Thursday, 20 November 2008

A Bright Shining Lie

I'd been meaning to read this book for years, ever since I was a 17-year-old shelf stacker at Asda and my friend and mentor, Billy Broad, had recommended it. We used to play tunes over the in-store sound system while we worked, much to the annoyance of the middle-aged women working there. Billy was about 15 years older than me, maybe more. So he got me into the Stones and other 60s stuff...I turned him onto Public Enemy and House. Fair swap. After listening to Paint It Black, I said it was the theme tune for Tour Of Duty, a Vietnam War TV drama.

I said I'd read various books on the War, and was very interested in it. He recommended this one. I wish I hadn't taken 20 years to finally read it...it's a masterpiece which describes the War and it's background with the French Indochina Wars, concentrating on one military advisor with the US Army. He's a flawed character, but one of the few people who understood the mentality and mindset of the Vietnamese and, ultimately, why America was doomed to lose before she started. A fascinating book. If you like that kind of thing. Oh, and this cover is shit compared to the original print with Tim Page's photograph on the cover...

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