Deployed to Vietnam with the U.S. Army's 1069 Intelligence Group, James Griffin starts out clear-eyed and hardworking, believing he can glide through the war unharmed. But in this 1983 novel by the author of Going Native and The Amalgamation Polka, the horrors he experiences get inside him relentlessly and he comes unglued. Griffin survives, but after returning home, his battles intensify. Beset by addiction, he takes up meditating on household plants and attempts to adjust to civilian life, and in this darkly funny novel, he will need all the strength he has to beat back the insanity that threatens to overwhelm him.
"Stephen Wright's soldiers are funny, sardonic, and demented, and his Vietnam War is precisely that brutal hallucination we desperately wanted to end. This is a writer of wonderfully strong and deep-reaching talents."—Don DeLillo