The Father of All Things by Tom Bissell audiobook

The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam

By Tom Bissell
Read by Kerin McCue

Recorded Books, Inc.
16.72 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781449803292

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In his fourth book, journalist and fiction writer Bissell (Chasing the Sea) revisits the much-trodden territory of the Vietnam War to offer a fresh perspective: that of the adult children of the war's veterans. On assignment for GQ magazine, Bissell and his ex-Marine father, John, retrace the elder Bissell's tour of duty through a now mostly peaceful and prosperous Vietnam. The first of the book's three sections narrates the historical leadup to Saigon's fall in 1975, spliced with Bissell's imagined vision of his family on the night Saigon fell (his parents' marriage was rapidly collapsing due to John's postwar trauma and alcoholism). Next comes an exhaustively researched history of the war - including a harrowing retelling of the My Lai massacre, during which civilians were brutally murdered by crazed American soldiers-within the narrative of the father-son trip, aided by Truong and Hien, their entertaining and illuminating Vietnamese tour guides. As Bissell repeatedly presses his father to confess regrets about Vietnam, the two push toward an ambivalent sense of closure on national and personal wounds. A final, less effective, section gathers testimonials from American and Vietnamese veterans' children. This humorous memoir, travelogue and accessible history - the author's most ambitious book - confirms Bissell's status as a rising star of American literature.

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Summary

Summary

A 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction, 2007

In his fourth book, journalist and fiction writer Bissell (Chasing the Sea) revisits the much-trodden territory of the Vietnam War to offer a fresh perspective: that of the adult children of the war's veterans. On assignment for GQ magazine, Bissell and his ex-Marine father, John, retrace the elder Bissell's tour of duty through a now mostly peaceful and prosperous Vietnam. The first of the book's three sections narrates the historical leadup to Saigon's fall in 1975, spliced with Bissell's imagined vision of his family on the night Saigon fell (his parents' marriage was rapidly collapsing due to John's postwar trauma and alcoholism). Next comes an exhaustively researched history of the war - including a harrowing retelling of the My Lai massacre, during which civilians were brutally murdered by crazed American soldiers-within the narrative of the father-son trip, aided by Truong and Hien, their entertaining and illuminating Vietnamese tour guides. As Bissell repeatedly presses his father to confess regrets about Vietnam, the two push toward an ambivalent sense of closure on national and personal wounds. A final, less effective, section gathers testimonials from American and Vietnamese veterans' children. This humorous memoir, travelogue and accessible history - the author's most ambitious book - confirms Bissell's status as a rising star of American literature.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Haunting…Emotionally powerful…Bissell brings a luminous prose style and, perhaps more important, a clear, fresh eye to events that many of us have allowed to slip into the infuriatingly painful past.” New York Times Book Review
“Powerful…Eloquent and in-depth…The Father of All Things is a one-of-a-kind accomplishment.” Washington Post Book World
“A fresh and comprehensive look at the Vietnam era…Bissell’s powerful writing forces one to open one’s eyes and take in the enormity of the moral abyss.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Beautifully written…Tom Bissell is superb. His description of today’s Vietnam are breathtaking and deep.” Los Angeles Times
“This humorous memoir, travelogue and accessible history—the author’s most ambitious book—confirms Bissell’s status as a rising star of American literature.” Publishers Weekly
“McCue is unwavering in his delivery, bringing the realistic touch that this poignant memoir deserves while never coming off as preachy or long-winded. A very personal story with a very international approach.” AudioFile
“Big-picture politics take second place to the achingly personal in Bissell’s heartfelt book.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Tom Bissell

Author Bio: Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell is the author of Chasing the Sea and God Lives in St. Petersburg, and is a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine and The Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2006 he was awarded the Rome Fellowship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his work has been selected several times by the Best American Short Stories, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Science Writing series.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 16.72
Audience: Adult
Language: English