Amazing Adulthood of Alexix

The Amazing Adulthood of Alexis

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Amazing Adulthood of Alexix

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Review: Loon: A Marine Story by Jack McLean

I'll be honest, when I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program, I couldn't remember why I requested it. It's a book about Viet Nam, and I am not a reader of war stories. My grandfathers were both war veterans, but neither my parents nor any of my sisters were in the military. I have no real interest in the military or reading about war. I actually dreaded reading the book.

Until I opened it and read the first few pages.

I couldn't put it down. I started it last night before bed and finished it about a half an hour ago. I haven't sped through a book that fast in recent memory. The book isn't too long, about 250 pages, but it is intense, and it will keep you turning the pages. I was enthralled. It's a fictionalized memoir, I guess you could call it. The events are true, but some of the dialogue was created by the author, since it would have been all but impossible to recall the exact details of conversations held 40 years ago.

The book tells the story of McLean's enlistment in the Marines and his subsequent tour of duty in Viet Nam. McLean came from a place of privilege, private school and money. The kids in his graduating class went to college to avoid the draft, but McLean actually signed up for service. The story details his basic training, his first assignment in supply school, learning computerized inventory systems, and his eventual shipping off to Viet Nam to see action "in the shit."

I'll say it again, I was enthralled. Not being a reader of war stories, I haven't read anything about the Viet Nam war. My senior year English teacher in high school lived through Viet Nam and read us snippets of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, but that was the extent of my knowledge of the war. I don't even remember learning that much about it in history (except the mention of the domino effect theory in the book did ring some bells).

I'm so, so glad I read this book. It was touching and scary and fascinating, all in one. I cried at several points during the story. I give it five out of five Whatevers. LOVED it. I recommend this to just about anyone: those who remember Viet Nam or those who, like me, need to learn more about it. It is pretty scary, so it's not for young kids, but other than that, go for it.



More reviews... © Jack Mclean 2013