Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1968. Like thousands of other American boys, Carl Melcher is drafted and sent to Vietnam. His new company is infected with the same racial tensions plaguing the nation. Despite that, Carl makes friends on both sides of the color line. The war, like a tiger lurking in the bushes, picks off its victims one by one. Naively over-optimistic, Carl believes that karma and good intentions will save him and his friends. Then fate intervenes to teach Carl something of the meaning of life, and death.
"Echoes of Joseph Heller's CATCH-22
, written about an earlier war, are seen in the surrealism of the scene, which Carl himself describes as a comic book cutout, a brutal illumination of his childhood games."
"Drawn from the author's own experience as an Army soldier in Vietnam, Clayton deftly portrays an innocent abroad in the development of his protagonist, the likable but naive Carl Melcher."
Originally published as an e-book, this was short-listed as a 2001 Frankfurt e-book Award Finalist along with works by Joyce Carol Oates and David McCullough. A realistic novel of combat in Vietnam by a man who was there.
About the Author
was born in 1948, drafted in 1968, and sent to Vietnam in September of that year. He served with an infantry line company in the 4th Infantry Division in the Central Highlands of Pleiku Province. After the army, Clayton went to Temple University in Philadelphia where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature in 1976. He currently lives and works in California.