Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Sympathizer

Identity. After reading Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel titled, The Sympathizer, I understand why it won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This novel is like a piece of music in which each part contributes a unique element to the whole, and the result is a complexity and harmony that should resonate for most readers. This is a presentation of the Vietnam War from the point of view of a Vietnamese American in which all parties are held accountable. Nguyen presents love and betrayal alongside the defining elements of identity that provides the core theme for the novel. The pleasure of reading a digital version of this work is that I was able to search and discover that Nguyen uses the phrase “crapulent major” seventy six times, and “affectless lieutenant” twenty three times. That repetition became an example for me of the comparison to music: the phrases provided an expected and harmonious rhythm that I came to anticipate as the novel progressed. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase The Sympathizer from

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