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There's a Man with a Gun Over There - R.M. Ryan
"In this autobiographical novel, Rick Ryan, a young American desperate to avoid Vietnam in 1968, is drafted but manages to maneuver his way into a German language class, where he is promised a post as a translator by an army recruiter. The book's message is clear and repeated throughout the book: the Army is not a game, and no matter what you tell yourself to get through it, you are still a trained killer. Ryan offers a side to Vietnam that most people don't see. He drives his points home about the dangers of the military and how it affects people." —Publishers Weekly
"Ryan writes with a uniquely compelling style. Short scenes evolve into each other through a natural progression of thoughts, while high school teachers, war criminals, betrayed wives and more flit through the author's mind. The well-drawn intersecting timelines never confuse but work seamlessly together, weaving a tale of life's rich weave torn apart.
Next time I see the Vietnam memorial, those names unknown will have faces and histories, thanks to a man who wasn't over there. And frozen tomato sauce will never seem the same. This book is a must-read revelation of a generation, growing more relevant with each newscast to today. And the oldest business in the world isn't prostitution after all." —Sheila's Reviews
After Byron - Norman Beim
"What begins as a murder mystery ends as a rumination on the hazards of celebrity in this epistolary novel steeped in the lore of Lord Byron and his scandalous exploits. Several years after Byron's death in 1824, minor poet Claude Ingersoll, once Byron s close friend, earned a disreputable reputation for indulging in Byronic antics of his own. Beim gives his tale a believable period texture by referring throughout to Gothic literature and incidents in Byron's life. Claude is a likable rogue with old-fashioned swagger, and his adventures will appeal to readers of historical fiction." —Publishers Weekly
"This neatly woven story is a jolt to a hibernating imagination. After Byron is an epistolary novel that features a cast of fascinating characters swept up in Lord Ingersoll's charm and misfortune. As the story unfolds, the unexpected is revealed and to be reveled in. The dialogue and action carry the reader along as the depth of the characters suck the reader in. The story is a page-turner that focuses heavily on character development and suspense.
Everyone is suspect." —New York Journal of Books