Author: John Brackeen
Publisher: PublishAmerica
ISBN: 1-60703-896-X

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A Night Drive is not just a story or a novel. It’s a testimony about the Vietnam war, which we (the readers) make out what life was like through the author narration. John Brackeen knows what he is talking about, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam. This book is based on a operation in the Que Son Valley in 1967.

A Night Drive is a dive into the horrors of the war. It is as though you are directly in the heart of the battle besides the privates, waiting for the enemy to come and shaking with fear that a bullet will hit you.

A Night Drive is the fear of being seen by the adversary and caught by the violent, bloody opponents. This is the nightmare told with simple words, for more intensity.

You will not find in this book a lot of details about the headquarters or about political matters; that is not the point. The author’s goal is to show you what it’s like IN the middle of an operation, as a soldier and as a human being.

The Captain and the Lieutenant Colonel’s orders for the platoon, leads it into hot spots and a hell on Earth. On opposite side, the soldiers are obeying their own orders and moving in the mud, their ears whistling from the roars of the helicopters and their noses filled with the odor of the napalm.

Nobody would want to go there, much less actually be there during that horrible time. Nevertheless, it was the actual life of people like you and me, praying to stay alive and to manage to get out this evil beast’s den. Only the end of the book gives one rest.

Is he relieved ? At peace? No of course not, for who can forget the tremendous horror of the Vietnam war after being in it, as one of its component ?

John Brackeen doesn’t complain at all in the story, he just explains the reality of this horrendous period. We don’t know if he has regrets for being in this war, but he went back to Vietnam in late 1968 after having been med-evaced on September 1967. Does that mean he has his own mission to do? He never tells us that, leaving us to wonder.

Despite that, the principal character makes us understand that to be in a place such as that, respecting his superiors and his own soul, never ever forgetting that there is a life after the war.


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