Just, Ward. A Dangerous Friend. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
This is the companion read to The Quiet American by Graham Greene. I have to say it was interesting to read one man’s book in honor of someone else. But, back to Ward Just. Just was born in December, hence the addition of A Dangerous Friend. If it isn’t clear, I read The Quiet American because it was so similar to A Dangerous Friend. It just made sense to read them together.
A Dangerous Friend takes the reader to Vietnam, 1965. Sydney Parade is a man bored with his Connecticut life. In search of something bigger than himself he leaves his wife and daughter for the jungles of Saigon. While his intention is to be part of a foreign-aid operation building bridges, administering agriculture education, and facilitating supply delivery, Sydney soon discovers war is war no matter which side you are on. The depths of conflict strike his moral heart and leave him struggling to survive any way that he can.
A couple lines that I liked:
“…we were imprisoned in our own language, tone deaf to possibility” (p 4)
“The answer to chaos is repetition” (p 73).
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in two different chapters: “Companion Reads” (p 64), and “Ward Just: Too Good to Miss” (p 135). Also, mentioned in the introduction (p xi).