Official Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

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kljrox
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Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Official Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Pentagon Years" by William J Kennedy.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Pentagon Years, by William J. Kennedy, is an entertaining romp through the halls of the Pentagon during the Vietnam War era. This story begins with a trip to the recruitment office in Albany, NY, to avoid the draft. A young man enlists in the Army and is told he will be assigned to play on the Army hockey team in Special Services. As you no doubt guessed, the Army doesn’t have a hockey team. Private Jonathan West tells the story of how he creatively levels the playing field between the soldiers serving their country and those who neglect their needs. The author presents themes of patriotism, friendship, and humor as West and his buddies make their own rules in the ”Five-Sided Paper Factory.” This is an excellent prequel to William J. Kennedy’s other two books in the Jonathan West, MD series.

Private Jonathan West is plucked out of Army Clerk School and selected to receive on-the-job training at the Pentagon along with three other soldiers. West has an undergraduate degree in biology at Harvard and is assigned to work at Walter Reed Army Institute of Virology. While waiting for his extra security clearance, Jonathan is assigned temporary duty in the office that handles Army assignments for E-6 and below. This is the perfect assignment to guarantee that he and his new friends don't get sent to Vietnam and to have a little fun with the recruiter who lied to him. The Private quickly becomes adept at manipulating the system and helping his fellow soldiers while making a few highly placed friends along the way.

The Vietnam era is full of history, and the author brilliantly incorporates it into his narrative; such as the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, Woodstock, and the capital bombing in 1971. Kennedy places his characters into situations where he can acknowledge historical events happening during that time period. For example, West’s first visit home is met with a delay in traffic because of the crowds attending Woodstock. I enjoyed glimpsing history being made through the viewpoint of those who did not realize the significance of what they witnessed.

What I like most about this book is the author's descriptive writing style. I like being able to envision the story, not just read it. One example is the way he describes a simple brown paper bag, ”The paper bag was a miracle of survival. It was so worn it seemed to have lost all sense of being made of paper. The bag didn’t have any creases or folds, and it collapsed on itself to mold to the place underneath the seat and to the stuff inside. So soft, it looked as close to leather as a paper bag could get.” Kennedy’s cast of characters come complete with unique personalities and temperament. One of my favorites is a secondary character, Command Sergeant Major Stoner, who time after time shows true leadership with his compassion for his men. Another intriguing character, with his own story to explain, is Private Jim Kennedy (No relation to the political Kennedy), who mistakenly gets the royal treatment for obvious reasons.

This book was entertaining and professionally edited with only a few minor mistakes noticed. The author also kept the profanity to a minimum. William J. Kennedy crafted a well-written work of fiction that brings humor to an otherwise serious time in American history. I would recommend this book to any adult who enjoys satire humor and can remember to laugh when life happens. I don’t know how accurate the situations are for history enthusiasts, but if you liked the TV series M*A*S*H, you will appreciate this. I enjoyed everything about this book, and I am delighted to rate it 4 out of 4 stars. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down and I look forward to the rest of the series from this author.

******
The Pentagon Years
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Usma Khann
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Post by Usma Khann »

There is always some degree of difficulty in writing a book that has no similarity to other books. Appreciate the insightful review.🌸
Readers know it. Authors know it. Publishers know it. A promising review sells books! :roll:

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Post by Elvis Best »

I love that the book is entertaining. Most books of this nature struggle to achieve that. Thanks for the honest review.
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kljrox
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Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

Usma Khann wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 04:00
There is always some degree of difficulty in writing a book that has no similarity to other books. Appreciate the insightful review.🌸
Thank you for the comment 😊. I didn't think this book would be as interesting as it was when I first selected it for review.
"I promised myself that I would take the time to notice simple beauty every day."
Richard L. Haight

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kljrox
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Favorite Book: The Pentagon Years
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Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kljrox.html
Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

Elvis Best wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 11:53
I love that the book is entertaining. Most books of this nature struggle to achieve that. Thanks for the honest review.
Yes, I was pleasantly surprised by how entertaining it was to read. Thank you for the comment.
"I promised myself that I would take the time to notice simple beauty every day."
Richard L. Haight

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Post by Topsey »

You’ve made this sound like a really great book to read. I also love when the author is particularly descriptive in their writing style when it is done well.

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kljrox
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Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

Topsey wrote:
01 Jul 2020, 16:28
You’ve made this sound like a really great book to read. I also love when the author is particularly descriptive in their writing style when it is done well.
Thank you for the comment! I love ”watching the story” as I read 😀
"I promised myself that I would take the time to notice simple beauty every day."
Richard L. Haight

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Post by Dayodiola »

A war that turns literal due to authors concise perspective, nice review

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kljrox
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Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

Dayodiola wrote:
03 Jul 2020, 02:32
A war that turns literal due to authors concise perspective, nice review
Thank you for your comments. 😊
"I promised myself that I would take the time to notice simple beauty every day."
Richard L. Haight

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Post by Priyanka2304 »

Historical accounts don't fascinate me much. But the review seems to give a different feel to the book. So maybe I can add it as another read for me.

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kljrox
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Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

Priyanka2304 wrote:
03 Jul 2020, 13:33
Historical accounts don't fascinate me much. But the review seems to give a different feel to the book. So maybe I can add it as another read for me.
Yes, it may have history included, but it’s more West and his time at the Pentagon, without it being overly military either. Thanks for commenting.
"I promised myself that I would take the time to notice simple beauty every day."
Richard L. Haight

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gabrielletiemi
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Post by gabrielletiemi »

I'm really interested in books with some historical background, even if it's a fiction. This one sounds great, funny but also serious. The author had a good idea for this plot. Maybe I'll give this a try. Thanks for your review!

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kljrox
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Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

gabrielletiemi wrote:
03 Jul 2020, 19:24
I'm really interested in books with some historical background, even if it's a fiction. This one sounds great, funny but also serious. The author had a good idea for this plot. Maybe I'll give this a try. Thanks for your review!
I thought it was a good idea for a plot also. Thanks for the comment and for reading my review.
"I promised myself that I would take the time to notice simple beauty every day."
Richard L. Haight

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Honest-reviewer
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Post by Honest-reviewer »

The book seems interesting. Thanks for your review !

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kljrox
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Latest Review: The Pentagon Years by William J Kennedy

Post by kljrox »

Honest-reviewer wrote:
04 Jul 2020, 01:42
The book seems interesting. Thanks for your review !
I thought so, thanks for reading my review and thanks for the comment. 😀
"I promised myself that I would take the time to notice simple beauty every day."
Richard L. Haight

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