The Goat Hunter
The back cover blurb suggests: “This is not just another bloody book about the Vietnam War.” And I agree. Barnz paints a picture of the lighter side of a Kiwi Gun Position Officer’s experiences in Nui Dat and other Southern Vietnamese districts. The title refers to Ho Chi Minh, the Northern revolutionary and statesman. His good looks means he’s known as the Old Goat in this tale!
Barnz describes his pre-war army education in Duntroon, Australia, and follows with detailed depictions of the shenanigans that went on behind the scenes in Vietnam – many of which were alcohol-fuelled! Combat and the blood and guts that accompany it aren’t covered, and that’s what makes this book unique. The final chapters cover his return home and the difficulties he faced in resuming a civilian life.
There’s even time for criticism of government reports into Agent Orange. Barnz writes well and possesses a good sense of humour. I enjoyed the introductory chapters and latter parts, but ennui set in when I became bogged down in the middle stages.
If you’re into Vietnamese affairs and enjoy reading about the lives and times of the soldiers that served there, then be my guest and purchase The Goat Hunter.