Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

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 by Marti Leimbach X
The Man From Saigon by Marti Leimbach
Buy This Book

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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

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)

This information about The Man From Saigon was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

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.

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!

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.

Linda C. (Carlisle, MA)

The Man From Saigon
From the very first paragraph I was harshly pulled into the world of the Vietnam war. With an incredible ability to enable the reader the experience every setting to the fullest, Marti Leimbach bombarded all of my senses. Because of these details, I was masterfully drawn into every experience in this surrealistic setting of war. It was a story of relationships and humanity fitting into a war zone. Relationships were filled with mystery and intrigue that come and go within the constant that is war. It is a war novel that a woman can experience in a way most don't achieve. An excellent read that keeps the reader riveted!

Lorraine R. (Southampton, New York)

The Man From Saigon
It is unusual to read a war novel about a female reporter. The author successfully relates a very difficult and sad time in American history through the perspective of a female. Many books have been written about this period through the eyes of the soldiers, such as the Things they Carried by Phil Caputo, and this is a refreshing change from the war novel genre. This is well-written and thoughtful literature. It would be good book club novel to be read in conjunction with other Vietnam war novels.

Barbara B. (New Bern, NC)

I loved this book.
I loved “The Man from Saigon” by Marti Leimbach.
I would highly recommend reading this book. I enjoyed reading the story because it was about the Vietnam War which I know very little about.
The story is about a gutsy, quirky female correspondent in Vietnam who was not afraid to go the front line. It is also a love story and the many effects the war has on everyone involved.
The main characters are Susan Gifford one of the first few woman correspondents in Vietnam in 1967. Marc Davis, Susan’s lover, a TV reporter, married, and has been in Vietnam too long. Our third colorful and mysterious character and part of the love triangle is Son, who is a Vietnamese photographer who became Susan’s partner, companion, interpreter and as the story goes, her protector.
When Susan and Son are captured by three young Viet Cong, we see how courageous Susan is, how mysterious Son is and how the hardship of war and his love for Susan have affected Marc.

...14 more reader reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

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. Her new novel Age of Consent is to be published in June, 2016. She currently lives in England and teaches at Oxford University's Creative Writing program.

Author Interview
Link to Marti Leimbach's Website

Name Pronunciation
Marti Leimbach: lime-bark

Other books by Marti Leimbach at BookBrowse
  • Daniel Isn't Talking jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more literary fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Bewilderment
    by Richard Powers
    In 2019, Richard Powers won the Pulitzer Prize for The Overstory, a sprawling novel whose characters...
  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Izquierdo
    by Rubén Degollado

    A masterful debut that weaves together the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family bound by love, and a curse.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Honor
by Thrity Umrigar
Set in India, a tender and evocative novel about love across a cultural divide, familial devotion and betrayal.
Who Said...

Great political questions stir the deepest nature of one-half the nation, but they pass far above and over the ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.