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Dog Soldiers Paperback – Apr 3 1987


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 3 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140098356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140098358
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #488,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Smith on March 27 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book for a college course on the cold war. I couldn't believe my professor. He actually apologized for putting it on the curriculum! He said that it was perhaps too gross, or graphic.... or something. How insulting!...How are we s'poseta learn about the cold war if the teachers teach with sterilized kid gloves. This book is, to Vietnam, a more accessible version of what Gravity's Rainbow is to WWII. It's harsh but not without redemption. Dog soldiers is goods good good...
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By A Customer on Feb. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
I had never heard of Robert Stone when I picked up an old paperback printing of this novel at a flea market. Reading it blew me away. If you're an ex-soldier (or marine) who had more than passing contact with the drug/criminal underworld of the 70's (hhmmm - guess I'm in that category) I predict that you will recognize every character and it will blow you away, too. Without belaboring all the points made in previous reviews, I agree with those made by MacInnes, Rampageous Cuss, and Sam Mills. Yes, this novel is a "trip in time for those who experienced it", but it is also enlightening and thought provoking on multiple levels.
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Format: Paperback
Framed in a story of drug smuggling gone wrong is a bleak portrait of America in the 1970s and of the people living then, specifically the subcultures. The underlying message appears to be how pointless things actually seemed (the Vietnam War, relationships, justice, life), and yet all the characters (and us as well) just keep soldiering on through the drudge and misery in the hopes that things get better. This is a sometimes difficult read that gets easier as the reader adjusts to the rhythms of the story. As the would-be drug smugglers end up on the run, the storyline picks up speed to its unexpected end.
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By Amazon Customer on April 11 2001
Format: Paperback
I felt that this book was an in-depth look on the crime and corruption in America in the 1970's during the Vietnam War. This book was about a drug deal gone very wrong because the main character, John Converse, was very inexperienced and wanted to deal drugs for the thrill of it. He gets a friend, Ray Hicks, who is in love with Converse's wife, to transport the three kilos of heroine from Vietnam to the US where Converse's wife, Marge, is supposed to take care of it. Unfortunately, the woman Converse was having an affair with and who he got the heroine from, Charmian, tipped off a CIA agent, Antheil. That led to Ray Hicks and Marge running away to New Mexico where Ray Hicks' insanity starts appearing as he gets very possessive over the heroine. All the characters and continuous switching of points of views from Converse to Ray and Marge made this book a little hard to understand at times. The explicit sex scene seemed a little unnecessary as did some of the "getting high" scenes in the book but overall, I think the author, Robert Stone, did a good job of representing the underground workings of the U.S. during the Vietnam war in the 1970's. He did an extremely good job with the dialogue when the characters were high. I could really get involved in what was going on because I felt as if everything was really happening. Dieter, a friend of Ray Hicks, said a quote in the book that I really liked. I think it really sums up what these people in the book were feeling. "There's such a thing as personal necessity. Maybe it's beyond moral areas." These people were doing anything and everything to get money from the heroine and it shows how evil people could really be.
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Format: Paperback
"Let smiles cease. Let laughter flee. This is the place where everybody finds out who they are." -Converse
Dog Soldiers is a story laced with despair, paranoia, and several other not so fuzzy moods, and this quote from the main character elegantly demonstrates this mood. The tone of the book was a point of interest and displeasure for me, since this was one of my first experiences with total negativity, it was a fun struggle for me to understand the point or the necessity of such an angry mood. At the same time it made me very uncomfortable, sometimes to the point where I would have to stop reading for the day.
There is a constant stream of action in this story, which makes it rather difficult to process what's going on as it happens. The story rarely drags and it is written so that it feels very real and alive. Slang terms are used often too, which are also hard to understand. But after the first few chapters it seems that most readers are able to get around this and start enjoying the fast paced style in which the book is written. This style also adds to the mood of panic and paranoia that encompass the entire book as Marge, Hicks, and Converse try to flee with their dope.
Marge, Hicks, and Converse are the book's three main characters, and as the plot follows first Converse's activities and then moves back and forth between Hicks and Converse, these two main characters develop into very complicated people. Marge's character isn't delved into as much, but it didn't seem to be that she was usually thinking about much besides the next time she could get high. Some of the things Converse and Hicks did or said still baffle me, just like the characters that are a part of my real life.
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