July's book discussion: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Sympathizer is the Protected content novel by Vietnamese American professor Viet Thanh Nguyen, a best-selling novel and recipient of the Protected content Prize for Fiction. Its reviews have generally recognized its excellence and it was named a New York Times Editor's Choice.
The novel fits the expectations of a number of different novel genres: immigrant, mystery, political, metafiction, dark comedic, historical, spy, and war.
The story depicts the anonymous narrator, a North Vietnamese mole in the South Vietnamese army, who stays embedded in a South Vietnamese community in exile in the United States. While in the United States, the narrator describes being an expat and a cultural advisor on the filming of an American film, closely resembling Platoon and Apocalypse Now, before returning to Vietnam as part of a guerrilla raid against the communists.
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