5+ stars for Winds of Discontent by Don Meyer #historicalfiction #vietnam #mustread #bookreview
Title: Winds of Discontent
Author: Don Meyer
Genre: Historical Fiction
A coming-of-age saga set against the backdrop of the French Indochina War years that follows the chaos of their defeat up to the American take-over and the creation of South Vietnam. Sinclair Langdon, in an act of youthful rebellion against his American mother and British father, arrives in Haiphong Harbour post war 1945. Langdon is quickly recruited to make a delivery only to find out afterwards that he has delivered a load of guns to a rebel force. He is introduced to a besotted British newspaperman who offers him a job as an investigative reporter hoping to get stories from his gun running adventures. In a chance encounter, he meets Yvonne, an exotic beauty of French Vietnamese mix, who sets in motion a torrid forbidden love affair that will entangle Langdon on his journey. Initially running guns to survive, he slowly hones his skills as an investigative reporter covering the historical events of the times, right up to those fateful days in November 1963 when everything changed forever …
A note from the author:
This is a passion project I have worked on for the last six years. For me, it answers the question of why I went to Vietnam. Yes, I am that old.
This book could be called the Attractive Half American. It sits nicely now on my bookshelf next to the Burdick/Lederer novel. Now there are two incredible books about the tumultuous post World War 2 era in Vietnam. This book also sits near a pretty Quiet book about an American.
A remarkably brilliantly written piece of historical fiction that is easy to read. Sinclair is a superb character who takes life as it comes. Frenchy and Edward are terrific characters too. There is a certain Wouk-like feel to this book. The characters are what makes this book vibrant. It also has wind in the title so there!
Simply one of the best fictional accounts of life in Vietnam from 1946 until the direct US intervention. There is enough depth to this story to appeal to a broad audience. The tale of Sinclair and Yvonne is remarkable and a glorious part of this magnificent book. I have well over three dozen Vietnam War books on the bookshelf. I will be getting a physical copy of this to put it on the shelf too.
Excellently researched, this book just shines. There is something else here that makes this work great. The brevity in scene description is perfect. Too often an author will painstakingly describe every minute detail. Here the author says, 'Sinclair boarded the plane, he met a taxi at the airport on arrival’. No need for five pages about the flight. That is how a book should be written!
Recommended to anyone who enjoys a great read. A really enjoyable read that I will read again.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Don is the author of six novels, a Vietnam memoir, several short stories, a number of essays and a couple of articles.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N