Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

This 1968 tale of a unicorn's quest to find out what happened to all the rest of her kind has become a classic of fantasy literature. It took me a few chapters to get into but I found that it gets better as it progresses and the end is decidedly clever. I have no idea whether the simple fable is supposed to have deeper meanings but I found it a short and enjoyable read regardless.

The 13th Valley by John M. Del Vecchio

Intriguing Vietnam War novel by an author who was actually there. This tells a tale of a battle hardened unit of American infantry who fought their way into the jungle to root out an entrenched NVA base.  While the book includes some of the usual Vietnam tropes of self obsessed first world soldiers struggling to come to grips with life and death in the jungles of the third world it also has a lot more than that. These "Boonie Rats" are a highly educated group of young men who ponder about big questions in life,  philosophy and politics. At times all the introspection makes the book heavy going but there is real combat action in there too. Overall a worthy read.