reviews

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen • fiction novel • communist regime

book cover of The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

It took me a while to finish this fiction novel, mostly because of its advanced idiomatic language. In addition, The Sympathizer is novels that cover ideological conflict require super-patience. 

Nguyen succeeds in describing Oriental and Occidental stereotypes, the false promises and hypocrisy of both communist and democratic regimes. He also succeeds in capturing the angst and disappointment of refugees and their indomitable will to survive. The sell-out of ideology and corruption in countries like Vietnam has happened over and over again throughout history. Those who fight for freedom and independence (the US, France, Vietnam etc.) and seize power often deny these same rights to others. Characteristically, those who don’t heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Final rating:

Interesting story
4/5
Complexity of ideas
3/5
Repetitiveness
1/5
Repetitiveness
5/5
Recommendation
4/5

Book details:

Size: 371 pages
Published: 2015

Links:

Additional information and reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23168277-the-sympathizer

Other useful links:
Viet Thanh Nguyen’s website: https://vietnguyen.info/
Viet Thanh Nguyen on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Thanh_Nguyen
The 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Fiction: https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/viet-thanh-nguyen
Other  great books (not novels) about geopolitics an regimes: Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *