Flowers of the Dinh Ba Forest
A NovelBook - 2004 | 1st ed
In this novel of war, love, camaraderie, and betrayal Vietnam veteran Clark centers his plot around a search for a rare orchid in the height of the Vietnam War. Monroe took the scene in with a glance and shifted the ruck on his back. 'The second night of the Watts riots. Pop loaded me in the car and we headed out. I figured I knew what he was up to. Everybody else was out in the streets looting and shit and I guessed we was going to get our share. But not him. You know what that man did?' Monroe's face broke a tired smile, and his head shook at the memory. 'He pulled in behind a greenhouse and busted a window out with a tire iron and we went in and stole all the orchids'. As novelist and veteran Tim O'Brien has pointed out, the telling element in any ture war story is that it doesn't make sense. Clark's characters-- both Vietnamese and American, both men and women--are painfully aware that nothing seems to make sense in the war, the one might as well trek off in search of a deep jungle orchid. It's this very non-sensicality that forges them--foe and friend--into an insane respect, an insane hatred for one another. And it's the search for this rare orchid that gives them the willed deception of meaning, much as if Soren Kierkegaard had leaped from late nineteenth century Sweden into twentieth century Vietnam. And the search also gives Clark's novel a gripping plot and range of characters--without any leap of faith, though with very much satisfaction.
Publisher: Livingston , AL : Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FIC CLA
Characteristics: 178 p. ; 23 cm