A Dangerous Friend

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999 - Fiction - 256 pages
2 Reviews
In this, his twelfth novel, Ward Just penetrates more deeply into America's role in the world than he has ever done before. This beautifully constructed large-canvas novel of Saigon in 1965 can be justly compared to Joseph Conrad's NOSTROMO or Graham Greene's THE QUIET AMERICAN. A DANGEROUS FRIEND is a thrilling narrative roiling with intrigue, mayhem, and betrayal. Here is the story of conscience and its consequences among those for whom Vietnam was neither the right fight nor the wrong fight but the only fight. The exotic tropical surroundings, the coarsening and corrupting effects of a colonial regime, the visionary delusions of the American democratizers, all play their part. In A DANGEROUS FRIEND, a few civilians with bright minds and sunny intentions want to reform Vietnam -- but the Vietnam they see isn't the Vietnam that is. Sydney Parade, a political scientist, has left home and family in an effort to become part of something larger than himself, a foreign-aid operation in Saigon. Even before he arrives, he encounters French and Americans who reveal to him the unsettling depths of a conflict he thought he understood -- and in Saigon, the Vietnamese add yet another dimension. Before long, the rampant missteps and misplaced ideals trap Parade and others in a moral crossfire.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

this novel shows that its aurhor, who was a war correspondent in Vitetnam, has a perceptive and sure grasp of life druring the war. . An American goes to Vietnam as a civilian to help win "hearts and ... Read full review

A DANGEROUS FRIEND

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The former journalist, following last year's Echo House, returns to Vietnam, the subject of such earlier Just fiction as A Soldier of the Revolution (1970 ) and Stringer (1974). Just offers an ironic ... Read full review

Contents

The Effort i
9
A Child in Such a Milieu
37
Dacy
56
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Ward Just is the author of fourteen previous novels, including the National book Award finalist Echo House and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Award. In a career that began as a war correspondent for Newsweek and the Washington Post, Just has lived and written in half a dozen countries, including Britain, France, and Vietnam. His characters often lead public lives as politicians, civil servants, soldiers, artists, and writers. It is the tension between public duty and private conscience that animates much of his fiction, including Forgetfulness. Just and his wife, Sarah Catchpole, divide their time between Martha’s Vineyard and Paris.

Bibliographic information