Why Are We in Vietnam?

Why Are We in Vietnam?

A Novel

eBook - 1967
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Publisher: New York, Putnam [1967]
Characteristics: 208 p. 22 cm

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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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