Molly's Reviews

Looking for the SummerLooking For The Summer
by Robert W Norris
Jacobyte

Highly Recommended 5 stars

David Thompson, son of a WWII vet, enlisted in the Air Force after he received a low draft lottery number that he supposed would lead to his being soon drafted during the Vietnam War. Because Thompson realized himself not willing to participate in combat he was soon court-martialed and given a year prison sentence to serve. The psychological damage he has given himself by the decision to take a conscientious objector stance is taking it's toll. While Thompson was able to evade either becoming wounded or damaging others from his determination for not going into combat, self blame is troubling him during the time the book is taking place. Thompson's experience has left him not knowing what he believe. He is questioning the dogma of his religious beliefs as well as that of the politics of the U S.

Troubling to Thompson is the fact that he is thought to be a coward by his dad, himself and others. He makes his way to Paris during the period of the Carter presidency, the late 1970s, in an earnest attempt to comprehend the world he finds himself no longer able to understand. He hopes to write a book chronicling his discoveries as he travels the road to grasping the changes he is facing. Thompson is of the opinion that destiny or perhaps divine guidance is at work when he decides to accept an offer tendered by an Afghan and an Iranian to visit their countries. The dangerous journey he undertakes is enlightening, and, he hopes will take him to the answers he is seeking. David not only encountered unrest in the areas he visited, but found himself soon taking part in a battle in the land dominated by the Shah.

Looking For The Summer is an adeptly wrought project presenting the tumult raging through the psyche of a guilt ridden conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. Personal growth to be experienced while on a soul-searching journey as a result of standing up for what is important to you is the catalyst for crafting this memorable book. Looking For The Summer is an important tool for helping provide some insight into the troublesome period of the late 60s and 70s.

Writer Norris draws the reader into the page with his intense descriptives of the sights and sounds inherent to nighttime Paris as David roams the streets. David and his Iranian friend's sense of eminent danger is palpable as they cross the Iron Curtain from the free world into the Middle East. Norris' picturesque descriptions of oil-rich opulence are offset with graphic recounting old-world indigence present in cities and villages throughout Iran and other countries of Asia. The contrast to living in a democratic society is made in startling in it's starkness.

David soon discovered on his journey that explosive political climates existed not only in the U S but were to be found across the planet. Insurrections in progress in Iran and Afghanistan against oppressive governments coincided with protests and political unrest occurring in the United States by African Americans and by those against the Vietnam War.

Writer Norris says, 'Looking for the Summer is about a Vietnam conscientious objector's adventures and search for identity on the road from Paris to Calcutta in 1977.' I found Norris has met his objective.

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2005 by Molly Martin