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By Larry Craig (reviewer)
by Larry Bramblett
(CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012)
Giong is translated as beautifully flawed or just plain odd.
Since "Giong" purports to be about me, I will go with beautifully flawed.
The author and I spent six months together at Fort Gordon Georgia. Basic and Advanced infantry. Bramblett fired all the weapons—I was more likely to be off sleeping off a night of reading on the toilet under the one bulb that was left on all night.
From that six month friendship, Larry has managed to turn me into a memorable character. We talked ourselves into a pass to Augusta in real life. In the book I end up at a bar frequented by the evil Colonel's wife and she seduces me. It is all downhill from there.
At the beautiful old French Colonial Continental Hotel he has a lovely blonde nurse from a Swedish hospital ship parked in the Saigon River pick me up. Karen takes me, Craig - just Craig, to an amazing club in the Chinese quarter called Cholon. If you want to know what sex was like back then while flying high on opium, this book is for you.
But, don't get me wrong, there is a lot more to this novel than fine sex and good dope.
After a year of dancing around the five o'clock follies, as the Public Information Office news releases were called, Craig goes back to the states and ends up stationed in Florida. Some CIA hotshot officials hire him to help them steal a shipment of drugs. A Mexican friend that Craig befriended in basic training partners with Craig and they manage to steal $200,000,000 from the CIA criminals and live to celebrate the victory.
You'll find several five star reviews of "Giong" on Amazon where seven used copies are available as well as an audio version for your device.
The editor, Michael Ashenback, calls it an astonishing novel and says it should be read by anyone interested in the challenges faced by veterans of any war.
To get this compelling story told, the reader had to be grabbed early on. The well developed characters certainly did that. I was half way through a Val McDermid when I started "Giong." Each time I sat down to read I had to choose between the two books. I chose "Giong" every time.
Learn about Buddhism, war and wartime Vietnam culture with this spellbinder.
Larry Craig is from Waupaca WI. He started working with VVAW at the Eugene McCarthy campaign office in Los Angeles in 1967. He testified at the War Crimes Trial in Detroit and was at the rally in DC when the medals were tossed and John Kerry addressed congress.