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Youth In Asia: A Story of Life, Death and…
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Youth In Asia: A Story of Life, Death and Infantry Combat with the 173rd…

by Allen L. Tiffany

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Well written. Graphic. Brutal in its honesty. This novella describes the heat, the misery, the mental pressures and terror of fighting for your life in the jungle. The small group of men who are thrown together must work it out - survive together or die. It's a tough subject.
I particularly liked the author's intimate portrayal of each character's flaws and strengths and wove a story that drew in each of the men. There are some surprises and a lot of tension in this short work and I found I read from beginning to end in one go. Recommended. ( )
  AnnGirdharry | Mar 30, 2016 |
A tersely written novella of soldiers engaged in combat during the Vietnam War manipulating their deadly toys of destruction while their own aspirations and emotions became silent targets for the aftermath of raw memories of kill or be killed. After the events they either have died or drift away and sometimes hide in the shadows of their emasculation, no longer boys. A good read that will hold your attention to the very end.

I received a free printed copy in return for an honest review. ( )
  mcdenis | Feb 7, 2016 |
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts: I read all the time. I have my favorite genres, but I do try to step outside of my comfort zones and read a little bit of everything. History and historical fiction are genre I tend to shy away from because I’ve found more books that can’t hold my attention there than books that I’ve enjoyed. However, if the book is about war somehow that piques my interest and suddenly I’m more likely to want to read it. Youth in Asia instantly sounded interesting to me once I saw that it was about the Vietnam War.

For someone like me, Vietnam has always been more of an abstract war. I know it’s real and has affected a lot of people, but I didn’t live through any of it. I’ve heard stories, but that’s all they are…stories. We learned about the Vietnam War in history classes, but it still doesn’t seem like it’s real. It’s still just a concept of war. Youth in Asia helped put all of that into perspective for me. It was written as a first-person account, pushing the reader to understand the fear and uncertainty the soldiers over there felt on a daily basis. As a reader, you still don’t understand the full scope of what those soldiers went through, but it helps on a basic level that you can always put towards compassion or empathy.

I have a new level of respect, for anyone serving, that I didn’t even realize I was missing before reading Youth in Asia. Like most people I forget how lucky I am that I’ve never had to fight for my freedom. Others have done it for me. Freedom isn’t free and a lot of people have paid the ultimate price for it and not just in Vietnam. Youth in Asia really makes you think about the individuals involved. You can’t just look at a war for the politics or the advantage at the end, but seeing the men fighting as individuals was almost heart stopping.

I enjoyed reading Youth in Asia. It’s not overly gory, in fact it was pretty tame compared to my expectations. It was short (about 90 pages), but those pages make you think. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it and maybe that’s amplified by the 4th of July celebrations, but I think it’s pretty rare when a book makes you think beyond it’s story to reality. I would highly recommend Youth in Asia.

For more reviews, check out http://reviewsinapinch.com/ today! ( )
  ReviewsInAPinch | Jul 10, 2015 |
The Army relocated Corporal Jacobs from the DMZ in Korea to Vietnam, assigning him to the 173rd Airborne Division just after the vicious battle of Hill 875 and the area around Dak To during November, 1967. After in-country training, he is assigned as a team leader in one of the infantry squads of Bravo Company, the entire battalion was critically short of personnel - replacements were trickling in every day.

This small novella is a first-person account of his short time with the unit just prior to the 1968 Tet Offensive. Mr. Tiffany classified his story as fiction, but it reads like a true account - as if he were there! A new arrival, nicknamed Elvis, puts the platoon in jeopardy on the very first day, choosing to write the experience in a journal instead of keeping watch. Corporal Jacobs catches him and takes appropriate action. However, he continues to be a thorn in everybody's side.

On the battalions last night on the fire base, Bravo Company is assigned to patrol around the fire base and protect the hilltop while it's dismantled during the night; Corporal Jacobs team is bringing up the rear and soon faces its worst nightmare. The column of men had stopped for an extended break on the hillside, and when doing so, the rear team must set up rear security to ensure the enemy isn't following them. Elvis' job was to let them know when the column started to move again. Unfortunately, he fell asleep and the five men were now separated from the rest of the company in the total darkness. What now?

The team soon notices dozens of NVA soldiers moving around and digging in between them and the fire base, preparing to attack the fire base! All at once, they hear gunfire and explosions erupting some distance away - the rest of Bravo Company had walked into an ambush. Now what?

"Youth in Asia" tells it like it was. This story is engaging and worth reading in a single setting - it's short, but with a profound message. Who will survive this harrowing account? Don't miss this one! Great job Mr. Tiffany!

John Podlaski, author
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel ( )
  JPodlaski | Apr 14, 2015 |
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