Acclaimed as one of the most important novels of the Vietnam War, YEAR OF THE MONKEY takes us not only into the savage jungles where death waits in every paddyfield, but into the apocalyptic world of political corruption, where friendship and betrayal become unavoidable, where murder and love are common as body counts. It is the gripping story of two American soldiers trapped in a sinister web of cold-blooded murder during the shattering Tet Offensive of 1968.
In the poisoned soul of Saigon, Russ Payne is an army journalist partying his nights away when a wild grunt named Willingham is lobbed into his life like a grenade. Willingham, the lone survivor of a Special Forces squad, has been reassigned, inexplicably, to Payne's cushy rear unit. Suddenly Payne's fragile peace is shattered when he's forced to spy on his new friend as part of a secret CIA investigation. On a mind-bending odyssey into the depths of the war-torn jungle, he follows Willingham in his bloody quest to avenge the massacre of his former unit--and discovers a hell of his own.
Cutting through an apocalyptic jungle of intrigue, Payne falls in love with a woman who welcomes him into the fold of a Viet Cong camp, witnesses the death of his childhood friend, discovers the horrific meaning of attrition...and ultimately leads to him committing a crime beyond redemption.
In stunning scenes of combat and intrigue, we glean as in no other novel or movie the patch-quilt nature of the Vietnamese people and the murderous deceit of sinister body count politics.
In the year of the monkey, Payne will come to understand the terrible consequences of following orders--and of ignoring them.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Year of the Monkey (Main/UK), by Ron Argo, is free in the Kindle store, courtesy of publisher Simon & Schuster.