Overall rating and opinion of "Deadly Waters" by Randy Miller

Use this forum to discuss the November 2019 Book of the month, "Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath", by Randy Miller.
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Overall rating and opinion of "Deadly Waters" by Randy Miller

Post by gali » 01 Nov 2019, 00:01

This is a discussion topic for the November 2019 Book of the Month, Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath by Randy Miller.

What is your overall opinion of the book? What do you like most about it? What do you like least? Will you recommend the book to other people? Why or why not?

Please remember to add your actual rating using the book's page on: Bookshelves.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 01 Nov 2019, 03:43

I loved this book and I rated it 4 out of 4 stars. I liked how the author tackled the adversities and horros of war, and also how veterans may not be treated like the heroes they are. The part I liked least about this book was the detailed description of what war entailed. I would definitely recommend this book to others in order to ensure such an issue of denying pension to veterans is boycotted by many.

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 01 Nov 2019, 08:07

While I haven't finished reading the book yet, I only have good things to say about the writing. The author did a wonderful job describing the realities of being a veteran. I particularly liked how he presented conversations between the characters throughout the book. While it was hard to read at first, I found myself having a good laugh when reading out the words he had spelled phonetically. I also like how he was able to capture the feelings of anger and uneasiness when the veteran's pensions were in jeopardy. Even though I haven't finished the book, I am rating it a 4 out of 4 stars.

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Post by Kibetious » 02 Nov 2019, 02:39

I have not read this book but based on the reviews and recommendations from those who have read it, I would like to read it soon.
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Post by djr6090 » 02 Nov 2019, 12:54

I just started to read the book. For anyone interested, it was 44 years ago today that the last US combat forces were withdrawn from South Vietnam. According to the Voice of America, we left 7200 civilians of the Dept of Defense behind as advisers. The fighting continued for more than a year after. I'm glad that writers like Miller commit this era of history so accurately to the body of popular historical fiction.

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Post by Wamakima » 04 Nov 2019, 02:19

I really did enjoy the book. I am a really emotional person so in some parts it drove me to tears. Actually from the beginning I was filled up with emotions like why is Pha being rained on? The author was able to capture very well the historical events that happened. I have nothing negative to say about the book. It's simply an amazing read.
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Post by Florence Nalianya » 04 Nov 2019, 15:45

Haven't read this great piece of work and I really want to.I yawn for information about the vietnam war .

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Post by fmd1821 » 06 Nov 2019, 04:31

Usually, I do not read books about war, but this one blends together so many elements and the story is so well-written that it was a pleasure to read. I give it 4 out of 4 stars - and I think I will read it again soon.

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Post by djr6090 » 07 Nov 2019, 11:29

I completed Deadly Waters in a tearful state. Randy Miller has captured the realities of the Vietnam Era with such simplicity and feeling that I had flashbacks to that time in my life when I waited for my friends' letters from overseas, walked in protest marches to bring our boys home, campaigned to secure the right to vote for our mostly under 21 age soldiers, and visited in the VA hospitals with hometown kids who came back wounded in body and soul.

Zachs's service aboard two different vessels (one inland water and one blue water) were taken from real ships and campaigns. The author writes from first hand knowledge, as he did several tours in 'Nam, himself. The relationships between the sailors or 'squids', and the marines or 'jarheads' is well known, even if Miller exaggerated some to allow drama. Zach shows a steady build in his character until you just have to root for him. Zach and Tally share such a beautiful optimistic view of their future together in Miller's well-illustrated, Vermont farm. I ached at the reversals of their dreams when Zach's cancer ate him up. He goes from naive belief that the VA was going to be as supportive as his Navy 'family' to a stoic courage that was inspiring.

US public law 299-116, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 finally awards combat veteran status to service on ships such as Zach's, along with the presumption of service connection for the diseases the VA accepts as caused by Agent Orange. No longer can the VA deny benefits to sailors based on their own poor record keeping. I want to thank Randy Miller for his courage and for his story. He deserves every one of the four out of four stars that I gave him.

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Post by B Creech » 07 Nov 2019, 17:14

I really liked this book! I found a lot of what the author wrote about this war, and about the country of Viet Nam to be similar to what my uncles spoke about when they came home. I enjoyed the characters, and I found the author's writing style to be very easy to comprehend. His talent for writing shown through in this book on such an emotional topic as war; and such a controversial one as Viet Nam!
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Post by diana lowery » 08 Nov 2019, 11:46

I am just getting into this book, but I have already noticed a similarity to Mark Twain's writing because of the use of dialect. While it is hard sometimes to decifer the phonetic spellings, it does add personality to the characters.

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Post by ohlendorfbe » 09 Nov 2019, 12:57

I am over halfway through this book, and I'm enjoying it so much more than I expected. One of my favorite parts of the book is the fact that the author shows the Vietnam War from both sides - the Americans, of course, but also the Viet Cong warriors. This book shows the dangers of Communism so very clearly, and also the anti-war attitudes on US soil. I remember that clearly from when my brother came home from the VN war - so much different from the pride in our soldiers after WWII. I'm so saddened by the attitudes against our soldiers from that time.

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Post by Sandra K Pearson » 11 Nov 2019, 13:21

This isn't the kind of book I normally read but it has a lot of good reviews. I'll add it to my shelf.
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Post by aacodreanu » 11 Nov 2019, 13:32

I am still considering reading the book. I read the sample and a review. I was impressed by the closeness of the approach, it felt like I was there behind the sentry watching for enemy ships. A lot of emotion, fear, justified fear as your life is at stake. Can any kind of humor, as it seems that the book has, mitigate the circumstances?
I hope I will brace myself and read it soon.

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Post by aacodreanu » 11 Nov 2019, 13:44

djr6090 wrote:
02 Nov 2019, 12:54
I just started to read the book. For anyone interested, it was 44 years ago today that the last US combat forces were withdrawn from South Vietnam. According to the Voice of America, we left 7200 civilians of the Dept of Defense behind as advisers. The fighting continued for more than a year after. I'm glad that writers like Miller commit this era of history so accurately to the body of popular historical fiction.
You are right and I should read the book as, while being contemporary with the war, I only have vague representations of what was really happening. I owe at least that to those whose fate brought them to die there or live to tell and try to be "normal" after such a trauma.

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