Saigon Kids: An American Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960s Vietnam Audiobook, by Les Arbuckle Play Audiobook Sample

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

Saigon Kids: An American Military Brat Comes of Age in 1960s Vietnam Audiobook, by Les Arbuckle Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.17 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: July 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781538535363

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

44:13 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

03:04 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

20:04 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

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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“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 Les Arbuckle

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 Patrick Lawlor

Patrick Lawlor, an award-winning narrator, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many starred audio reviews from Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.