A Dangerous Friend (Paperback)
Only a master stylist of Just's abilities could create a contemporary political novel rivalling Graham Greene. Set in Vietnam in the early 60's, this is a gripping, elegant, insightful book of human character, politics, and history. He has all the subtlety and deceptive ease of the finest craftsman, generous and delightful.— From John
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND THE LOS ANGELES TIMES • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
“A literary triumph that transcends its war story. . . its greatness will stand the test of time.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A master American novelist.” —Vanity Fair
A Dangerous Friend is a thrilling narrative roiling with intrigue, mayhem, and betrayal. Here is the story of conscience and its consequences among those for whom Vietnam was neither the right fight nor the wrong fight but the only fight. The exotic tropical surroundings, the coarsening and corrupting effects of a colonial regime, the visionary delusions of the American democratizers, all play their part.
A few civilians with bright minds and sunny intentions want to reform Vietnam—but the Vietnam they see isn't the Vietnam that is. Sydney Parade, a political scientist, has left home and family in an effort to become part of something larger than himself, a foreign-aid operation in Saigon. Even before he arrives, he encounters French and Americans who reveal to him the unsettling depths of a conflict he thought he understood—and in Saigon, the Vietnamese add yet another dimension. Before long, the rampant missteps and misplaced ideals trap Parade and others in a moral crossfire.
About the Author
WARD JUST (1935-2019) was the author of nineteen novels, including Exiles in the Garden, Forgetfulness, the National Book Award finalist Echo House, A Dangerous Friend, winner of the Cooper Prize for fiction from the Society of American Historians, and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award and a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.
"Emotionally wrenching and always beautifully observant, this is a work in the Graham Greene tradition." —Entertainment Weekly "Extraordinary...Mr. Just's novel makes you want to run screaming into the street to protest retrospectively the war he has so movingly recreated."—The New York Times "Spectacular . . . Truly visionary." —Boston Globe "A powerful story beautifully told."—Newsweek "Its greatness will stand the test of time . . . One hundred years hence, A Dangerous Friend will remain a beautiful, beautiful book."—The San Francisco Chronicle —