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Download Saigon Kids: An American Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960s Vietnam Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Saigon Kids: An American Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960s Vietnam Audiobook, by Les Arbuckle
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Les Arbuckle Narrator: to be announced Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2018 ISBN: 9781538535332
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Looking for unusual coming-of-age books? The events leading up to the Vietnam War provide a fascinating backdrop for this coming-of-age tale with a twist.

In May 1962, Naval Chief Petty Officer Bryant Arbuckle flew to Saigon to establish a new Armed Forces Radio Station. Next to follow were his wife and three boys, Leslie among them. Saigon Kids is the candid, recondite slice of fourteen-year-old military brat Les Arbuckle’s experience at the American Community School during the critical months of the Vietnam War when events would, quite literally, ignite in downtown Saigon. In 1963 Saigon was beautiful, violent, and dirty—and the most exciting place a fourteen-year-old American boy could live. Saigon offered a rich array of activities, and much to the consternation of their parents and teachers, Les and his fellow military brats explored the dangers with reckless abandon—running from machine gun fire, watching a Buddhist monk burn to death, visiting brothels late at night, trading currency on the black market.

When Les first arrives in Vietnam, he is a stranger in a strange land, expecting boredom in a country he doesn’t know. But the American social scene is more vibrant than he expected. The American Community School is a mix of kids from all over the globe who arrived just as the fuse on Saigon was about to ignite. As the students continue their American lifestyle behind barbed wire, Saigon unravels in chaos and destruction. Despite this ugliness—an ever-present feature of everyday life—Les tells his story of teenage angst with humor and precocity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I was totally enthralled with Saigon Kids and found it to be a wonderful account of Southeast Asia. It is a timely, warm, and at times, humorous account of two completely at-odds cultures. You won’t be disappointed. Les cleverly captures the sights, sounds, language and smells of Saigon during a unique period of turmoil for both the South Vietnamese and in-country Americans. I highly recommend this read for an enjoyable and fascinating journey. Saigon Kids is an accurate overview on what it was like to live in this Vietnamese City. I know because I was there.”

    Lee Hansen, AFRS Saigon Radio disc jockey, 1963–1965

  • “This is a vivid, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir set in Saigon during the tumultuous year that led to full-scale fighting by US troops. It’s also a hilarious white-knuckle tour of misadventures that, had they any idea, would have done in Les Arbuckle’s parents.”

    Laurel Delp, writer and editor

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About the Author

Les Arbuckle spent his youth as a dependent of the US Navy, living in Texas, North Carolina, Florida, New Mexico, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Hawaii, and Vietnam until his nineteenth birthday. After a stint with the Fiftieth Army Band at Fort Monroe, Virginia, Arbuckle attended the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. He is a professional saxophonist and has performed with a variety of musical acts, including Lou Rawls, Bernadette Peters, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Orchestra. He has featured on the recordings of well-known jazz musicians Kenny Barron, Mike Stern, Cecil McBee, John Abercrombie, and Victor Lewis.

About the Narrator

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at the Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In January of 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an internet troll who impersonated her dead father.