Paperback: 210 pages
About the Book:
A young medic goes from his sleepy West Virginia hometown to the soul-searing terrain of the Vietnam War to learn about American “innocence” in a war that brings new horrors each day. Later the medic returns home to confront his shattered personal history and the mysterious human capacity for renewal. “Of all the many books written about the war . . . this one will be among the handful destined to endure,” said Philip Caputo about this beautifully written and powerful novel.
Praise for Fatal Light:
Of all the many books written about the war, this one will be among the handful to endure.
—Philip Caputo, author of A Rumor of War
“Few books born of the Vietnam War are likely to last as works of art, but Fatal Light joins that select group. Written with an impressionistic verve that burns into memory, Currey’s fresh look at the war–and his ability to illustrate how easy it is to become unfeeling when faced with situations that deny one’s humanity–make for a haunting work.”
—Dallas Morning News
“No one who reads this brilliant book will ever forget it. With this remarkable novel Richard Currey joins Tim O’Brien, Michael Herr, Philip Caputo, and Robert Olen Butler as an artist who not only lived history but records it with Homeric resonance. I cannot remember when I have read a more powerful work.”
—James Lee Burke
“By no means a typical Vietnam war novel, Fatal Light, like few others in its genre, surmounts the cliches. It is one of the best literary treatments we have had of the Vietnam war.”
“One of the very best works of fiction to emerge from the Vietnam War.”
“A dazzling book … Richard Currey achieves a stark immediacy that makes you wince.”
—Sunday Times of London
Etched with precision and freshness and a lyrical sense of language that lingers … Currey makes you feel as if you are hearing more truth than a thousand pages of official history could achieve. There are sequences in Fatal Light that shook my heart.
—Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio
“Fatal Light is a spare, elegant novel that manages to summon several layers of images, some quite beautiful, others truly horrifying. The narrator says of Vietnam: ‘Such things live together here, poetry and shotguns. Alive and well in a single body.’ The same is true for this impressive novel.”
—The New York Times Book Review
Each beautifully written scene is like a tile in a mosaic, contributing to an impressive artistic unity. Fatal Light is so satisfying, so masterful in its union of form and content, that the sorrow provoked by its painful subject is mitigated by the pleasure of discovering such an exciting writer.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Apart from its honed lyricism, what makes this Vietnam novel superior to most others is that is unself-conscious, allowing us to share the combat experience through a brilliantly executed series of vignettes. Fiercely focused and crafted with great skill… a stunning narrative.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred, boxed review