I have quite a phenomenal book recommendation to make: A Rumor of War, a Vietnam memoir by Philip Caputo. I started writing this post before I’d even finished reading the book, and wanted to note that it has the writing, development and world-building of a great fiction novel. To see Caputo’s trajectory from a young officer wanting adventure and a desire to prove himself to a battle hardened ‘old’ man (he talks about seeing that same change in others…that his mind was decades older than his body) is done incredibly well.
There are difficult moments in here, but in a way, that’s what makes this book so poignant. You can read that the jungles were harsh on the soldiers, that it was difficult fighting an enemy who seemed to vanish into the trees and that there was no sense of advancement, but it often seems like a time and a world so far removed. Caputo draws you in, brings you to Vietnam in the late 1960s. The same bonds that are formed with him and his unit are also formed with the reader. And that is one of the things that just made this book a high recommendation in my mind. Along with the writing, the development and those things I mentioned first off.
I’m leaving this review short and bittersweet. This is one of those cases where the book will definitely speak for itself. So if all I can do is just put it on the radar, please allow me to do so.