Vietnam's heady tropical landscape captivates fifteen-year-old Joseph Sherman on a hunting expedition to French colonial Saigon with his family in 1925. He is lured back again and again by his enduring fascination for the country and for Lan, a beautiful Vietnamese mandarin's daughter he could never forget. Over five haunting decades Joseph's life becomes deeply enmeshed with Vietnam's turbulent, war-torn fate - until he attempts to salvage something of lasting value during the final desperate helicopter scramble to flee defeated Saigon.
First published in 1982, it has stood the test of time as critics predicted, and is now providing a new generation of readers with insights into that historic conflict - and its tragic echoes in Iraq. It has since become a bestseller in 15 countries and in eight other languages.