Bao Ninh, a former North Vietnamese soldier, provides a strikingly honest look at how the Vietnam War forever changed his life, his country, and the people who. 18 Nov Fifteen years after Bao Ninh’s admired war novel, he explains his When it was first published 15 years ago, Ninh’s novel, The Sorrow of War. The daring and controversial novel that took the world by storm– a story of politics, selfhood, survival, and war. Featured in The Vietnam War by Ken.

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A book about writing, about lost youth, it is also a beautiful, agonizing love story. The battles and the imagery from the Jungle of the Screaming Souls presented me with a very different perspective of the North Vietnamense soldier than what I thought it would be.

About The Sorrow of War The daring and controversial novel that took the world by storm—a story of politics, selfhood, survival, and war. Is it the author or the translator? There was no chronological order at all.

‘The Sorrow Of War’ Creates Controversy In Vietnam | The Spokesman-Review

Even if the manuscript had been numbered, even if no pages had been burned, or moth-eaten, or withheld by the author, if by chance they were all there, this novel would still be a work created by turbulent, even manic inspirations. Kien lives in a world alive with the ghosts of memory and what soldier does not? Ninh beats down his ideas to the point of literary pulp and the reader is left exhausted and a bit annoyed that nothing really revolutionary came after page 60 that hadn’t already been clearly stated.

I discussed with a friend that writers like Annie Dillard can make looking out the window wxr a child seem utterly profound, while Bao Ninh seems to have difficulty making even the most significant of circumstances important. Bastards; may they rot in eorrow Overused metaphors, cheesy dialogue, trite story-line.


It also fills a gap in the much-chronicled Vietnam War story by showing how veterans in Vietnam have suffered in ways similar to their American counterparts. Unbound Worlds Exploring the science fiction and fantasy universe. The literary strength of the novel comes from the way it is told. Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra. The many characters are interesting and engaging if short-lived.

Thus begins the non-linear narrative by Kien, a North Vietnamese soldier during the Vietnam War, chronicling his loss of innocence, his love, and his anguish at the memories of war.

Dec 30, Thanh rated it it was amazing Shelves: He seemed driven by a fo to be a good soldier, a mate but realistic that they were fighting a more well equipped enemy so life was likely to be short. It opens with Kien retrieving bodies after the conflict has ended: Virtually all of his comrades in arms were killed.

He also believes that Vietnam’s programme of economic liberalisation will eventually lead to greater freedom. View all 4 comments. With that being said, this novel is one that Ninh writes for himself, not for the reader. It was all the same; it amounted to nothing.

‘The Sorrow Of War’ Creates Controversy In Vietnam

The ones who loved war were not the young men, but the others like the politicians, middle-aged men with sofrow bellies and short legs. Phuong at seventeen in the pre-war days, and Phuong now, after the war but in practice, the changes to each are too much to enable their relationship to survive. Bap wish with the same breath that I use to curse our politicians to hell, that those who were my enemy may rest or live in peace.


This was the Universe directing me to read this. Many thanks for this review, BlackOxford. It moves backwards and forwards in time, and in and out of despair, dragging you down as the hero-loner leads you through his private hell in the highlands of Central Vietnam, or pulling you up when his spirits rise.

This feeling is ninb by his heart-break over his failed relationship with Phuong, who acts as a kind of ideal with whom Kien is unable to consummate a lasting relationship. And when the company saw the corpse they were freaked out at how closely it resembled a woman.

I felt the ending was stronger than the rest of the novel. The World According to Garp.

The English translation of his novel gave Ninh a degree of economic security after years of struggle. His post-war work of travelling the nation attempting to identify the remains of the thousands of unmarked dead so that nimh families could get closure keeps him close to the ghosts of those who had passed.

In fact, I observed that Ninh ever rarely captivated me with his language. It is rather overwhelming to be bombarded with the same mood throughout the entire novel. It is no longer controversial to depict the front lines as something other than noble and heroic. Not the ordinary people.

It’s a haunting book. Also by Bao Ninh. The Autobiography of Santa Claus.