“100 Monkeyz” is the semi-autobiographical memoir of a Viet Nam vet with PTSD, written from a jail cell where the author is currently serving consecutive life sentences. This memoir narrates the adventures and maturation of a troubled boy about to become a man on the battlefields of Viet Nam in the 1960’s. We are led through the towns and villages of Viet Nam where as a young soldier and combatant in that country’s war, the author takes part in gruesome battle scenes which are depicted in this collection of short stories with terrible poignancy. With all the sights and sounds of rural and urban Viet Nam, with the constant threat of violence simmering in this book, we are brought into the psyche of a man who would return to America but would not find a thankful homecoming from his fellow Americans but rather, he finds himself to be a Viet Nam vet with PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We are led into author Drescher’s past and his traumatic childhood as the foster son of an alcoholic father and mentally unstable mother who would end her days in a State Hospital for the Insane. Through a series of flashbacks, we are guided through Drescher’s childhood, peopled with unforgettable characters, all written with the hindsight of 20/20. The author discusses, with little or no self-pity, his crimes that put him in jail for life. Drescher addresses the circumstances and actors that brought about his crime of double murder while a devotee in the Hare Krishna movement. For it is crucial to the understanding of this book that the reader appreciate the rationale behind these devotee killings and the cast of characters who inhabit this book’s plot. We are taken on a walk through his life first as a boy on his family’s hapless farm and later with the Hare Krishnas in city temples and rural communities. We meet rogues and highwaymen who must be righted by the author in his quest for redemption and truth and his chivalric defense of helpless and innocent victims whom he encounters in his travels throughout Southeast Asia, the American Southwest and the Rust Belt. But it is the author’s confrontation with death on the battlefield that most concerns this book. All other action pivots around the author’s experiences in Viet Nam. The causes of his PTSD are clearly depicted here and we are introduced to the Army grunt who does the bidding of his country, only to return to official denials from the government of his PTSD condition. For “100 Monkeyz” must be understood within the context of its times, the 1960’s, when duty often conflicted with conscience and truth was found to be a refugee from reality. Drescher takes a no-holds-barred look at the causes of alienation of modern man, the social conditioning and the violence that pervades our contemporary culture. For it is by understanding the root causes of our action, karma, that we transcend the limitations of that action. The author of “100 Monkeyz” examines his own PTSD as it works itself out in the setting of a maximum security prison, where this book was written. “100 Monkeyz” is an internal gut check of a man doing a long stretch in prison for crimes he freely admits committing. In an unsentimental look at the causes and conditions that led to his imprisonment, Drescher shares his unique journey with the reader through powerful stories of tragic irony that we are all controlled by the unseen forces of time and death. Indeed, it is through a man’s confrontation with death that we see his strength and victory in the face of overwhelming odds. “100 Monkeyz” is a chronicle of our times, a book anyone desirous of understanding our contemporary mores would do well not to miss.
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Thomas Drescher is a 65 year old man serving 2 consecutive life terms in prison without parole. He served in the US Army from 1967-1969, which included a combat tour of Viet Nam. He received an Honorable Discharge and during his military service was awarded the National Defense Service Medal; Viet Nam Service Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars; Combat Infantryman’s Badge; Purple Heart; Air Medal; Bronze Star Medal; Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star; and Expert (rifle). Drescher grew up in the Rust Belt of the Buffalo, N.Y. area and attended public and Catholic parochial schools. After his tour in Viet Nam, he eventually gravitated to the association of the Hare Krishna devotees, where he served them and their spiritual master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, in various capacities in both city and farm community temples. He was duly initiated into the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in course of time. He served as constable of the New Vrindaban farm community. T.A. Drescher has always had an abiding interest in literature and though not academically trained, has written stories from an early age with an eye to the details of tragic irony, the themes of the irreversibility of time, death and violence. In “100 Monkeyz” the author discusses the causes and conditions behind his imprisonment and tells his side of the story. In an uncompromising look at the Hare Krishnas and the cast of characters he encountered, Drescher reveals the motivation behind his actions that would lead to a life in prison. The author does not look to financial reward for his story. He wished the proceeds from the sale of “100 Monkeyz” to establish a trust fund for Appalachian school children. T. A. Drescher is currently writing a sequel to “100 Monkeyz” written in the same vein. He is also working on a prison preaching book and a collection of tales from the ancient Vedas, set in verse form for the modern reader.
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Book Description Taos Press, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0988037602
Book Description Taos Press, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 420 pages. 8.00x0.95x5.00 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0988037602