counter create hit Best We Forget: A novel of chaos, conspiracy and black Aussie humor in the Vietnam War - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Best We Forget: A novel of chaos, conspiracy and black Aussie humor in the Vietnam War

Availability: Ready to download

Best We Forget is off-beat, in the style of Catch 22 and The Virgin Soldiers. It is an international novel from an Australian viewpoint – a picture of the idiocy of the Vietnam War war penned with the blotchy ink of black humor. The novel centres on 12 months in the life of National Serviceman Brian “Donkey” Simpson, a naive young Australian setting out on the adventure of Best We Forget is off-beat, in the style of Catch 22 and The Virgin Soldiers. It is an international novel from an Australian viewpoint – a picture of the idiocy of the Vietnam War war penned with the blotchy ink of black humor. The novel centres on 12 months in the life of National Serviceman Brian “Donkey” Simpson, a naive young Australian setting out on the adventure of a lifetime with a bunch of like-minded mates – but Vietnam is a horror story, a bullet just an inch away at any time. In a typical Army stuff-up, the Army makes Simpson (a former country journalist) secretary to Australia’s commander in Vietnam – and the bait in a murderous political plot. But who’s pulling the strings? The good guys or bad? Sprinkled throughout are many sub-plots and stories involving the South Vietnamese general who’s plotting a coup d’état; the six-gun totin’ CIA general who’s trying to stop him; the Vietnamese whore who’ll do anything to get to America; the raunchy American nurses who love loving; the GIs lost in a sea of booze and drugs. In the big picture, Best We Forget dissects the inner pain of rejection inflicted on fighting men by their own people; it examines the conscience of those who inflicted the pain. It is an out-of-control roller coaster of classical farce, intrigue, double-cross, espionage, horror, and black, black humor strung together by the puppetry of Murphy’s Law. Of Catch 22. It’s the story of the Vietnam veteran – Australian and American - you’ve never read before. Prepare to laugh – and cry.


Compare

Best We Forget is off-beat, in the style of Catch 22 and The Virgin Soldiers. It is an international novel from an Australian viewpoint – a picture of the idiocy of the Vietnam War war penned with the blotchy ink of black humor. The novel centres on 12 months in the life of National Serviceman Brian “Donkey” Simpson, a naive young Australian setting out on the adventure of Best We Forget is off-beat, in the style of Catch 22 and The Virgin Soldiers. It is an international novel from an Australian viewpoint – a picture of the idiocy of the Vietnam War war penned with the blotchy ink of black humor. The novel centres on 12 months in the life of National Serviceman Brian “Donkey” Simpson, a naive young Australian setting out on the adventure of a lifetime with a bunch of like-minded mates – but Vietnam is a horror story, a bullet just an inch away at any time. In a typical Army stuff-up, the Army makes Simpson (a former country journalist) secretary to Australia’s commander in Vietnam – and the bait in a murderous political plot. But who’s pulling the strings? The good guys or bad? Sprinkled throughout are many sub-plots and stories involving the South Vietnamese general who’s plotting a coup d’état; the six-gun totin’ CIA general who’s trying to stop him; the Vietnamese whore who’ll do anything to get to America; the raunchy American nurses who love loving; the GIs lost in a sea of booze and drugs. In the big picture, Best We Forget dissects the inner pain of rejection inflicted on fighting men by their own people; it examines the conscience of those who inflicted the pain. It is an out-of-control roller coaster of classical farce, intrigue, double-cross, espionage, horror, and black, black humor strung together by the puppetry of Murphy’s Law. Of Catch 22. It’s the story of the Vietnam veteran – Australian and American - you’ve never read before. Prepare to laugh – and cry.

