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A magnificent debut novel, which follows in the spirit of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, in which an alienated student named Lopez joins the Vietnam war to escape from his past and himself. Forced out of self-pity by the brutality and injustice surrounding him, Lopez begins to shed his layers of acquired culture, identifying instead with the Vietnamese and their cause. ‘Stylistically sophisticated, visually and emotionally present; the pace is good and the author knows how to hold the reader’s attention.’ – W.G. Sebald