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NAM's Reviews

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"Rob McGowan's stories have the energy and grip of a pit bull. Like pit bulls, they are muscular, close to the ground, and fearless. But the risks any reader takes in entering such tightly leashed tales will be copiously rewarded."
--- Brian Bedard, editor of South Dakota Review and author of the story collection, Grieving on the Run.

"Reading these stories from NAM brings back the heart of the war for all to see and hear. I am a fan of McGowan's work because, even when it's impossible to know from your own experience whether a story is factually accurate, you know very well that the story is true, really true. That's great writing."
--- Carol Brightman, editor of Viet-Report and author, with the renowned artist Larry Rivers, of Drawings and Directions (American Book Award) and Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World (National Book Critics Circle Award).

"The tales in NAM: Things That Weren't True and Other Stories approach their troubling subject from all sides, chipping away at the mysterious monolith that was the American war. In this collection, Robert McGowan displays remarkable range and depth."
--- Stewart O'Nan, editor of The Vietnam Reader.

"There is no dearth of literature about the war in Vietnam. But this collection is unique: what McGowan does here is to use time and distance from that benighted "police action" to assemble a chorus of former soldiers, family, friends, lovers, exes, observers and participants, myriad others whose lives were ended, derailed or otherwise touched deeply by it. He tells--or more often lets them tell--their stories of then and now, in a narrative imbued in turn with brutal frankness, pathos, irony, and the blackest of humor. The author's sense of place is palpable; his eye for detail crazy-clear; his ear for dialogue both true and great fun."
---Susan O'Neill, an Army nurse in Vietnam (1969), co-editor of Vestal Review, and author of the Vietnam War story collection, Don't Mean Nothing.

"McGowan's stories will burrow into the minds of his readers because of his writer's gift of being able to fully inhabit and give life to the wide variety of voices needed to present the myriad aspects of the American War in Southeast Asia . . . Some of these stories brought me to tears and others caused me to laugh aloud. Some of them are tours de force of language and others are informed by a magic I love but cannot quite put my finger on. . . . this dazzling, harsh, funny, and truthful book."
--- The Veteran, the journal of Vietnam Veterans of America

"Robert McGowan served in the war and this beautifully crafted book of stories made me smile and cry in equal measure. I will certainly re-read this book and I'm sure it will give me great pleasure for many years to come. Don't think of it as a book about war. It's not a macho, blood and guts thing. Men and women will enjoy this as a good read. It's about the effects of war on the people who took part, their families and friends and the people in whose name the war was being fought. As the super powers continue to involve themselves in conflicts far from home this is a timely reminder, decades after the conclusion, of how far reaching the consequences of war can be."
--- Greg Page, Amazon.co.uk