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Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone

Dog Soldiers (original 1974; edition 1997)

by Robert Stone

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6631314,475 (3.83)42
Title:Dog Soldiers
Authors:Robert Stone
Info:Mariner Books (1997), Edición: Reprint, Paperback, 352 páginas
Collections:Your library

Work details

Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone (1974)

  1. 20
    Meditations in Green by Stephen Wright (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: A stronger look at Vietnam and drugs, not quite brought down by the dated thriller aspects of Dog Soldiers.
  2. 10
    Tree of Smoke: A Novel by Denis Johnson (Boohradley)
  3. 00
    The Third Man and The Fallen Idol by Graham Greene (pitjrw)
    pitjrw: War's moral fallout.

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» See also 42 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
A dream turns into a nightmare. Some whacked out characters get caught up in stuff way over their heads and then wonder how things could have gone so wrong. Reads like a David Lynch film. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
It was good to return to this after beginning it when it first came out in 1974 and I was in ninth grade. Ok, so it took me 35 years, and it was still a little hard to get into, but I ended up liking it quite a bit. Stone is a little heavy-handed, and the story's a bit dated, but it was a good, gritty story of the darkness on the edges of the presumably civilized world. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
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 |

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 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:40 -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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