Read Lost Soldiers by James Webb Online


Once in a great while there comes a novel of such emotional impact and acute insight that it forever changes the way a reader sees a nation or an era. Writing with an unerring sense of suspense and of history experienced firsthand, James Webb takes us on a myth-shattering cultural odyssey deep into the heart of contemporary Vietnam, with a riveting thriller that tells a loOnce in a great while there comes a novel of such emotional impact and acute insight that it forever changes the way a reader sees a nation or an era. Writing with an unerring sense of suspense and of history experienced firsthand, James Webb takes us on a myth-shattering cultural odyssey deep into the heart of contemporary Vietnam, with a riveting thriller that tells a love story — love for those who perished, for family and friends, and between a soldier and the land where he had always been ready to die.Brandon Condley survived five years of combat as a U.S. Marine only to lose the woman he loved to an enemy assassin. Now he is back in Vietnam, working to recover the remains of unknown American soldiers. On a routine mission, Condley finds a body that doesn’t match its dog tags — a body that propels him into a vortex of violence and intrigue where past and present become one.As the mystery of the dead man unravels, a link is revealed to two well-known killers: “Salt and Pepper,” a pair of treasonous Americans who led a deadly Viet Cong ambush against Condley’s own men. Galvanized by a fresh trail to these long-lost deserters, Condley has finally found a purpose: Under the auspices of his government job, he is going to hunt down the traitors. On his own, he is going to kill them.Condley’s hunt cannot be kept secret from his former enemies, or his friends. And in the shadows that linger from Vietnam’s long season of darkness and terror, he has no way of knowing which side is more dangerous. Surrounding him is an unforgettable cast of characters: Dzung, Condley’s closest friend, a South Vietnamese war hero who might have led his country if his side had won the war, now reduced to driving a cyclo as his family starves in Saigon’s District Four. Colonel Pham, a battle-hardened Viet Cong soldier who lost three children to American bombs. Manh, a cutthroat Interior Ministry official who blackmails Dzung into a mission of murder. The Russian soldier Anatolie Petrushinsky, who left his soul in Vietnam as his empire collapsed around him. And the beautiful Van, Colonel Pham’s daughter, who spurns the scars of war as she pursues her dreams of freedom. As Condley stalks his elusive prey across old battlefields and throughout Eurasia, returning always to the brooding streets of Saigon, his mission — and the odds of his surviving it — grow more precarious with each step he takes toward the truth.Lost Soldiers captures the Vietnam of past and present — its beauty and squalor, its politics and people. Propelled by a page-turning mystery, shot through with adventure and intrigue, it irrevocably transforms our view of that haunted land and brings us as complete an understanding as we will ever have of what happened after the war — and why. No writer today is more qualified to take us into that world than James Webb.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Lost Soldiers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440240914
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 464 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lost Soldiers Reviews

  • Bonnie
    2019-03-12 14:59

    When I read more than one book by an author I know I'm getting to know the author rather than the characters. I picked this book after reading Webb's Born Fighting, which isn't a novel, but puts forth his premise about the Scotch-Irish culture being the predominate white culture of rural and working class Americans. This book, which is a novel about a veteran of the war in Viet Nam, draws a picture of how that culture influenced our military, and the events of that war. On the surface it's an engaging action story, underneath it's a psychological portrayal, I suspect of Webb himself, and (no doubt he would say) many others.The physical and social settings in this novel are very well depicted, and gave me a greater understanding and even curiosity about both Viet Nam (especially post-war) and Russia. A lot of the views shown through the characters are relevant in today's political setting and drove home to me again how limited my knowledge of the world is.

