by Anthony Grey
Reviewed by Bill Bradley
Saigon follows the lives of three families, one American, one French and the other Vietnamese, from the French colonial era in the early 1930s until the last helicopter left Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war. It is a large book in two volumes which has been described as a great love story in the vein of "Gone With The Wind" or a modern "War and Peace." Either of those descriptions may well be right for different readers. Grey's focus is on telling an entertaining story, and he has woven his characters into all the important places and events of the period. I enjoyed the drama of the story, and the descriptions of Vietnam, the people and their lives. While being entertained, I also absorbed a lot of facts about that awful conflict that I would otherwise not have learned. 1982, 789 pages (original hardcover edition).
More info from Amazon.com
Other novels about Vietnam in the twentieth century:
Daughters of the River Huong: A Vietnamese Royal Concubine and Her Descendants by Uyen Nicole Duong. More info from Powell's Books
The Tapestries by Kien Nguyen. More info
Nonfiction about the French colonial era in Vietnam:
Understanding Vietnam by Neil L. Jamieson. More info
Before the Revolution: The Vietnamese Peasants under the French by Ngo Vinh Long. More info
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