In "Everything Happened in Vietnam: The Year of the Rat", Robert Peter Thompson has given us a glimpse of what the war looked like through his eyes. It is very authentic. This book reads much like sitting and hearing Mr. Thompson tell his story. The stream of consciousness style lends itself well to the confusion of war. His conversational writing is pleasant. It's like sitting in a bar and listening to an old friend relate his memories. At times, I became a little lost but I'd keep reading. Then I'd say to myself,"That was well done!" I especially liked the little updates at end of some of the chapters.
I enjoyed this book. It's good to find more Vietnam veterans telling their personal stories. Our history is made up of millions of regular people. Real history isn't made by famous generals and presidents. It's made of regular people like Mr. Thompson. Too often, nobody knows about it except the people who were next to them. This book very clearly shows the struggles to mentally survive the war. I'm sure it was cathartic for Mr. Thompson to tell us his story. I thank him for sharing it with all of us.
Everything Happened in Vietnam: The Year of the Rat