Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

And now for something completely different!

I listened to Fallen Angels recently, in part because I did not think that I would be able to force myself to read it. I just don’t really like books about wars… well real war anyway.

This book is told from the view point of a young solider,Fallen Angels Perry, who enlisted in the Army after he realized that he would not be able to afford to continue his education. Perry is shipped to Vietnam, despite an injury from playing ball, where due to the delay in his papers arriving he is placed into a combat unit. The story follows Perry and his fellow soliders along as they begin to realize that the glory of war isn’t all that glorious.

What was good about this book is that is gave a ground level look at the War in Vietnam, as someone sort of in between gen-x and gen-y I have always known intellectually that the Vietnam War was horrendous, but I don’t feel like I ever received a proper schooling in its intricacies.  More than just being a look at Vietnam from the group up, it is a young African American man’s look at the war in Vietnam, with all of the sociological, economic, and racial tensions that were (and perhaps still are) prevalent in 1973 urban America.

What was not great, for me, was that this was a book about a topic I’m not terrifically interested in (please don’t tell anyone I studied political science with). I would recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction, war, or urban america. I think that it would especially appeal to people who like to play violent video games.

Stay uncomfortable, keep reading.

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