An evocative tale of the early days of the Vietnam War, reminiscent of Catch 22… Funny and heartbreaking, Dragon Lady seamlessly shifts from Saigon in 1965 to the present day and beyond as the narrator tells the story of his obsession with a Vietnamese girl named Mai, his increasing unease with the U.S's involvement in Vietnam, and his reflections on his own life since his tour in Saigon. More
In 1965 Saigon, Joe, a young draftee, becomes obsessed with a Vietnam girl named Mai, his own "Dragon Lady" from his beloved Terry and the Pirates cartoon strips that his mother still sends him. As he pursues a relationship with her, Saigon churns with intrigue and rumors--will the U.S. become more involved with the Vietnamese struggle? What's going on with a special unit that's bringing in all sorts of (for the time) high tech equipment? Will the U.S. make Vietnam the 51st state and bomb aggressors to oblivion? But for Joe, the big question is--does Mai love him or will she betray more than just his heart? Gary Alexander’s intelligent voice, filled with dry wit, and his own experiences give this story a sharp sense of truth, recounting the horror and absurdity of war. Reminiscent of books such as Catch-22, Dragon Lady serves up equal measures of outrageous humor and poignant remembrance.
“…a refreshing book… Dragon Lady is a highly entertaining book that I heartily recommend. The writing is very well done, the story is different and interesting and the characters feel like people you know…It’s… one of those books that grabs you and doesn't let you go and leaves you thinking about it even when you are finished. So run, don't walk and try this author out, see if Dragon Lady grabs you like it grabbed me.” Crystal Fulcher, My Reading Room blog
“Positioning the narrator in the afterlife gives Dragon Lady a third dimension that elevates it above a simple boy-meets-girl story. Mai is a prostitute and possible Viet Cong spy who consorts with Joe’s superior officers. Whatever she is, Joe is smitten with her and, all logic aside, wants to take her home. We know from the biography he’s given us from The Great Beyond, that’s not going to happen. But his love-sick pursuit of his impossible dream is entertaining.” Bill Furlow, Great Books Under $5 blog.
“Take one part M*A*S*H, add one part The Quiet American, throw in an offbeat love story, fold in some screwball characters, and top it off with an out of this world (and I mean out of this world) narrator, and you get the zaniest war novel since Catch 22. Alexander delivers a jeep-load of laughs in Dragon Lady as well as unflinchingly candid insights into the Vietnam War.” - Ron Cooper, author of Purple Jesus and Hume’s Fork