The plot for this book is very simple and I have no intention to regurgitating it here for you.   In “The Brutality of War” (iUniverse) Gene Dark relives his Vietnam war experience as prompted by his son’s graduation from Marine Corps boot camp. It took this author 25 years to finally let the emotions and feelings out about his war experience, something he had never done before.

Son of the famous baseball player Alvin Dark he grew up in the tumultuous days after WWII and as the war in Vietnam dragged on he was a 19 year old boy lacking direction and in desperate need of seasoning.  Realizing that the draft was not far from his birthday and number he decided to jump the gun and enlist. He went down to the local recruitment office and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. The remainder of the book goes through his time in Vietnam and ends chapter 14 of his experience before he launches into his sons’ with this solemn line, “ Once I got home I took my medals and threw them in an old envelope and tossed my uniforms into a Salvation Army Dumpster.”

I burst out crying.

There are sometimes as a book reviewer where I hate my job and I hate damn good writing. Its always a good thing when writing about an emotional story to drive the reviewer to tears and this book has, it really has.

I think about my fellow students, young people, 20 year olds over in Iraq right now making sure that I still have a job tomorrow morning and I hope, I really do hope that our valiant troops in Iraq are never compelled to write books like these 25 years later and I hope that their uniforms never end up in dumpsters with their medals tucked away like a worthless piece of metal.  I’m glad this man’s story can be finally told. Hopefully everyone affected by that experience will find a bit of solace in this work.

I have read some of the most “significant” works of our time and not to marginalize them for their greatness but this to me is as close as we will ever get to the “Great American Novel.”

Of course you can get this book on Amazon here:

May I suggest you do so!

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