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A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
Following the fall of Saigon to the communists and the end of the Vietnam war, a Vietcong spy manages to smuggle his way to America and reflects wryly on his life of contradictions and betrayal, alongside ironic asides on the Hollywood community he now lives in and the foibles of US life. Both satirical and compassionate, this examination of a mole's life has echoes of both John Le Carre and Graham Greene in its sideways, disillusioned approach to the spy novel and the X-ray vision of a life of lies, torn between not just countries but systems of belief. Intrinsically pessimistic if not despairing, the novel is redeemed by its relentless storytelling ride which constantly comes up with wonderful images and scenes out of the blue and builds towards an impressive climax and pieces of the unnamed narrator's life finally fall into place. Pretty impressive.
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
Publication date: 04/02/2016
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||4th February 2016|
|Author:||Viet Thanh Nguyen|
|Publisher:||Corsair an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Action Adventure / Spy, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War. The Sympathizer has won numerous awards, including the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He teaches English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.More About Viet Thanh Nguyen