A Rumor of War Book Review
“ ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet…he that shall endure unto the end, he shall be saved” Matthew 24:6
Philip Caputo’s relationship with the Vietnam War is depicted in a disturbingly beautiful way in the memoir “A Rumor of War.” Throughout the course of the book, approximately 16 months, we observe a young, ambitious boy ready to prove his manhood, in search of adventure turn into an aged disillusioned man. The words Caputo uses give the sense of involvement, the sense of being right there with the troops, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, but really, we are never even close. Caputo has humble intentions for writing the novel. He wants us to see what he saw and try to understand what happened from another perspective. The words he uses and the way he ties them together are full of passion. Only through a thorough reading of the novel can one appreciate the work and sincerity of this memoir. Furthermore, the reader comes to the conclusion that through the situations presented to these military men, vicious inhumane behaviors become inevitable. Caputo does an amazing job at capturing the dynamic changes in behaviors, mental states, and attitudes, within individuals as well as within the platoon as a whole.
"Most of all we learned about death at an early age when it is common to think of oneself as immortal. Everyone loses that illusion eventually, but in civilian life it is lost in installments over the years. We lost it all at once and, in the span of months, passed from boyhood through manhood to premature middle age. The knowledge of death, of the implacable limits placed on a man's existence, severed us from our youth as irrevocably as a surgeon's scissors had once severed us from the womb. And yet, few of us were past twenty-five. We left Vietnam peculiar creatures, with young shoulders that bore rather old...