Mini-Review The Father of All Things by Tom Bissell, AUDIO – Pantheon 2007, 407 pages?
A Marine, His Son and the Legacy of Viet Nam
MOTIVATION for READING: I failed to read this in time to participate in the latest book menage at Citizen Reader’s blog and was so impressed by the discussion that I rushed out to find it. What I found at the library was the audio version – I don’t think I had ever “listened to a book” before. Thoughts on that near the end of this post. Also qualifies for the World Citizen Challenge.
WHAT it’s ABOUT: A father is invited by his adult son to visit Viet Nam approximately 30 years after fighting there as a marine. This book is family memoir, history and politics lesson as well as travelogue on today’s Viet Nam.
WHAT’s GOOD: I learned a LOT; a WHOLE bunch about the Viet Nam War.
WHAT’s NOT so GOOD: This is MY fault, not the book’s: I did not enjoy the negatives of having to listen rather than read. And, it’s been too long for me to remember what else I was annoyed with.
I must note that this was listened to while driving. Thus, lack of focus? concentration? Attempting to not go off the road?! It took me MANY weeks and lots of time gaps since I don’t drive far or often and would not listen when others were with me – which was a lot because my niece visited and my parents visited during a three week stretch.
I wanted to jot down words to look up later! I wanted to re-read/re-listen and was annoyed with jumping too far back to replay and then missing what it was I wanted to hear again!
FINAL THOUGHTS: I will not be enjoying any audio books in the near future. Maybe I would for a cross country drive when I knew I could listen for hours. Perhaps a different genre, not nonfiction and not something so foreign to me. I know I’m not speaking to this book much…
If you like history and want to know more about the Viet Nam War while exploring the relationship of a Marine and his now adult son (plenty of the kid’s growing up time, too) and if you are curious about traveling to Viet Nam, this might be a fascinating read/listen!
Also, I never did figure out – or I missed – why the title?
THREE PIE SLICES
I must say that I am now more open to the idea of visiting this country some day than I had been and I do think I should give Mr. Bissell another try; but next time in paper and ink.