❰Reading❯ ➿ Paco's Story Author Larry Heinemann – Motyourdrive.co.uk

10 thoughts on “Paco's Story

  1. says:

    The writing mesmerized me while much of the content repulsed me The language was absolutely musical with its rhythm and assonance The descriptive passages were pure poetry from a lengthy discussion of menu styles to the contents of a small town hardware store Paco is a Vietnam vet drifting across America We watch him for a few months while he is living in a cheap motel washing dishes at a little diner He is doped up on pills and liquor to mute the brutal pain that cripples his body and psyche The story is told by a ghost that hovers near Paco, one of his dead platoon mates He narrates both Paco s story as well as that of the medic who found him, the tattooed soldier, Gallagher, the self destructive young girl who spies on him and so many We are asked to watch the gang rape of a Vietnamese teenaged girl and an old Eastern European jeweler talking to his long dead wife through the same lens of gorgeous and vulgar prose This is a violent, haunting novel, deserving of its awards, but uncomfortable to read.

  2. says:

    This is a book written by an old graduate school instructor of mine an instructor whose last class meeting of the quarter nearly got all of us drunk graduate students kicked out of school and arrested as it turned out, only one of us got arrested not me and we all got kicked off of campus But that s a story for another day, as Larry would say My bias aside, however, it s a terrific war post war story told by a ghost Literally.

  3. says:

    what an awful piece of writing the voice is the most irritating i have ever encountered on the same page, the tone careens back and forth between pretentious pseudo literary over writing words like lilting and echo ous , endless strings of adjectives, dumb similes, and lists of meaningless descriptive details and larry the cable guy haw haw blather bangin pussy, smokin dope, gettin some, know it all winking nonchalance and there is no doubt that it is supposed to be a single voice the owner of the voice is finally confirmed on page 137, and it is one dumb, pointless gimmick.interestingly, the voice is abandonded for the last 10 pages, granting a small measure of solace to the reader.how this won the national book award is totally mind boggling at least it was short.

  4. says:

    Started out really liking 4stars the book, which follows a lone surviving vet in his returning travails to the States, but waned to just liking it 3stars as the resolution of the story sort of deflated the first 2 3rds storyline Most of the characters kind of monologue in a not entirely plausible way, but the topics, time frame and perspective of the returning vet and the people he met, were very interesting, and a bit novel from other things I have read.I had initially thought this book rivaled, The things they carried in tone scope and wondered how I had never heard of this book before picking it up used then the end sort of summed up to me why this book wouldn t really be taught in a classroom I m not gonna spoil the ending, but it has a less satisfying resolution than other veterans novels and of course I didn t expect a happy ending, but I also didn t feel like the journey was over when the writing ran out either

  5. says:

    How does one write in such a way that every sentence is poetry

  6. says:

    This book follows the mantra if you don t upset people then what are you writing for None of the war stories I have read have been a walk in the park by any means, but this one was perhaps the most upsetting, in part because the majority of the action takes place outside the jungles of Vietnam As the titular Paco attempts to adjust to his life after the war, an omnipresent, omnipotent narrator introduces him and his exploits This narrator has a habit of addressing the reader directly, which I enjoyed, because it implicated me in the events of the story There was very little breathing room between our reality and theirs, which made the trauma of war feel all the real I also appreciated how the structure advanced the distressing tone of the novel Paco would go from standing in his hotel room in small town Texas, to being transported back to a hut in Vietnam and reliving some of his most traumatic memories To me, this felt like a very true to life depiction of PTSD, and it kept the trauma of Paco s past painfully present I am very glad I read this book I think it added a lot to my understanding of the Vietnam war narrative by addressing the struggles faced by veterans upon returning to a country that was not even supportive of their contributions to the war effort But it is such a cynical, depressing novel, that this will probably be the only time I read it In the capable hands of Larry Heinemann, even a mundane restaurant menu becomes something despicable, as though this is a commendable skill as an author, it is hard to read than once.

  7. says:

    National Book Award winner The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, Exceptional for its bleak, shared unexceptional reality It was bleak Eliminate the gratuitous profanity and the book shrinks by a third Exceptional for its unexceptional reality An odd statement Maybe I didn t get the book I have read much better books on Vietnam.

