Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review of "Light Casualties: A Private War" by J. C. Willis

"Light Casualties: A Private War" is an extremely well written book. It offers an unusual perspective in war memoirs. It gives us the view of a young, draftee private just doing his best to stay alive and get home during the peak of the Vietnam war. It carries us all the way from being drafted to arriving home as J.C. makes his way through time with the artillery and the infantry. The dialogue is realistic. The characters are well-developed. The voice is familiar and friendly. It's a very personal story that strikes me as a truly authentic look at what service in Vietnam was like for many people. I enjoyed reading Mr. Willis's story very much. It's one of the most authentic, real war memoirs I've ever read.

This book also has some very nice touches. The beginning of each chapter in the Kindle book has a personal photograph and map to match the setting. I love the way he scatters letters home through the book. This is simply a wonderful book, and I thank Mr. Willis for his service and for sharing his story with us. It's a good read that I recommend to anybody who'd like to see what life on the ground was probably like for many, many Vietnam veterans.
Light Casualties: A Private War

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review of "Christmas Eve Can Kill You" by William Marantz

"Christmas Even Can Kill You" by William Marantz is an extremely entertaining book! I enjoyed getting to know broken down, Jewish, country singer turned talk-radio jock, Val Virgo. The narrative flows well. The plot is interesting and exciting. The dialogue is realistic, sharp, and witty. The characters are well developed and interesting.

This story developed at a quick pace. There were plenty of twists and turns and even a couple hairpin turns that caused my breath to catch in my throat. The mystery kept me guessing. The romance was interesting and believable to me. The conclusion left me feeling satisfied yet interested in learning more about Val Virgo. I particularly enjoyed the flavor added by the Winnipeg setting. I could see the great, white north, and I've never even been there.

This is a good book. Yes, the narrative voice is sarcastic. As one with a deep sarcastic streak myself, I liked it. I wouldn't mind hanging out with these characters. I enjoyed this book a lot and recommend it to anyone looking for a quick paced, interesting read.
 Christmas Eve Can Kill You

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Facebook is so cool!

I don't understand why some people are so against using facebook. It's like they wear it as a badge of honor. I completely get the privacy concerns, but that's not what it's about. They seem to take pride in refusing to use it.

I just don't get it.

I've found family that were lost since the 1970s. Well, I guess they weren't lost, but we were out of contact with them after my mom's dad died. I've set up family reunions, class reunions, and a lot of other events through there. I have a fan page for my book with a couple hundred members. We're going to set up a reunion of my Army unit through that. It's just really great for that...keeping in touch.

The latest thing that happened is a group some German girls created just for people who hung out in two nightclubs in Heilbronn, Germany. It's the "Alstadt-Uncle Sam" group. It's a closed group that even has rules. We have to post a face picture when we first join. I was stationed in Heilbronn and hung out in those clubs nearly every night I could. We're actually recognizing each other! People we thought we'd never see again, and we're chatting and having fun talking about the old days of Bon Jovi music and big hair!! We get to capture a magical era of our youth through faded photographs and vivid memories. I posted one picture, and a couple of the German girls have told me they recognize me already. I definitely recognize some of them. They've posted a lot of pictures, and I remember some of those night...even though they might be clouded through a haze of hefeweissen and Apfelkorn. It was a fun time. I never would have seen those pictures without facebook.

I just think that's awesome. I don't get why some people take pride in refusing to use it. I refuse to use a cell phone, so I guess I should get it. I just don't, though.