Involuntary Tour is the author’s first novel in print, but it is not a new novel, having sustained a 45-year gestation. “The End” was written to the story in autumn, 2007, in Salzburg, Austria, while the author and his wife were traveling in Europe. Because of the extensive manuscript, another two years was spent in restructuring the story into three books rather than one, and the necessary changes and additions to smooth the transition. The book began with the author keeping a journal, notes, photos, and memorabilia in 1964 during his first Viet Nam “tour.” That memorialization continued through a year in Russian language school in California, three years’ duty in several locations in Germany, followed by his second tour in Viet Nam. This novel, Book I of The ASA Trilogy–three linked, contiguous novels–is set in the times/places of the author’s first Viet Nam assignment, and forward through mid-1968. The full trilogy, however, with the addition of back story and inserted vignettes, covers a period from the late 1940s through the autumn of 1969. The full story (the trilogy) employs two protagonists in the guises of a career Army warrant officer and a career Army sergeant, long-time friends and co-serving soldiers in a number of venues. More than a “war” story, though that also. Told basically in third person, with significant first person voice utilized by the sergeant, a disaffected academic with an ironic bent. The book captures the work, the play, the difficulties and the zany, improbable behavior–on and off duty–of Army Security Agency intelligence soldiers. Settings are: US locations, Germany, Italy, Eritrea (Ethiopia), Thailand, Hong Kong, and most significantly, Vietnam. The size of the cast of characters puts War and Peace to shame (an expected fact of life for career military who experience many transfers).
Involuntary Tour by Robert Flanagan
Black decorated paperback covers with like spine. Edge wear and corner bumps. Clean, tight pages and binding. Published by AuthorHouse Publications in 2009. Measures 9 x 6 inches with 312 pages. Fiction. VG