A textured semi-autobiographical look at Vietnam day-by-day with one foot in the summer of love and the other in a jungle combat boot.
Brewer's story describes the path of a young man from a Northeastern high school to combat with an elite airborne brigade in Vietnam. There are quite a few books on Vietnam, so it takes some effort to make one stand out. Brewer has succeeded because he answers a very good question with considerable descriptive talent. It's quite clear that Brewer is just about there as a wartime novelist.
This is some of the most vividly descriptive word use I have yet seen, avoiding overstatement and creating instead texture: the environment, the weather, the noise, the fear, the mess, the dope smoke. I'm not normally patient with typos, and to keep me reading in spite of them, the underlying tale has to be a very good one with much to say for it.
Have you ever wondered why the Vietnam vets "can't just let it go and move on?" I'm pretty sure Brewer has fielded it quite a few times, and eventually got sick of it and decided to answer it in novel form.
Remember how Depression-era parents and grandparents, to the end of their days, played economics close to the vest no matter how greatly they prospered? What the author conveys is this: some experiences, and for many Vietnam was one such, impact one so much that they don't and won't just go away. They create fundamental shifts in mentality that will last one's lifetime, including some aspects that are very difficult to manage.
I won't spoil them for you, but if you ever wanted to know why Uncle Bill defines himself as a Vietnam veteran above other descriptors, to this day forty years hence, Brewer can answer that question for you. Highly recommended