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Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone
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Dog Soldiers (original 1974; edition 1997)

by Robert Stone

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5831216,933 (3.86)34
Member:kalizarbas
Title:Dog Soldiers
Authors:Robert Stone
Info:Mariner Books (1997), Edición: Reprint, Paperback, 352 páginas
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:2012

Work details

Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone (1974)

  1. 10
    Meditations in Green by Stephen Wright (rickyrickyricky)
    rickyrickyricky: A stronger look at Vietnam and drugs, not quite brought down by the dated thriller aspects of Dog Soldiers.
  2. 10
    Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson (Boohradley)
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John Converse is a quasi-journalist in Vietnam as the war is winding down. His main talent appears to lie in concocting sensational headlines for his communist father-in-law’s underground newspaper. Converse considers himself “a feckless and disorderly person,” “at the mercy of events.” At least he does after he smuggles three kilos of heroin into California, using a sometimes friend named Hicks as the mule, and it all goes terribly wrong.

Hicks disappears with Converse’s wife, Marge, and the heroin. Their young daughter is traumatized and ends up with Marge’s parents. Marge takes a liking to the heroin while she’s on the run with Hicks. Converse is waylaid by a corrupt agent who was meant to get the dope.

Stone portrays the ephemeral nature of life during the Vietnam War era, where corruption is rampant and even hippies can’t be trusted. As Antheil, the agent, says: "If you think someone's doing you wrong, it's not for you to judge. Kill them first and then God can do the judging." As the violence mounts, Converse becomes “ashamed of the casual arrogance with which he had presumed to scurry about creation.”

Stone’s writing is beautifully descriptive, but always with the result of enhancing the story rather than bogging it down. ( )
  Hagelstein | Apr 3, 2014 |
3.5/5

Good book, a torrid pace. I could readily see Stone's stylistic influence on the early work of Denis Johnson (Angels, especially)

A split plotline, two sets of characters involving a heroin deal.

At its best, Dog Soldiers moves like that fever dream. The first 4/5s of the book acts as a pretty intriguing allegory for the VietNam

Flaws: the characters were good but did not really emote with me. I kind of connected with Converse, since I too am a pretentious selfish ass.

At the end of the book, Stone pushes the Nam metaphor a little to hard---Runnin thru the Jungle---and for a novel with such a suspense-oriented plot, there wasn't a lot of suspense for me at the end of the book.


Still, Dog Soldiers is a very good book that does a good job of capturing the identity of an era---the morphing of swinging sixties into the sick 70s, the drug-culture's self-consuming good times, and the Nams culture of fear and displacement.

I always imagined the book being a little trippier, tho. ( )
  blanderson | Mar 4, 2014 |
An exciting, strange tale of drugs, sex, betrayal and spirituality. It exemplifies the post Vietnam era corruption and decadence. ( )
  DougJ110 | Jan 4, 2014 |
I have a suitcase full of paperback books from last time we moved house, all the shelf space being taken up mostly with hardbacks. Seeing Dog Soldiers again on goodreads, I just had to find it and read it all over again. For me, a mark of a good book is when it reads better second time around - and I did that years ago. Reading it for a third time was like coming home. I really enjoyed it. There's a sense of inevitability that comes through in this story perhaps beginning with the expectation of rain. . .
If anyone is coming to this the first time, yes it is a bit dated, but well worth a read.
My favourite character was Hicks. ( )
  Max_China | Dec 7, 2013 |
I recall there was only about one paragraph actually worth reading in the whole novel ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A great American masterpiece.
 
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395860253, Paperback)

Like Michael Herr's Dispatches, Robert Stone's National Book Award-winning novel Dog Soldiers trades on a hallucinatory vision of Vietnam as a place in which all honor and morality are ceded to the mere business of survival -- and, better, survival with personal profit. "This is the place where everybody finds out who they are," says the novel's protagonist, the journalist Converse, to which his friend and partner in crime Ray Hicks replies, "What a bummer for the gooks." Converse convinces Hicks to smuggle a shipment of heroin back to the United States, renegade CIA agents pop up, and all hell breaks loose in this beautifully written, dark study of the soul in anguish.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Three people caught in the world of drug dealing attempt to realize their idle dreams

(summary from another edition)

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