Review of In the Year of the Rabbit

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Review of In the Year of the Rabbit

Post by LinaMueller »

[Following is an official review of "In the Year of the Rabbit" by Terence A. Harkin.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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In the Year of the Rabbit by Terence A. Harkin is a historical fiction book set during the Vietnam War. The protagonist is the Cameraman, Brendan Leary, a rather peculiar "soldier." In addition to his musical talents as a drummer, he has certain moral reservations about bloodshed. Throughout the book, the author clarifies that the protagonist is not an absolute pacifist, as he considers some wars valid (to annihilate Hitler's armies, for example).

As the pages go by, the character is losing loved ones and starts to question the purpose of that specific war. In one part of the book, this dialogue represents well what the character begins to question: "Seriously, how the hell is bombing North Vietnam and the mountains of Laos into the Stone Age going to help make South Vietnam democratic?"

It is not uncommon to see films or books with characters as protagonists who consider the war a disastrous and unjust event. That's not where the originality of this book lies. Have you ever read a story of an American Combat Cameraman who gave up on the Vietnam War and wanted to become a Buddhist monk? At worst, this story would seem goofy. At best, it would be something tough to narrate with the necessary psychological density. However, Terence A. Harkin managed to create original and brilliant work. This book reminded me of Hacksaw Ridge in many ways. Due to the time limit, a film director cannot develop the psychological part of the characters much. And it is precisely in this aspect that In the Year of the Rabbit stands out: in psychological depth. The protagonist will go through several traumatic situations: losing his lover, miraculous survival in different situations, and moral objection to the conflict. All of this will make him want to be a monk, and the author's psychological analysis of current events and the past was brilliantly done. That's what I liked the most about the book.

I can't imagine anything negative to mention. Some might say that there are an excessive number of profane words, and I would certainly agree. However, in a war scenario, one can expect that the military men wouldn't care about political correctness. Maybe today, but certainly not in the Vietnam War. That's why I can't consider it to be a defect. Since I couldn't find one single grammatical error, it's clear that the book's editing is exceptional.

In the Year of the Rabbit by Terence A. Harkin is a book of war and redemption. In addition to narrating the famous conflict, the book also brilliantly recounts the psychological battle of the protagonist and his constant effort to overcome his inner demons. It's flawless, and the author deserves to be praised for creating such original work on a well-worn subject. Therefore, it deserves four out of four stars. I recommend it to historical fiction lovers, especially those pacifists who would like to read about a soldier's psychological evolution in search of peace. Due to the excessive number of profane words, I can't recommend it to anyone under 16.

In the Year of the Rabbit
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Heart! We will forget him!
You an I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging.
I may remember him!

Emily Dickinson
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Post by Ellylion »

A story of a soldier who wants to become a Buddhist monk is worth exploring :) I'm glad that the author managed to find a unique approach toward well-known historical background. Thanks for a great review!
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Post by Alhassan Sterling »

:) the story was too short buh It's very interesting and wonderful story I will rate the book 📚 four out of four
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Post by Yasmine M »

Thanks for the great review; the story of a soldier who would like to become a Buddhist monk is original. Not many soldiers became monks during or after the Vietnam war, did they? I like that the author does not only narrate a series of events that lead the soldier to this decision, but he also gives us an insight into the psychological and spiritual process the soldier went through.
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