13 Months

In 1968, most people will remember that year as the year Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. Or the year Nixon got into the white house. Or Apollo 8 orbiting the moon. However you remember that year, there is always someone else who remembers it differently, how they were impacted by the significant events that transpired. Bruce A. Bastien recalls that year as a year of the war. A war-torn Vietnam where soldiers had to fight in the most brutal conditions; sickly, hot humidity during the day and fighting the cold in the rain at night. All-the-while trying to stay alive. Bastien takes us through the Vietnam War stories through his eyes and that of his friends from Kilo Company 3/5.

13 Months: In the Bush, in Vietnam, in 1968 is incredibly well-written. This introspective book is written in a clear voice and, structurally, built up to the significant events that transpired during Bastien’s time in the war, making it highly educational but also very sad to read. The author includes many pictures and descriptions to go along with the reading allowing readers to put a face to the names they see on the pages, deepening the experience. I believe if the pictures were incorporated into the chapters to coincide with the story, it would’ve been more engaging for the reader, as well as giving them a better understanding of who was who rather than providing them all at the end.

Bastien describes in great detail the functions of American military lingo, rank/command, and weaponry where necessary. For example, on page 21, Bastien gives “a bit of fluff explaining what a 6mm mortar can do.” As a civilian, I would have no clue what this weapon is or what it can do, so I appreciated the details. But, on the other hand, it may seem like a lot of unnecessary description for someone who understands all this. In addition, I feel that the book could have done better with the transition of time in between chapters. In some chapters, there are times when Bastien will jump from day to day or month to month, leaving readers to figure out how much time has passed.

13 Months: In the Bush, in Vietnam, in 1968 is an intriguing and engaging memoir. For readers who enjoy non-fiction, historical biographies, war history, and stories of the USMC, this account will be impactful and enlightening.

Page: 220 | ASIN : B08GJX19LP

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 7, 2022, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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