‘Into a Black Sun: Vietnam 1964-65’: Takeshi Kaiko turns his reporting experience into fiction

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By Iain Maloney

Journalist Takeshi Kaiko covered the Vietnam War for the Asahi Shimbun, later fictionalizing his experiences in this novel about a Japanese journalist in Saigon and the Vietnamese jungle.

Embedded with a U.S. Army company, the unnamed narrator leads the reader through the boredom and high drama of a war zone with philosophical objectivity and a wry sense of humor. After surviving a stint at the front he returns to Saigon, where he chases rumors between drinking sessions, attends writing groups, and enthusiastically explores the seedy underbelly of Saigon life. Tiring of this dissolute existence, he decides to rejoin the troops and follows them on a mission deep into enemy territory, where the novel reaches its climax.

“Into a Black Sun” is an irresistible blend of narrative and inquiry, a moving exploration of how war desiccates humanity. Read more

Source: The Japan Times

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