American" idealism of a Foreign Service friend, Wolff's potential for youthful self-delusion and malevolence are only heightened in Vietnam; these are expressed in his insincere defense of the war in an argument with the father of a friend (who would desert just before shipping out) and his willful negligence to spite an officer, which resulted in a hamlet being flattened under a hovering Chinook helicopter. After coming unscathed out of this dispiriting and undistinguished tour of duty, Wolff attended a send-off party with Vietnamese hosts who, in mocking recognition of his services, served a dog stew made from the puppy he had adopted on his arrival. If less intense than his earlier memoir's portrayal of a troubled childhood, this candid work evenly weighs the many costs and few gains of coming of age in a war. (Kirkus Reviews)