As Real As It Gets
By George E. Nolly on July 16, 2016
Outstanding read that paints a dramatic picture of what it was like to man an LP (listening post) in enemy territory on a night that never seems to end. Interwoven with the story is flashbacks from the author’s youth, when terrifying events scared him into running for his life. But now, in the darkness, a short distance from the enemy, he cannot run. He must stay at his assigned station, maintain total silence, and report enemy activities to his headquarters.
This book reminds me a lot of the Pulitzer-nominated book The Things They Carried. It’s one thing to read that our soldiers were sent out from their outposts, in teams of two, to maintain reconnaissance of the enemy territory. It’s quite another to learn the intimate details of what that entailed. This book paints a graphic picture of everything involved in LP duty – constant mosquito bites, sitting in a mud hole being pelted by rain, hearing (and smelling) enemy soldiers taking their latrine breaks mere feet away.
The descriptions are extremely well-crafted and vivid, and the flashbacks evoke memories from my own reckless youth.
After you read this, you will really want to find a vet who humped the boonies in Vietnam just to say “Thank you for your service”!
Welcome home, brother!