365 Days

365 Days

  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552092231
  • 9780552092234

Review Text

A lot of blood has flowed in, under, around, and over Vietnam since the American military effort there began in earnest in 1965, and now that the war is winding down, prepare for an arterial gush of books telling it like it was in "Nam." Glasser's 365 Days, an early representative of this genre, would have been shocking before the My Lai revelations, perhaps generating outsized headlines, public outrage, Pentagon denials, and, eventually, congressional investigations. But now the book simply adds another bit of grisly documentation to the particular horror of that war. Glasser, a U.S. Army doctor stationed in Japan's Kanto Plains (where serious American casualties are flown for medical treatment), sutures together 17 true stories - some mere fragmentary sketches, but all based on his personal experience or conversations with patients - which exemplify various aspects of the war: the atrocities, pot smoking, falsification of body-count statistics, the villagers' hatred of American soldiers, their complicity with the VC, the omnipresent booby traps - it's all here, "a Walt Disney true-life adventure." The main emphasis, however, is on the medical operation. Glasser reports that 98% of the American wounded who get to Japan survive: then he tells us about their physical and psychological burns, how it is to face living with massive disfigurements, without legs or arms ("underlining all their cares, would anybody love them when they got back?"), about the surgeons who perform emergency operations day in, day out. Some of the accounts are quite clinical and require a strong stomach. The book comes on like M*A*S*H, but without the humorous edge: the reader feels like a gawking witness at a grotesque accident, an unwitting voyeur transfixed with the fascination of human suffering. That's the kicker in this book. (Kirkus Reviews)show more