• In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of a Lost War See large image

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

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    DescriptionThe follow-up to the author's memoir "This Boy's Life" which describes his experiences during the Vietnam War. As a young officer serving in the Mekong Delta, he ricocheted between boredom, terror and grief for lost friends. Tobias Wolff is the author of "Hunters in the Snow".


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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: 112 mm
    Height: 160 mm
    Thickness: 21 mm
    Weight: 239 g
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780747527442
    ISBN 10: 074752744X
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: BIO
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.2A
    BIC subject category V2: BGHA
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: HIS048000
    DC20: 959.70438
    Thema V1.0: DNBH1
    Edition
    New edition
    Edition statement
    New edition
    Publisher
    Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    Imprint name
    Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    Publication date
    29 August 1996
    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)