Why Are We in Vietnam?

Why Are We in Vietnam?

A Novel

Book - 2017
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When "Why Are We in Vietnam"? was published in 1967, almost twenty years after "The Naked and the Dead," the critical response was ecstatic. The novel fully confirmed Mailer's stature as one of the most important figures in contemporary American literature. Now, a new edition of this exceptional work serves as further affirmation of its timeless quality. Narrated by Ranald ("D.J.") Jethroe, Texas's most precocious teenager, on the eve of his departure to fight in Vietnam, this story of a hunting trip in Alaska is both brilliantly entertaining and profoundly thoughtful.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2017]
Edition: Random House trade paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©1967
ISBN: 9780312265069
0312265069
9780399591754
0399591753
Branch Call Number: FICTION Mailer Norman 09/1967
Characteristics: xviii, 183 pages ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: McKinley, Maggie

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lukasevansherman
Jan 13, 2015

A few alternate titles: "Why is Mailer famous?" "Why does this book suck so much?" "Why am I reading this?"
Mailer's 1967 book is one of his most experimental and one of his worst (which is saying something), written in a druggy, vulgar, overflowing style that is a bad trip mix of the Beats (Burroughs influence is clear) , the New Journalism, and underground hipster slang. Apparently it was written without an editor or a revision. It's all hyper-masculine fightin' & pissin' & screwin' & huntin', with a weird anal fixation (make that your drinking game). A character's consciousness is described as "the brackish backwaters of a sluggish narrative," which sum this up perfectly. None of this takes place in Vietnam, btw. So terrible that you almost have to respect it.

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