BRC Book Group Discussion, Wednesday, July 18
Thanks to Elaine Heller and the Survey Monkey, the next book will be “The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Thanks to SanDee Olson, who will once again host us for our summer gathering/discussion, Wednesday, July 18, from 7-9PM. If you (and partner) plan on attending, please RSVP to Margaret Doman.
If you have an EVEN numbered birth year, please bring a bottle of wine to share.
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An Amazon Best Book of April 2015:
Viet Thanh Nguyen’s “The Sympathizer” brilliantly draws you in with the opening line: “I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.” It’s thrilling, rhythmic, and astonishing, as is the rest of Nguyen’s enthralling portrayal of the Vietnam War. The narrator is an undercover communist agent posing as a captain in the Southern Vietnamese Army. Set during the fall of Saigon and the years after in America, the captain spies on the general and the men he escaped with, sharing his information with his communist blood brothers in coded letters. But when his allegiance is called into question, he must act in a way that will haunt him forever. Political, historical, romantic and comic, The Sympathizer is a rich and hugely gratifying story that captures the complexity of the war and what it means to be of two minds. — Al Woodworth
“[A] remarkable debut novel … [Nguyen] brings a distinctive perspective to the war and its aftermath. His book fills a void in the literature, giving voice to the previously voiceless … The nameless protagonist-narrator, a memorable character despite his anonymity, is an Americanized Vietnamese with a divided heart and mind. Nguyen’s skill in portraying this sort of ambivalent personality compares favorably with masters like Conrad, Greene, and le Carré … Both thriller and social satire … In its final chapters, The Sympathizer becomes an absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet.” — Philip Caputo, New York Times Book Review
“Gleaming and uproarious, a dark comedy of confession filled with charlatans, delusionists and shameless opportunists … The Sympathizer, like Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, examines American intentions, often mixed with hubris, benevolence and ineptitude, that lead the country into conflict.” ― Los Angeles Times
“Sparkling and audacious … Unique and startling … Nguyen’s prose is often like a feverish, frenzied dream, a profuse and lively stream of images sparking off the page … . Nguyen can be wickedly funny … . [His] narrator has an incisive take on Asian-American history and what it means to be a nonwhite American … . this remarkable, rollicking read by a Vietnamese immigrant heralds an exciting new voice in American literature.” — Seattle Times