Monday, July 30, 2018

Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson

Don't be deceived by the cover of David Myles Robinson's novel, Son of Saigon. It does have its dark moments, but the humor more than makes up for it. It's a witty, delightful story, and I was happy to hand it off to a friend. I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did.

Hank Reagan is a seventy-year-old, a wealthy man who spends his days playing golf or gin with another retiree, Norm Rothstein. Since Hank's wife died, he's just waiting at the retirement community he calls "the death farm" for his own death. Norm doesn't mind looking for his sixth wife, but Hank isn't interested in all the women who are circling. Then, Tran Xuan Mai showed up to see Hank.

Hank, a CIA operative was in Vietnam forty years earlier, and he and Mai were in love. When the Americans evacuated Saigon, he was forced to leave her behind, not knowing she was pregnant. Now, Mai wants Hank to find their son, a man who disappeared after his high school graduation. He'd be in his forties, but Mai knows Hank will be able to track him down.

This delightful, darkly humorous story is divided into two parts. Hank and Norm take to the road, picking up a dog, in Travels with Charley style. Their adventures and encounters along the way are unusual, to say the least. The second part focuses on Hank and Mai's son, a man who draws all of them into danger.

That's all I can reveal without spoiling an interesting story. Remember, this is a story whose core is in the mid-seventies. The seniors smoke weed. There is a lesbian relationship. There's violence. Don't think of this as just a pleasant road trip novel. If you're interested, though, in a dry, witty story of seniors taking on the world, think of movies - RED or The Bucket List. Son of Saigon features those kind of seniors on the loose. I loved it.

David Myles Robinson's website is

Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Terra Nova Books, 2018. ISBN 9781948749008 (paperback), 240p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received this to review for a journal.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

OK. Will check it out. It definitely sounds like a possible. I like humor in these stories. Also, I want to know why she waited so long if he disappeared after high school.

Kay said...

I think this one sounds good and I loved the movie Reds. Though I will say that the cover doesn't scream 'humor' at all. LOL

Lil said...

This sounds like such a fun diverting read. Will definitely give it a try.

Lesa said...

I'll admit the cover doesn't do anything. And, there is a reason she waited all those years. But, it's part of the story and I'm not telling.

Emma said...

When a reviewer requests your book, decides whether or not to give it to them based on a lot of factors I can't recall. Things like, history of reviewer, does the reviewer follow through with reviews, etc. I think they check new reviewer's blogs and things like that as well.