Three men meet in Vietnam and become involved in a psychological struggle in a world of mysticism, black marketing, CIA espionage, revenge, and horrific helicopter battle campaigns.
The story begins when FBI agent Alignman investigates an occult movement and its links to drugs and politics. To discover its origin and to capture its leaders, Alignman encounters Jarrett who is a retired CIA agent, voluntarily living in a mental ward. Only Jarrett understands the origin and the personality of the occult movement that first began in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive of 1972.
In Dr. Peterson’s office, Jarrett recalls a series of events which bring into an acute focus his struggle to maintain his identity against the whims of evil and good. Badlock and Nicewander enter Jarrett’s arena of good and evil where all realities intertwine and merge into a surrealism recalling Dante and Faust. The Birdcatcher, who resides in Hades, also enters the stadium of this mystical struggle and sets in motion the terrible and horrific events that will spell either the damnation or the redemption of Jarrett.
It amazes me how much has not been written about the Vietnam War. I suppose it is because of the kind of war it was, the lack of troop support back home, the outright bitterness of the civilians against the military, the deliberate chastisement that Vietnam Vets had to endure due to the lack of empathy once they did reach home.
It really is a shame the way Vietnam Vets were treated. A true blindness encompassed their lives for decades. Now the new military faces a different sort of acceptance - as they are engaged in a different type of war with a vastly different agenda.
But it was Vietnam that established everything that was to become that mechanics of modern warfare. Electronic battlefields. Unconventional warfare and inexplicable tortures of an enemy as well as oneself. The necessary lies to cover up military objectives. The CIA's secret involvement and manipulations of Air American and their drug trafficking. This is exactly what the Book covers - long before it ever became universally known out to the public.
Never has anyone at any time capture so realistically men engaged in battle. The book unpeels the raw emotions of soldiers in the field and the beginnings of modern warfare conducted by helicopter pilots and their crewmembers. This is the only book about Vietnam that covers the lives of door-gunners and their jettisons into pitched battles. (That's why you see helicopter pictures on the cover).
Yet all the wars after Nam - and during - have the same unifying strengths of friends needing friends, the lose of those friends, and facing an enemy that would eagerly kill you through as violent an end as they could. Sometimes I believe I invented shocking portrayals of war within a valueless and degenerate and desperate situation. I did not invent symbolism, but I certainly know how to use it. This book captures the quenching of fear against a bitter unknown.
So, what do we compare to The Birdcatcher Parts One and Two? In cinema terms the answer is easy. It is Apocalypse Now. (I wrote my book a year before the movie came out). Also, to Platoon. (I wrote of battle field betrayal years before anyone ever hear of Sheen). We Were Soldiers. (I wrote about the 180th Air Combat Assault Group with its Hueys and Cobras and B-52s' decades prior to this movie). Each movie is a great experience, but they all fail to offer what the Birdcatcher: Parts One and Two offers. The two books present the most vivid, non-restraining accounting of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1972 as is humanly possible. The two books create is an intense, dramatic, moving, and exciting story that others have tried to accomplish - but none of them remotely approach this level. It dispenses with the love story of a woman in poverty found by and reformed by an idealistic soldier. It removes the old formula of having a climatic single battle to resolve several conflic
About Walter Schenck
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Published December 8, 2013
Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Horror, War, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.