The Chieu Hoi Saloon (Switchblade)

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9781604861129: The Chieu Hoi Saloon (Switchblade)

Set against the backdrop of the riots sparked by the beating of African American motorist Rodney King, Vietnam vet and reporter Harry Hudson wanders the city to forget his troubled past. Trying to cope with the posttraumatic stress disorder that has plagued him since his military tour, the overweight, depressed, and sex-obsessed Hudson stumbles through the underbelly of South Central LA, where he meets Mama Thuy, a Vietnamese woman struggling to run a Navy bar in a tough Long Beach neighborhood, and Kelly Crenshaw, an African American prostitute whose husband is in prison. As both women give Hudson a new outlook on life and faith, he discovers the shared humanity of all members of society. Suspenseful and thrilling, this noir-style novel is also a detailed character study of victims of racial, social, and economical tensions.

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About the Author:

Michael Harris is a Vietnam veteran and a former reporter, editor, and book reviewer for West Coast newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Long Beach, California.

Review:

Harris manages an amazing and transforming affirmation the novel floats above all its pain on pure delight in the variety of the human condition. . . . In an age less obsessed by sentimentality and mawkish 'uplift,' this book would be studied and celebrated and emulated.”  John Shannon, author, The Taking of the Waters

In this powerful and compelling first novel, Harris makes roses bloom in the gray underworld of porno shops, bars, and brothels by compassionately revealing the yearning loneliness beneath the grime our universal human loneliness that seeks transcendence through love.”  Paula Huston, author, Daughters of Song and The Holy Way

Hardcore and unsparing, the story takes you on a ride. . . . One sweet read.    Gary Phillips, author, The Jook

Michael Harris is one of those rare beings: a natural writer, with insight, sensitivity and enviable talent.”  Charlotte Vale Allen, author, Daddy's Girl and Mood Indigo

"It has been a very long time since a novel kept me up all night. This one did."  San Bernardino Sun

"The novel’s fractured, incremental, stuttering form creates an organic momentum as eloquent as it is uncertain, like a peasant's bicycle built from spare parts gliding into gunfire."  Seattle Examiner

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Book Description PM Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 1604861126 It?s 1992 and three people?s lives are about to collide against the flaming backdrop of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Vietnam vet Harry Hudson is a journalist fleeing his past: the war, a failed marriage, and a fear-ridden childhood. Rootless, he stutters, wrestles with depression, and is aware he's passed the point at which victim becomes victimizer. He explores the city's lowest dives, the only places where he feels at home. He meets Mama Thuy, a Vietnamese woman struggling to run a Navy bar in a tough Long Beach neighborhood, and Kelly Crenshaw, an African-American prostitute whose husband is in prison. They give Harry insight that maybe he can do something to change his fate in a gripping story that is both a character study and thriller. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1001002

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