In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War
In Pharaoh’s Army is Tobias Wolff’s unflinching account of his tour in Vietnam, his tangled journey there and back. Using his old wiles and talents, he passes through boot camp, trains as a paratrooper, volunteers for the Special Forces, studies Vietnamese, and—without really believing it himself—becomes an officer in the U.S. Army. Then, inexorably, he finds himself drawn into the war, sent to the Mekong Delta as adviser to a Vietnamese battalion. More or less innocent, self-deluded but rapidly growing less so, he dedicates himself not to victory but to survival. For despite his impressive credentials, he recognizes in himself laughably little aptitude for the military life and no taste at all for the war. He ricochets between boredom and terror and grief for lost friends; then and in the years to come, he reckons the cost of staying alive. A superb memoir of war, In Pharaoh’s Army is an intimate recounting of the central event of our recent past. Once again Tobias Wolff has combined the art of the best fiction and the immediacy of personal history - with authority, humanity, and sure conviction.
In This Boy’s Life Tobias Wolf created an unforgettable memoir of an American childhood. Now he gives us a precisely and sometimes pitilessly remembered account of his young manhood - a young manhood that become entangled in the tragic adventure that was Vietnam. Mordantly funny, searingly honest, In Pharoah’s Army is a war memoir in the tradition of George Orwell and Michael Herr.