  8. says:

    It s no The Things They Carried, but then it s not trying to be Depressing but good.

  9. says:

    I recall the early 80s explosion of Vietnam novels that occurred shortly after Mark Baker sat down with vets and compiled the interviews into the compulsively readable Nam I swiped this book from my father s nightstand and got sucked in immediately My circle of 14 year old friends larded our conversations with phrases like pop a cap and frag as the book got passed around and its physical condition quickly eroded Later, in the Army, my Sergeant Major, who was drafted into the 101st in 1967, was keen on addressing the captains as Dai Uy and regaling us with cadences about Ho Chi Minh s venereal diseases My point is that post Boomers like me are still fascinated by our fathers conflict Twenty three years have passed since Larry Heineman published Paco s Story , and I ve been through a couple of wars of my own and graduate school, but I still find myself burning through the entire Ken Burns documentary series in a weekend This era with its slow motion photography of F 4s blistering the jungle with retarded Snakeye bombs, OD clad Marines blowing holes through concrete walls at Hue, and Coppola s famous Air Assault scene from Apocalypse Now still represents an absolutely fascinating epoch in modern history Did the 60s end with Charlie Manson or the Stones concert at Altamont I would argue vets like Paco experienced that sensation long before either event I seriously believed I had seen all this genre had to offer after Karl Marlantes Matterhorn , but I found Heineman s book engrossing when I picked it up this winter Like The Deer Hunter it is less about the firefight than the aftermath The long description in Chapter 3 The Thanks of a Grateful Nation of being prepped for and then waking up from a traumatic surgery is wrenching, but spot on they smeared the first doses of surgical soap on his chest and arms, then commenced to scrub him raw When the shot finally took full effect, Paco felt only a vague grinding sensation, that was all, as though someone were gouging the stringy meat and seeds from a ripe pumpkin with a blunt wooden spoon it sounded as though they were scrubbing coarse cloth, bearing down with great vigor The chapter also contains a humorous 5 page monologue from a bus driver, and so I think Chapter 3 serves as a microcosm for the rest of the novel marrying up disturbing details of long term pain with the day to day numbness of routine, then sporadically hitting the reader with an uncomfortable laugh To be succinct, I liked this Vietnam novel, with its aching but patient protagonist its raw depictions of dirt, blood, and fragments of spent shell casings ground into flesh as well as its economy of words when Heineman writes phrases like guys smelling of cheap, fishing trip beer there s no need to expand on it For a narrative on going through a meat grinder, it is clean, honest and worth a recommendation, I think.

  10. says:

    Depressing, gruesome, powerful.

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Paco's Story summary pdf Paco's Story, summary chapter 2 Paco's Story, sparknotes Paco's Story, Paco's Story c858d62 Paco Sullivan Is The Only Man In Alpha Company To Survive A Cataclysmic Viet Cong Attack On Fire Base Harriette In Vietnam Everyone Else Is Annihilated When A Medic Finally Rescues Paco Almost Two Days Later, He Is Waiting To Die, Flies And Maggots Covering His Burnt, Shattered Body He Winds Up Back In The US With His Legs Full Of Pins, Daily Rations Of Librium And Valium, And No Sense Of What To Do Next One Evening, On The Tail Of A Rainstorm, He Limps Off The Bus And Into The Small Town Of Boone, Determined To Find A Real Job And A Real Bed But No Matter How Hard He Works, Nothing Muffles The Anguish In His Mind And Body Brilliantly And Vividly Written, Paco S Story Winner Of A National Book Award Plunges You Into The Violence And Casual Cruelty Of The Vietnam War, And The Ghostly Aftermath That Often Dealt The Harshest Blows

  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • Paco's Story
  • Larry Heinemann
  • English
  • 16 January 2018
  • 9781400076833

About the Author: Larry Heinemann

Larry Heinemann born 1944 is an American novelist born and raised in Chicago His body of work is primarily concerned with the Vietnam War Mr Heinemann served a combat tour in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 with the 25th Infantry Division, and has described himself as the most ordinary of soldiers Mr Heinemann s military experience is documented in his most recent work, Black Virgin Mountain 200