Friday, May 30, 2008

Tree of Smoke - post I

Each chapter is an advanced year so it does have a disjointed feel with an assassination attempt then being followed by Skip the CIA intelligence officer sitting in Del Monte executive retreat going through card files.

It looks like he is about to be sent to Saigon, with the year now being 1965, but there is some background about local customs that implies that there a temptation from the Westerners to take the locals as fools.

The 1964 chapter details the mind of a Viet Ming fighter who views the Americans as the latest in a long line following on the heels of the French and the Chinese as people who would invade and dominate their country. But as he tries to recruit some local bandits you also get a glimpse of the apathy about the potential fight and the different cultures that pervade the country.

Part of the problem with Vietnam was a lack of understanding from those that arrived there to fight and those that lived there hoping to win independence. In just a matter of pages this has already come through.

More soon…


Reader said...

I just discovered your blog -- it is fantastic. I am halfway through "Tree of Smoke" and found your comments on the book very insightful. I have my own blog at and would enjoy keeping a dialogue going on great books.

Simon Quicke said...

Thanks Reader always great to get encouragement like that will check out your blog.