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Official Review: Baggage by Dana Turk

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Official Review: Baggage by Dana Turk

Post Number:#1 by va2016
» 01 Aug 2017, 05:42

[Following is an official review of "Baggage" by Dana Turk.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by va2016
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This is a review of the book Baggage! by Dana L. Turk. The book is a historical fiction. The story is about a group of college students who enroll with the United States military and how they end up in life. The book is suitable for the mature audience.

It is the time of the Vietnam War. Young men of America are coming back home in caskets. Many in the United States are furious about the loss of their loved ones in the war. Protests are going on in many cities. A group of college students join the military hoping that they would get assigned to noncombatant positions so that they could earn a decent living. The reader is motivated to find out what happens next.

The initial chapters of the story cover the final year college life, the students' fun get-togethers, getting to know each other, etc. In this portion of the story, the narration is pretty passive with no depth. I also didn’t like the introduction of too many characters all at once. It confused me and made it difficult for me to remember all the character names and make sense of the story.

The story becomes much easier to understand and picks up momentum after a group of students go to the military offices to get enrolled. There are several tasteful sections in the narration like the Marines induction program, details about how a platoon is formed, war tools and the terminology, pointers to historical information about the Vietnam War, etc. The note that says “Physiologists have often pondered the psyche of the U. S. Marine that creates a person who can kill swiftly with one hand while caress lovingly with the other. This is the result of the Marine training” is worth a mention. The ‘Terms’ section that provides details about the various military terms used in the book, and the ‘Reference’ section that has information sources about the Vietnam War and the United States Marines are useful.

The intense war scenes in the story have been depicted well. The fact that life is so brief and anything can happen in a span of just 10 minutes is conscientiously portrayed. The roles that the youngsters play in the Vietnam War have been beautifully described. The feelings of their parents, girlfriends and their wives are delicately explained. There’s a narration of a ferocious speech by a student against United States’ participation in the Vietnam War. The readers would thoroughly enjoy the many instances of humor in the story.

There are questions titled “What If” at the end of each chapter through which the characters ponder how it would have been if they had taken a different course in their lives. These questions are unimpressive. These could be rephrased to make them evoke strong feelings in the reader. There are several mechanical errors in the book, like wrong or missing punctuations (“boy’s” should be “boys’” on Page 86), incomplete sentences, wrong article usages, wrong word usages, spelling mistakes (“buses” spelled as “busses” on Page 138), wrong capitalizations (“miracle” written as “Miracle” on Page 141), etc.

Overall, I found this book enjoyable for young adults and people who would like to know about life during the days of the Vietnam War. I found the storytelling ordinary in the first half, although the story picks up momentum in the second half. There are several mechanical errors in the book which could have been avoided by thorough proofreading. I feel this is a good book for a weekend read. I could have rated this book a 2 out of 4 stars, but giving credit to the author’s research of the Vietnam War times, I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars.

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Re: Official Review: Baggage by Dana Turk

Post Number:#2 by Amagine
» 06 Aug 2017, 14:36

I'm glad to hear the author did a lot of research when writing this book. It makes the book more authentic and educational for its readers.

Great Review! 💕
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Re: Official Review: Baggage by Dana Turk

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 06 Aug 2017, 14:40

It sounds like there are a lot of good points about this book. It sounds like there's some good information as well. Thanks for a good review.
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Re: Official Review: Baggage by Dana Turk

Post Number:#4 by bookiegalke
» 07 Aug 2017, 01:03

I'm taking the reviewers advice on this book especially because it would provide me an opportunity to learn about Vietnam war. I enjoy reading books on history. thanks for the review
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Re: Official Review: Baggage by Dana Turk

Post Number:#5 by Aimy
» 07 Aug 2017, 03:51

We don't normally realize that anything can happen any second. Stories like this make us conscious of this fact that a life is actually so unpredictable.
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Re: Official Review: Baggage by Dana Turk

Post Number:#6 by rs1977
» 09 Aug 2017, 02:15

A period fiction in the times of Vietnam war coupled with military procedure related terminology and war would be a deadly combo to read, I guess.
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