The Father of All Things

Mini-Review  tfoattb 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 pieratingsmlpieratingsmlpieratingsml

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.


7 thoughts on “The Father of All Things

  1. I have enjoyed the audiobooks that I have read so far but I have learned from experience that I have to do something fairly rote, like chores that require minimal thought. I miss too much otherwise.

  2. I’ve only been able to listen to audio books on long car rides. I tried while I was walking to and from school (about 20 minutes each way), but I just can’t focus with that sort of a time span. And there are certain books that work better than others — books with lots of action kept me interested. Into Thin Air by John Krakauer on audio book was awesome because, seriously, who doesn’t get sucked into a story of people climbing Mount Everest? Anyway, just wanted to say I agree that short time spans aren’t great for audio books 🙂

    1. I know, this book in the audio format probably wasn’t the best choice for me. I’m also a better visual learner than an auditory one – so that’s another strike against me. or against the format. whatever.

  3. I wanted a book on Vietnam war too. This one sounds good. I’m not into audio books too, I guess my attention span is really bad. I gave away all my audiobooks to my brother in law and I don’t feel even a little bad about it, I wouldn’t say I would feel the same if I had to give him books 🙂

    1. Hello! How was your day yesterday? 🙂
      I do recommend this book even though I ruined it by trying to listen rather than read it. And everyone at Citizen Reader blog seemed to be REALLY IMPRESSED with it and those people are much smarter than I am.

      1. Oh it was good, I left work on time, celebrated at home because it was raining cats and dogs. Will probably celebrate with friends on Saturday.

        I think you count in one of the smartest people in the whole blog sphere and I’m not kidding 🙂

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