Tag Archive > Vietnam

Love and War in Vietnam

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The Lotus Eaters By Tatjana Soli, book reviewHelen Adams is a photographic journalist living and working in Vietnam during the War. We join her towards the end of her stay there and find out that she was in a relationship with a well-known photographer called Sam Darrow, whom she accompanied to war zones with the aim of photographing the horrors of the war. However, Sam died and Helen became involved with his assistant, a Vietnamese man called Linh. The story of how Helen came to be in Vietnam and met Sam and then Linh is slowly revealed. By the time of her meeting with Linh, it becomes clear that her time in Vietnam is nearly up. But having been in the country for ten years, will she even be able to leave? If she does, will Linh go with her? If she doesn’t leave, will the increasingly dangerous situations in which she finds herself be the end of her?

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Bad Karma – Bad Travel Writing

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Bad Karma: Confessions of a Reckless Traveller in Southeast Asia by Tamara ShewardLife’s full of mysteries; like why anyone was surprised that politicians fiddled their expenses or how Michael Winner has had so many glamorous girlfriends. But my big mystery today is how did Tamara Sheward ever con a publisher into accepting her manuscript?

I love travel but I have mixed feelings about travel writing. It’s a bit like football – you can love watching it but you wouldn’t want to read about it. Travel writing ranges from the intellectual and sanctimonious to the trite and plain silly; Bad Karma is firmly in the latter camp.
The premise of the book is simple. Australians Tamara and Elissa attempt to get off the backpacker trail and ‘do’ Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. All in three weeks! So you won’t need me to tell you that they didn’t exactly go for total cultural immersion – it’s more a case of collecting stamps and visas in their passports.

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