Last night's book was A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo. This is a memoir of the Vietnam War, written by a graduate student who joined the Marines before the days of the draft. At first I thought this book must have been the source of the film Platoon, but then I found out that was based on the director Oliver Stone's own experiences. The similarities of themes and incidents must simply be due to the two men having similar backgrounds and to the now-archetypal motifs of that particular war. Caputo is a skilled writer (he later became a prizewinning journalist) and what comes across is his essential humanity even as he maintains that he is becoming de-humanized by the war.
I didn't leave myself enough time to read this however, so will have to catch up on it over the next few days, particularly as I came back from lunch with my friend Jo clutching a pile of Agatha Raisin books by M C Beaton. More on those later!
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