30 review for Best We Forget: A novel of chaos, conspiracy and black Aussie humor in the Vietnam War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘The events in this novel could have occurred at any time in the late 1960s or early 1970s.’ But, because this novel - unlike the Vietnam War which provides its setting - is a work of fiction, the events described did not take place. Or, if they did, not quite in the way they are described here. The novel follows Brian ‘Donkey’ Simpson and his mates during their one year tour of during the Vietnam War. Donkey and his mates were Saigon Warriors, working in offices on public relations, administrati ‘The events in this novel could have occurred at any time in the late 1960s or early 1970s.’ But, because this novel - unlike the Vietnam War which provides its setting - is a work of fiction, the events described did not take place. Or, if they did, not quite in the way they are described here. The novel follows Brian ‘Donkey’ Simpson and his mates during their one year tour of during the Vietnam War. Donkey and his mates were Saigon Warriors, working in offices on public relations, administration and intelligence. While frontline combat is some distance away, there’s plenty of intrigue (and mischief) to keep them occupied. ‘He was beginning to realise that thinking, in this man’s Army, in this country, was a brain numbing and totally pointless exercise…’ Donkey has a particularly entrepreneurial mate, Ned, who manages to sell kangaroo feathers to the American (the ‘Septics’) for $50 each as well as to acquire an American jeep for two cases of Australian beer and a pair of boots. The soldiers also know the best bars, and think they know the best girls. Hmm. ‘The caption read: “DANGER: Beware Aussies bearing kangaroo feathers. They are a wealth hazard.”’ Saigon is not entirely safe, and war provides a handy cover for various political ploys. Donkey is used as a pawn by the local command to try to locate and trap an informant who seems to know too much about Australian operations. It all becomes very complicated, at least for Donkey. Who can he trust? ‘There are some people you and I work with who may not be what they seem.’ Will Donkey’s relationship with his fiancée Allison survive his tour of duty? Will Donkey and his mates be killed by the antics of Jansen with his endless renditions of ‘Good Old Collingwood Forever’? While the novel is often light-hearted, it is also serious. The young men in this novel, full of bravado, opportunistic and reckless remind us that other young men did not survive. Bernard Clancy himself was a National Serviceman who served in South Vietnam in 1968-69. The novel is full of Australian vernacular, and while the meaning of most can be worked out from their context, others may pose more of a challenge. Fair dinkum. ‘‘It’s all over,” he murmured. “Best we forget.” Note: I was offered and accepted a copy of this novel for review purposes. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Dawson

    Great Page Turner! Shades of Catch 22—Australian style Seldom do I use the term, “page turner.” It’s an overused cliché and when potential readers see that in the headline, they roll their eyes and think, “Must be a friend of the author,” then move on. Well, I’m not a friend of the author and I’d never heard of Bernard Clancy until I received an email inviting me to review this book. I’m glad I accepted the mission. Most stories about Vietnam, whether they are fiction or non-fiction, center aroun Great Page Turner! Shades of Catch 22—Australian style Seldom do I use the term, “page turner.” It’s an overused cliché and when potential readers see that in the headline, they roll their eyes and think, “Must be a friend of the author,” then move on. Well, I’m not a friend of the author and I’d never heard of Bernard Clancy until I received an email inviting me to review this book. I’m glad I accepted the mission. Most stories about Vietnam, whether they are fiction or non-fiction, center around the country that lost the most during the conflict, the US. This one centers around an interesting group of Australians, who, like their US brothers-in-arms, have signed up or were drafted for a one year tour. They are drawn to the conflict to preserve national pride, travel to an exotic country and make some good money while serving. What they don’t realize is it’s not what they think it’s going to be. The main character is Brian James “Donkey: Simpson. When he lands at Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon, the first people he meets don’t welcome him to the conflict, the same words are spoken as a salutation, “You’ll be sorry.” A bit ominous isn’t it? Now, you might think he’s headed into the bush or “in country.” Not the case. When he’s conscripted, one of his mates helps him fill out the form stating, “he was prolific in typing and shorthand.” This small oversight puts him in a situation he could never imagine in his wildest dreams or darkest nightmares. He is assigned as the personal secretary to General, Big Al, the main stud at COMAF–Commander, Australian Force, Vietnam. From here he meets, Corporal Nickoli—antagonist, Major Swanker—antagonist, The Padre—roommate, Ned—his adventurous, horse trading mate and Jilly—double agent for the VC! There are a few more, such as the outlandish, General Cassidy of the CIA—does the name Colonel Flag ring a bell? Natasha–Cassidy’s assistant, twin sister to Jilly and VC double agent, General Dong of ARVN/VC and last but not least Jansen. Who he is, nobody knows; but his timing is impeccable when the heat is on. Quite a cast of characters, don’t you think? Let’s get the run-of-the-mill stuff out of the way. There is an excessive amount of drinking, dinking and cussing through the story. No big surprise there. We are constantly reminded of the oppressive heat and foul smells wafting through Saigon on a daily basis. There is some combat, but just enough to keep the story moving ahead and satisfying those who want to start their own body count and rice caches. The real plot is “Operation Santa Claus.” The scheme is hatched by Big Al and his second-in-command. They suspect there is a spy in their midst and the only way to flush he/she out is to be careless with “Top Secret” information. The ploy works. The unwitting part is Donkey. This poor bloke has no idea that all eyes are on him. All he wants to do is serve his time, go back to his gal, Allison and pursue his career in journalism. A lot can happen in twelve months and believe me, it does. There is also a sub-plot through the story. This is what I found the most fascinating. Like its predecessor, “Catch-22,” Mr. Clancy explores the madness of the War in Vietnam. Why are we fighting a war where the people we are fighting for, don’t care who wins or loses. Why are the folks back home condemning them for serving their country while they are supporting Ho Chi Minh? What is the point of Aussie mates dying for a cause they don’t understand and don’t want to? Why does anyone or any country care what happens to South Vietnam? Bottom line, they don’t. Therein lies the madness to the whole conflict. Add on top of that, “Winning hearts and minds,” while the allies and VC/NVA are destroying everything in sight, and the mind numbing bureaucratic army BS from both sides, you have entered either a very bad madhouse or worse, Rod Serling is going to read your invocation and eulogy. Yeah, a bloody mess we’re in! Donkey and his mates concern themselves with two primary thoughts: counting down the days to the “Freedom Bird,” and attempting to rejoin and be accepted by civilization. For many who did serve the second only happened after decades of being cajoled, shunned and humiliated for serving their country. Bottom line, this is one hell of a story. The first part drags a bit, but once I hit the 50% mark I couldn’t put it down. I was completely engrossed in the espionage plot and how it would affect each of the characters. Surprising is an understatement. Last thought. Even though the title is “Best We Forget” and the main character echoes those thoughts in the end, “Lest We Never Forget” is the compelling message. Four-and-a-half stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    John Podlaski

