Official Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

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kdstrack
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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Official Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 07 Oct 2019, 09:48

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Jim in Enemy Territory" by Le Lan Anh.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Marine Captain James (Jim) Macklin was on his twenty-third mission in Vietnam when his plane was shot down. His captors held him in a family home until he could be handed over to the district officials. The time that he spent with the people from this village worked a profound change in Jim’s perspective of the war and the people his country had been bombing.

Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh is a fictional story set in Vietnam during the war. The author opened the account with a description of the Vietnamese countryside. “Across the Lam Mountains, emerging from an intensely blue sky, a blood-red sun finally settles down after having laboriously blown all day over the world of men.” Vivid descriptions of mountains and rivers help readers visualize the village where Mr. Bi lived with his daughter, Na. The setting then switched to the United States, where readers met Jim and learned how he had progressed in his military career. These characters and cultures converged when Jim’s plane crashed. Their relationship developed as Mr. Bi and Na, aided by a group of militia women, captured Jim and attempted to deliver him to the district headquarters. Will Jim be able to escape his captors or will be become a prisoner of war?

I enjoyed the character development of Mr. Bi. He was a complex character with a humble background. It was interesting to watch his reaction to being assigned to a position of power. Jim also attained leadership positions in the military, as had his father and grandfather before him. In between these two stubborn, proud men, we find Na. Her quiet and gentle spirit portrayed itself in loyalty and obedience to her father, and patience and kindness to Jim. The author expertly built the relationship between Jim and Na, the captor and the prisoner. It was captivating to see how the dialogues between the Vietnamese moved the story forward. In contrast, Jim’s story was developed through the use of dreams, memories, and inner reflection as he neither spoke nor understood the native language.

I found this to be a fascinating fictional story about the Vietnam War. The story didn’t focus exclusively on the war. Readers enjoy delightful descriptions of typical Vietnamese foods, clothing, customs, and familial duties. Numerous photos of Vietnamese scenery and its people put the reader into the setting of the story.

I was disappointed by all the grammar errors in the book. Misspelled words, incorrect spacing, and missing punctuation quickly numbered more than ten on my list of mistakes. The book is a translation from French to English, but it needs to be edited by a native English speaker. Furthermore, it would be preferable to refer to Jim with the same name throughout the text. His name frequently changed from Jim to James. On page 95, both names appear in the same paragraph. There is moderate use of profanity throughout the book, moderate violence and one description of a sexual assault.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The author presented a compelling story that evoked various emotions and reflection. Readers are led to speculate about Jim’s fate after he is captured. I was obligated to lower to score to a three due to the numerous grammar errors. People who have an interest in the Vietnam War might appreciate the unique perspective this author gives to this war. This book would appeal to readers who want to learn more about the people and the culture of Vietnam. Families with relatives who fought in the Vietnam War might be triggered by this story, as the author is sympathetic to the Vietnamese people.

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Post by jeminah28 » 09 Oct 2019, 05:22

Nice review. As you mission "war", this is what like. The first paragraph hooks me up, and indeed it really tackles war.
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Post by aacodreanu » 09 Oct 2019, 10:19

It seems to be an interesting book to read for all the good reasons. For me, first would be to find myself in a place that I would never visit other than vicariously. Then, to learn about the Vietnam war from the perspective of "the other side". Also, the fact that only the Vietnamese speak in the book, for obvious reasons, is something that I have rarely had a chance to see.
Great review.
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Post by Tomah » 09 Oct 2019, 13:28

It's a shame about the poor editing, but the novel still seems like a great read for people interested in war stories, especially related to Vietnam. I'm particularly interested in the relationship between Jim and the Vietnamese people. Thanks for the review!

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Post by kislany » 09 Oct 2019, 13:53

Your review made me actually want to read the book (although for us, Europeans, the Vietnam War was something very far away back then), but the grammar issue always gets to me, so I'm on the fence.

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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 10 Oct 2019, 10:03

jeminah28 wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 05:22
Nice review. As you mission "war", this is what like. The first paragraph hooks me up, and indeed it really tackles war.
It is an excellent story of "war" told from a different perspective. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 10 Oct 2019, 10:11

aacodreanu wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 10:19
It seems to be an interesting book to read for all the good reasons. For me, first would be to find myself in a place that I would never visit other than vicariously. Then, to learn about the Vietnam war from the perspective of "the other side". Also, the fact that only the Vietnamese speak in the book, for obvious reasons, is something that I have rarely had a chance to see.
Great review.
I learned many new things about this culture and its people. The author included many photos that help readers to envision the descriptions. I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by!

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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 10 Oct 2019, 10:16

Tomah wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 13:28
It's a shame about the poor editing, but the novel still seems like a great read for people interested in war stories, especially related to Vietnam. I'm particularly interested in the relationship between Jim and the Vietnamese people. Thanks for the review!
This was one of the things I enjoyed about the book. The author keeps the reader guessing about Jim trying to escape or developing a relationship with the people. It was well done. Thanks for commenting!

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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 10 Oct 2019, 10:25

kislany wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 13:53
Your review made me actually want to read the book (although for us, Europeans, the Vietnam War was something very far away back then), but the grammar issue always gets to me, so I'm on the fence.
I enjoy books that give me a different perspective and help me learn something new. Previously, I had not read much about this particular war. Most of what I knew was from movies. This book appealed to me because the author came at it from a different point of view. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments!

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Post by Dentarthurdent » 10 Oct 2019, 12:35

It seems the author has a gift for description, probably some good stuff was lost in translation. Either way, the tale sounds riveting, errors notwithstanding.
Thank you for the fantastic review.
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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 10 Oct 2019, 14:35

Dentarthurdent wrote:
10 Oct 2019, 12:35
It seems the author has a gift for description, probably some good stuff was lost in translation. Either way, the tale sounds riveting, errors notwithstanding.
Thank you for the fantastic review.
It was a captivating story - entertaining and informative. Thanks for stopping by.

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Post by Everydayadventure15 » 10 Oct 2019, 15:27

Your description made me think that this book sounds a little like the Vietnam war version of The Last Samurai. The story definitely sounds like a good one to me and I hope the author follows through with some more editing. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by unamilagra » 10 Oct 2019, 18:23

The Vietnam war is always an interesting time period to read about for me. It sounds like this book is really well done with exception of the errors. Hopefully the author gets the book edited soon. Great review!

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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 10 Oct 2019, 19:55

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
10 Oct 2019, 15:27
Your description made me think that this book sounds a little like the Vietnam war version of The Last Samurai. The story definitely sounds like a good one to me and I hope the author follows through with some more editing. Thanks for the great review!
Thanks for that interesting parallel! I enjoyed the descriptions, the perspective, and the ending. Thanks for your insightful comments.

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Latest Review: Jim in Enemy Territory by Le Lan Anh

Post by kdstrack » 10 Oct 2019, 20:35

unamilagra wrote:
10 Oct 2019, 18:23
The Vietnam war is always an interesting time period to read about for me. It sounds like this book is really well done with exception of the errors. Hopefully the author gets the book edited soon. Great review!
I haven't read many books on this war. Most of what I know is from movies I have seen. This was a good book to fill in some of the notions I already had. The author adds cultural information and detailed descriptions to enhance the story. It would have been nice to give it a four. Thanks for stopping by!

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