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On line Book ClubReview

Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Lions and Tigers and Cong" by Theodore Wild
Lions and Tigers and Cong is a memoir written by Theodore Wild. Wild writes about his experience as a soldier fighting in the Vietnam War. His story is told through the main character, Jim Reynolds, and takes you through the nightmare that he and the soldiers in his unit endured. These young men, from all over the country, had one thing in common: They were fighting a war that will always haunt them. These strangers bonded with each other, with dark humor, during the many long nights that they spent together in a war zone. This story is filled with the gruesome details of human carnage, poverty, starvation, disease, and fear that these men experienced every single day of their one-year tour in Vietnam.

Wild is very descriptive about the harsh conditions that the men faced as they walked through the jungles, slept in dirt holes, and walked through many foreign villages. This book is written as a timeline of events that Reynolds went through before, during, and after his time in Vietnam. He encounters different personalities, in his unit, who bring humor and sarcasm to his terrifying experiences. Every chapter takes you through the daily interactions between the group of soldiers who were on the ground with Reynolds. You learn about the Vietnam War, different cultures, and the psychological turmoil that these men endured.

This memoir about war stands out from others because Wild creatively includes poetry to expose Reynold’s deep thoughts. This adds raw emotional insight to what he truly felt in addition to what he would let his comrades see. I thought this made the book very enjoyable to read because it added more depth to his character and brought to light the emotional and psychological struggles of war: “Get dirty and bearded; tear clothing; cry in silent rage, frustration, fear, and sadness.” He also includes letters that the men received from family and friends back home, showing the challenges that war brings upon personal relationships.

I give this book a 3 out of 4 stars because there were many sentences that did not have a space in-between words. There were also spaces left out in-between sentences. This did not interfere with the flow of the book. It was easy to figure out where the spaces should have been. I would have given this book a higher rating if there were no editing errors.

The book is very long and I felt that it could be more enjoyable to read if the book focused on pivotal moments. The story would be just as impactful if some of Reynold's thoughts were edited out. The pace quickly picks up after the first near death incident that transformed the young soldiers into old men, when they quickly learned how to rely on each other and adapt to the conditions of war. The chapters are filled with events that engage you to find out who would survive.

I recommend this book to those who are interested in reading memoirs about war, especially those who want to learn about the Vietnam War. I would not recommend this book to those who are uncomfortable with profanity, racial slurs and are sensitive to very graphic details about death in a war zone.

Lions and Tigers and Cong
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bruin's Latest Review: "Lions and Tigers and Cong" by Theodore Wild

Critics Reviews
Theodore Wild’s Lions and Tigers and Cong
describes a variety of places, people, and events in the life of a 19 year old in the Vietnam War as he grew from boy to man. Ted Wild served with Charlie Company in the 5th of the 46th infantry Battalion and later with Bravo Company of the 4th of the 21st Infantry, aka Big Bad Bravo. Wild’s title comes from his newbie’s briefing on what he would find in the jungles of Vietnam.
The author draws on personal experiences as well as on stories, tales, legends, and remembrances of those who fought in the Vietnam War. Although Wild calls his book a memoir he changes all the names, so it is difficult to tell what is real and what is not. Many of the stories are raw and disturbing, but the book gives an excellent look at what life was like for a Vietnam War infantryman.
What struck me most was the quality of the writing. Here are a few passages that demonstrate Ted Wild’s literary talent:
“The heavens hid what we had done to the land. The craters and denuded fields marked our progress, and the land could not be re-farmed, rebuilt, re-tilled nor carted away to be buried.”
“He was a dilapidated alky blues singer, shuffling, carrying a weapon, heading to his janitor job at some midnight bus station to clean toilets used by homeless winos.”
“This acre of sand, this scant fathom of water, was ours, and we played and swam and splashed in it, children forever for a fleeting moment.”
“You have the drive, the passion, the love for a hundred people, and it is distilled by this sour, vile nightmare of war.”
This book is the story of a group of men whose love for one another and need for one another were eclipsed only by the danger that shaped their lives.
The author’s website is tedwild.com/the-author
—Mark S. Miller
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Readers Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
Only a grunt can appreciate
ByGary Dolenon November 10, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, I was in the same unit as Theodore but two years later. Most of the places he visited.....I too was there but with much less action then he experienced but non the less the same experience. The heat, rain, digging your own grave every night almost everything was right on. The way he penned his thoughts were funny in only a way a grunt can explain. The games we played with each other truly explained well. Anyway, good book which I have already recommended to my other Vet friends. Thanks for the memories.
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ByKelcanon July 2, 2017
enlightening and bitter sweet. This was not a subject I normally would not read.
Suggested to me by a friend of a friend as a fascinating and thoughtful book - It Is! I learned more and more and felt so much every time I picked this book up... enlightening and bitter sweet. This was not a subject I normally would have chosen to read about yet I'm so thankful for the insistence and have already passed it on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars
Bydragon manon December 18, 2016
This is an outstanding book. Every kid or person who thinks Rambo movies were Vietnam and that war is romantic (thanks to you also John Wayne) should be made to read this book to understand what war is really like and the true aftermath of it. I was fortunate to be just a few years to young for the draft. Ted has a very eloquent use of language and descriptive phrasing to make this book stand out. Thanks for writing it.