Review: PACO’S STORY by Larry Heinemann

We recently conducted our first read-a-long here at War Through the Generations with Paco’s Story by Larry Heinemann, and our participants seemed to enjoy it.  We’ve got some reviews from them to share.

Scrappy Cat says, “Paco was the only survivor of a massacre at Fire Base Harriette, a location that was supposed to be safe.  He is left for dead for 2 days before he is found by a medic from another company.  Once Paco returns to the US, he takes a bus as far as his money will take him, ending up in a small town in Texas.  He gets a job as a dishwasher, working for a WWII veteran.”

Read the full review.

Jules’ Book Reviews says, “Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was very different than what I normally read, but it was an interesting change. I also enjoyed reading this along with a group, for the Vietnam Reading Challenge read-a-long.  One of the first things the reader is exposed to is the blunt truthfulness, of the narrator. He tells all and isn’t afraid to say it. He speaks with anger, swears up a storm, and makes sure the reader gets all the images – the good, bad, the scary – of Paco’s story.”

Read the full review.

Not Enough Books says, “This isn’t a book to be read lightly.  There are several scenes that some might have trouble reading because of the honesty to them, this is war after all.  There is also a rape scene that some might have trouble with.”

Read the full review.

Diary of an Eccentric says, “The narrative often seems choppy and can be difficult to follow at first, and I saw so many things I missed the first time I read this book in college.  There are many layers to Paco’s Story, from Paco himself to the secondary stories about the medic who found Paco and a promiscuous young woman intrigued by him, among others.  These asides might seem out of place at first glance, but given that Paco isn’t telling his own story, the reactions and observations of the people around him say a lot.”

Read the full review.

Savvy Verse & Wit says, “Heinemann’s language is raw, scraping down to the guts and bones in his readers, making them cringe, turn away, and stand agape.  A number of readers may find the graphic scenes in this novel to be too much, but what makes them uncomfortable are the realities of war and the breakdown of humanity.  Paco struggles not only with why he was the only survivor, but how to assimilate himself back into a society he no longer recognizes once stateside.”

Read the full review.

Literary Feline says, “With both physical and mental scars, Paco re-enters society, going through the motions of life. Readers are offered a glimpse at how a soldier from that war was treated upon his return, both with disdain and occasional pride. We get an inside look at the horrors of war, and Heineman pulls no punches in describing the war in brutal and honest terms.”

Read parts one, two, and three of the review.

 

**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

 

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1 Comment

  1. I hope more people will consider reading Paco’s Story for the challenge!


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