  • Peter
    2019-03-02 13:01

    James Webb is not only an excellent writer, he’s an American icon—a Navy Cross-winning Marine, a U.S. Senator, and a Secretary of Defense. His Fields of Fire (1978) is one of the best Viet Nam-era novel/memoirs I’ve read--very powerful! Lost Soldiers, published in 2001, is quite different. It is a novel about the social impact of Viet Nam, as well as a thumping good mystery. Brandon Condley, five years a U. S. Marine in Viet Nam, has bounced around Asia for thirty years since the war. He is now employed by an agency tasked with recovering the bodies of Americans killed in Viet Nam. He speaks and thinks Vietnamese, and he loves the country. Condley, our tour guide, is sent to a small Viet Nam village to negotiate the release of the remains of a U. S. soldier buried thirty years earlier in a family cemetery. The circumstances are curious: the soldier died on the family’s doorstep on a night when there was no military action in the area. Evidence determines that the body is not the man its dog tags identify; someone killed the man and switched identities. But why? The solution to this puzzle takes Condley into the far past, ripping open an episode distasteful to both the American and Vietnamese governments. The distrust between the current Viet Nam and American governments, between the Viet Nam governments and both American citizens and former South Vietnamese supporters, makes the navigation treacherous—and very revealing of the aftermath of revolution and war. The American Civil war has still smoldering effects, and the Viet Nam war is no different.This is a very enticing book; it is well written, imaginative, and educational. Far less about combat and violence than about the effect of the war on modern united Viet Nam, it offers a positive view of Vietnam’s culture and traditions. It’s a bit like mixing James Bond with Fodor’s travel guide. A mystery: why hasn’t this been made into a movie? It’s a perfect script for a complex mystery—even the dialogue fits the movie screen. Anyhow, five stars! And kudos to Senator James Webb.

  • Larry Bassett
    2019-03-11 15:01

    Not nearly as good as Fields of Fire but better than Something to Die For. Several times when I had to stop, I wished I could go on reading. The main character, Condley, is interesting and well developed. I enjoyed seeing the presentation of Vietnam after the war, but it has probably changed even more in the years since the book was written in 2001. Not sure why the archaic Sai Gon is used when it became Ho Chi Minh City in 1975. A definate anticommunist bias, not surprising given the history of the author. Webb did not explore why Salt and Pepper might have changed sides in the midst of the war.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-18 15:36

    The is a story of a Vietnam Vet Brandon Condley who is an expat living in Vietnam. He normally drifts through day, rather aimless. However, he is asked to assist an anthropologist who is attempting to aid in identifying US vet remains. Trouble comes up when they discover the wrong dogtags found on another soldier's remains. This is a story of government coverups and mystery. But it is also a wonderful description of the Vietnam and Banghok. Those that have visited Vietnam before, whether as a tourist or military service, might enjoy this book.

  • Karen Davis
    2019-03-18 16:59

    War Continues in the Mind After the War Is OverThis was a very good read for me. The story is of an ex marine who decides to live in Vietnam long after the war was lost. He also lost his true love to the brutality of war. He storyline weaves in and out from person to person, town to town, country to country,back to the war and revenge, yet comes back to his love of this country.

  • Jean Bulatao
    2019-03-09 16:54

    I love to read historical fiction and decided to give this untraditional historical fiction a go. I loved it!!! This book kept me reading. The characters were engrossing and real to me. Give it a try. It's an easy reading style!!

  • Jonathan Reskof
    2019-03-06 18:53

    LostThis book captures the spirit of the country and the collective friendliness of the people that I once knew a long time ago. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

  • LeighAnne Cully
    2019-03-11 17:39

    Not my normal read, fantastic!5 stars because the story and characters grabbed from page one. Picked this up as a 99 cent book. Will be racing more!

  • Jon Oswalt
    2019-03-23 19:42

    Another great Webb story.I like this author and follow all his books. This book had some twists and turns making it an enjoyable read.

  • Teresa
    2019-03-10 12:58

    Great bookI wish James Webb would stop wasting his time in politics and just write. Typically well written with a surprisingly fresh plot line. You’ll enjoy every page.

  • Steve Woods
    2019-03-23 11:52

    Webb is a great story teller. I have enjoyed all his books I have read so far, maybe becasue there is so much experience shared. Like the others this is a great yarn, a who dunnit set against the background of post war Vietnam. it is more than that though. He provides some tremendous descriptions of what life was like post war in Saigon, particularly for those on the losing side. I felt tremendous guilt at having been part of the war that eventually abandoned the South Vietnamese to their fate. Guilty and very angry. Webb offers some very poignant observations, there was much common ground here and some moments of very difficult reflection. A great read though.

