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Happily married since 1970. Two grown up naughty boys. Worked as road sweeper, kiln fireman in toilet factory, social security officer, schoolteacher for eight years, journalist, technical author, editor of all sorts of things, poet, musician, pavement artist, door to door salesman etc. Well travelled. Advised Labour Party on IT education policy. Organised rock concert for first red nose day. Organised "Poets Against the War" and delivered 10,000 anti-war poems to Tony Blair. Vegetarian. Old hippy. You should get the picture by now.
Craig Clarke VIII
on April 09, 2012 :
Just finished this entertaining novel by Anthony Ginn. It has given me a surprisingly nice warm feeling inside and I enjoyed every page. Not often I read a book in a couple of sittings, but just couldn’t put it down – that is a lot more dedicated than it sounds as I downloaded it and read it on my laptop (perhaps the warm feeling is from my fried legs). Great observations on a complex Vietnamese culture change by war and tourism interwoven with some snippets on the meaning of life. Great read.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on April 04, 2012 :
I read a draft of this book a few years ago and have been trying to persuade Anthony to publish it every since. It seems that he finally listened to me! I will now read it again on my tablet but I have fond memories of an engaging story that combines the qualities of the author: strong humour and strong warmth. I have never been to Vietnam but Anthony's story took me there for free and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. A must read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on April 03, 2012 :
I read, "Napalm and Chewing Gum" and enjoyed it very much. I think it is a great story and Anthony did a superb job developing the characters in the story. It was easy to get drawn into their life, their thoughts and desires and really care for them. As a soldier, I didn't get much chance to actually learn the customs of the Vietnamese and found it all very interesting. The Shop of the Dead and the Lucky Money being burnt to send to their ancestors, the superstitions that were part of their daily life. Seems like a bit of a hardship for people so poor having to spend money on items to burn for their ancestors and yet all so revervent and comforting to them. The story helps the reader realize the importance of these rituals in the lives of the Vietnamese families. Struggling to make some kind of decent life in a country so often torn by war, I really admire their resolve and ability to find peace and happiness when allowed, when not getting caught between opposing forces. This story helps the reader identify with the hardships, the tension and the great joy during better times.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)