The Man From Saigon: Book summary and reviews of The Man From Saigon by Marti Leimbach

The Man From Saigon

A Novel

By Marti Leimbach

The Man From Saigon

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About this book

Book Summary

It's 1967, and Susan Gifford is one of the first female correspondents on assignment in Saigon, dedicated to her job and passionately in love with an American TV reporter. Son is a Vietnamese photographer anxious to get his work into the American press. Together they cover every aspect of the war from combat missions to the workings of field hospitals. Then one November morning, narrowly escaping death during an ambush, Susan and Son find themselves the prisoners of three Vietcong soldiers who have been separated from their unit.

  Now, under constant threat from American air strikes, helpless in the hands of the enemy, they face the daily hardships of the jungle together. As time passes, the bond between Susan and Son deepens, and it becomes increasingly difficult for Son to harbor the secret that could have profound consequences for them both.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Vivid and and powerful…Leimbach masterfully conjures the hothouse atmosphere of foreign correspondents in Saigon in the late 1960s." - Publishers Weekly

"The Man from Saigon is stunning—so visual, so sensual and sharply realized. Almost nothing else could interest me in another book about that war, but by writing about a woman reporter in Vietnam, Leimbach makes its dark history brilliantly new." - Karen Connelly, author of The Lizard Cage

"You might question the ambition of a contemporary novelist electing to set a story in the Vietnam War era, but after you find (as I did) that you simply cannot put down The Man from Saigon, you question no more. Leimbach’s mastery of place, of the scents, sounds, terrors and sorrows of that time reminded me as perhaps only a great novel can that that we are never done with a war even when it is long over, and that only wars and love endure." - Dr. Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

“Leimbach does an impressive job of evoking the frenetic chaos of Saigon and the claustrophobia and suffocating humidity of the dense jungle, while her story has a vivid immediacy as it flashes backwards and forwards in a deliberately disorienting fashion. The result is intense and gripping.” - Daily Mail (UK)

"Emotionally rich, viscerally intense, the novel revisits a familiar terrain but finds ways to see it anew." - The Independent (UK)

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Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by mainlinebooker
The exclamation that says it all!
Riveting and vivid are two words that come to my mind. The visual imagery that exploded in my mind from reading this made me hungry for every word. She painted a detailed landscape so lush and dense making me feel I was thrust alive inside this horrific world.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Andrea L. (Cottonwood Heights, UT)
I love a fiction book I can learn from
This novel is an excellent learning opportunity as well as an involving read. Learning about the Vietnam war as well as vicariously experiencing how jarring and difficult it is to be a journalist in a war zone is a unique opportunity. The author has skillfully woven the complexities of the protagonist's relationships, her struggles for recognition and equality, and intrigue against the backdrop of a violent bloody war.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Hydee F. (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Unexpectedly riveting
I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this book based upon the setting, the Vietnam War isn't exactly my favorite setting for historical fiction, but I found myself unable to put his book down once I got into it. The subplots are interesting, and valuable, and I really came to care about Susan and Son. In the end, I found myself deeply saddened it was over, and wanted more!

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Belma M. (Odessa, Texas)
The Man from Saigon
This was a great read! The author made me feel like I was there with the characters. If you're looking for a book to keep your heart racing this is the book for you. I will definitely recommend this book to friends.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Sharon A. (Gainesville, FL)
Going back in time
Well written story about the Viet Nam era from the perspective of a reporter from a female magazine. It gave me insight into the world of war from those who experience it first hand. So many who have been immersed in war don't share because of the horrors they experienced and this story certainly shows the inner lives of those who were there. The book flowed well except sometimes the change in time and characters took extra thought to keep track of. I would definitely recommend to others and will share my copy with friends.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Katherine W. (El Sobrante, CA)
Jungle Love
Although I was slow to warm up to "The Man From Saigon", by the time I was well into the narrative, the book was almost impossible to put down. Marti Lembach's writing was so evocative of the suffocating heat found in the Viet Nam jungle that I found myself breaking out into a sweat and getting concerned that I might come down with foot rot This novel is an artful tapestry in which a love story, espionage and historical and political fiction are woven together seamlessly.

...14 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Marti Leimbach Author Biography

Marti Leimbach is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller Dying Young, which was made into a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts. Born in Washington, D.C., she attended the Creative Writing program at the University of California, Irvine, and Harvard University. She currently lives in England and teaches at Oxford University's Creative Writing program.

Author Interview
Link to Marti Leimbach's Website

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