  • Frederick Bingham
    2019-02-25 19:40

    This book by James Webb, the newly-elected senator from Virginia.Brandon Condley's job is to find bones of American soldiers in Vietnam. He works part time in Saigon and part time in Hawaii. One day he comes across the bones of a soldier whose remains he cannot identify because the bones do not match the dog tag. This leads him onto the trail of a pair of Vietnam war deserters who made it a calling to fight for the Vietcong. He finds that one of them is dead, but the other one is still alive. He decides to track him down and kill him.The book is filled with vivid images of Vietnam and interesting detail about how the search and identification of Vietnam war remains is carried out.

  • Rob
    2019-03-03 12:56

    If you enjoy James Webb’s novels - and “Fields of Fire” was terrific - and want to view a modern portrait of Vietnam, this is a great read. A page-turner with mystery, intrigue, history and culture, you won’t need to be a war vet to appreciate Webb’s character development and twisting plot. Although written a few years ago, it’s still timely. It gives you a good idea of where the country has been - it’s still torn between the north and south - and where it is going. Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is leaving Hanoi in the dust.

  • Lee Wallace
    2019-03-19 14:39

    The pow/mia issue was spoiled many times by the movie industry during the eighties.Too bad, they didn't used the best plot I ever read in my life... The one I found in this book.The plot revolves around the 'Salt and Pepper' urban legend.This legend was a real one, and so is the book... A book born from a 'what if' question.Webb builded his plot from reality, which is why this book is so interesteing.And he has a good pen too.

  • Roy loe
    2019-03-25 13:48

    This is the novel that Republicans tried to use against Webb when he was running for Congress. Has a short paragraph containing a disturbing sex act. Webb has been to Vietnam a number of times and this "action" novel has some interesting insights into the country. Webb apparently has a great affection for Southeast Asia. Webb isn't an exceptional writer, but good enough for an interesting read.

  • james
    2019-03-13 18:37

    Excellent story about modern day Vietnem. American investigators are notified by the Vietnamese government that remains of a US serviceman have just been uncovered. An invesigator finds that the remains seem to be a long-missing Marine, but there is evidence that the body may not be who it appears to be. This book reminded me of Up Country by Nelson DeVille, except that the characters in Lost Soldiers operate in Vietnam with the permission of Hanoi.

  • Frank Cavanaugh
    2019-02-24 15:44

    Slow at times and sometimes deeply psychological. Some adventure but really a look at the Vietnam Nam war and its effect. For me, it was not a page turner but I enjoyed the well developed characters and the opinions and information about Viet Nam and the aftermath of a war I avoided through the luck of a high draft number.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-02 12:42

    I enjoyed this on two levels; the story is simple and enjoyable, but the hidden character in this is the country of Vietnam. As you read you realize it plays just as vital a role as any of the characters.

  • Judi
    2019-03-23 17:50

    Awesome storyI very much enjoyed this book. Webb's style is very descriptive and there's a good balance between violence and sex, plus a look at Vietnam and its people that strikes me as authentic. Highly recommended.

  • Lynn
    2019-03-12 16:43

    On the surface, this is a good political thriller or mystery. But the reason I rated this so well, is that the highly qualified James Webb, has written a sad but believable story of the current day Viet Nam people. Read it and weep for what is and what could have been.

  • Chuck
    2019-03-03 13:36

    An ex Viet Nam era marine, now trying to identify the remains of American servicemen in present day Viet Nam, pursues a vendettaagainst an Army turncoat who he suspects is still alive and living in the far east. Story starts slowly but patience is rewarded.

  • Margie
    2019-03-25 14:52

    I enjoyed this, read it this summer.

  • Michael Kelley
    2019-03-16 18:59

    An exceptional book,

  • Jill
    2019-02-24 11:32

    Decent book, creepy in some parts. I only read it because I wanted to say in the interview that I did.

  • Scrabbleass Beatyour
    2019-03-22 11:45

    Excellent read. Will read more from Webb foir sure.

  • Kara
    2019-03-01 14:37

    Webb - former Marine, Navy Secretary, Asst. Secretary of Defense, current Senator - is an unlikely novelist. This book could be made into the kind of bad action film that I usually enjoy.