This is the fourth instalment of Glyn Haynie’s
Vietnam War novella series, and it might just be the best yet. No nonsense this time around; The Firebase
is just full-on action, as Andy Carter and his squad of brothers find
themselves hopelessly outnumbered and under brutal and merciless attack by the
Viet Cong. The format of this episode is
a tense siege, which may be the ultimate battle for a group of soldiers we have
come to know and love over the series.
No one does reality of war like Glyn does, but
perhaps his biggest strength is the poignancy in his writing, and this book is
thick with it; I have to admit that after intensely spending the last few weeks
with this cast of characters, I actually had a lump in my throat at moments. This short, compact slice of the Vietnam War has
a bit of everything: the fear; the yearning for home; the heartbreak; the
bloodlust for revenge; and the brotherhood.
Glyn is a veteran who clearly holds the most profound respect for the
soldier’s role, whilst simultaneously being acutely aware of the despair and
dismay of battle. I’ve read a lot from
this author, and I believe this could be his best novella to date; the series
is every bit as highly recommended as his Promises… novel series. If you are intending to dip your toe into
Glyn’s work (and I strongly suggest that you do), the novella series is a good
place to start; it is pure Glyn, will give you a great idea of what to expect
from him – and it is a cracker, too. But
they must be read in order, because they rely on you engaging with the story
and the characters, which you surely will.
I won’t spoil, or speculate on the future of
the series, but I will say there is an ongoing subplot, and readers won’t be
disappointed. Reading this work is not killing
time, but an investment of your time. A
great novella series, and an even better instalment to it.
In : Book Reviews