    "Best We Forget" tells the story about a group of Australian soldiers serving their one-year tour of duty during the Vietnam War. This book is not a book about battles or following soldiers through the jungles, instead, it follows Brian "Donkey" Simpson and his mates - Saigon Warriors - working in PR, journalism and Intelligence. Their antics take readers through the streets of Saigon, Cholon and Vung Tau - places where the war is distant and many people sneak through the streets after curfew. I "Best We Forget" tells the story about a group of Australian soldiers serving their one-year tour of duty during the Vietnam War. This book is not a book about battles or following soldiers through the jungles, instead, it follows Brian "Donkey" Simpson and his mates - Saigon Warriors - working in PR, journalism and Intelligence. Their antics take readers through the streets of Saigon, Cholon and Vung Tau - places where the war is distant and many people sneak through the streets after curfew. In places, the story is hilarious - kind of a mix between "Good Morning Vietnam" and "M.A.S.H." It is uncanny how easily these soldiers create mischief - selling parts of their Australian uniforms as souvenirs to the American soldiers, knowing many of the local bar whores by name, trading four cases of Aussie beer for an American Jeep and selling Kangaroo feathers for $50/ea. to the gullible Americans and tons of other cons. There are spies among them and Donkey is used as a pawn by the generals to locate and trap the informant. Most of the soldiers find themselves in "love" with the local girls - causing mental anguish because they all have girl friends at home waiting for them. Espionage and politics play a large part in the story, sometimes, pitting soldiers against one-another. An Australian author penned this story and many of the euphemisms and comments were foreign to me, but makes for some interesting reading and guessing as to what it means - I've discovered that "fair dinkum" can mean several different things, but I've attributed the phrase to "no s***" and "bloody" as bad as an American 4-letter word. The book was actually fun to read! There are some serious and tense moments throughout the tome and it was interesting to see how they were played out. I recommend "Best We Forget" to anyone interested in reading a "bloody good book" about the Australian's in the Vietnam War. Bernard Clancy - to a fine Bloke - Bravo! Thank you for your service and "Welcome Home my brother from down under"! John Podlaski, author Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Hall

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Riley

  7. 5 out of 5

    Geoffrey Wrght

  8. 5 out of 5

    bill hudson

  9. 4 out of 5

    Doug Saunders

  10. 5 out of 5

    G J Risk

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vicki and Chicka

  12. 4 out of 5

    Damian G Walter

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul Anforth

  14. 4 out of 5

    rob palmer

  15. 5 out of 5

    mike cummins

  16. 4 out of 5

    Richard Gayton

  17. 5 out of 5

    Les Pitt

  18. 4 out of 5

    peter william morgan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve Brady

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brian Philip O'Connell

  21. 5 out of 5

    j.v kelley

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Bush

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ward

  24. 4 out of 5

    Grahame Bourne

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diana Davidson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacquie Thomson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kane Maxwell

  28. 4 out of 5

    My Linh Tan

  29. 5 out of 5

    mmcnulty

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jim Revington

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.