The Lotus Eaters

The Lotus Eaters Tatjana Soli Kirsten Potter
  • Title: The Lotus Eaters
  • Author: Tatjana Soli Kirsten Potter
  • ISBN: 9781441737137
  • Page: 479
  • Format: Audio CD
  • The Lotus Eaters Tatjana Soli Kirsten Potter The Lotus Eaters It s and the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon As the city falls into chaos two lovers make their way across the city to escape to a new life Helen Adams an American photojou
    It s 1975, and the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon As the city falls into chaos, two lovers make their way across the city to escape to a new life Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a devastated country she has come to love Nguyen Pran Linh, the man who loves her, must deal with his own conflicted loyalties As they race thrIt s 1975, and the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon As the city falls into chaos, two lovers make their way across the city to escape to a new life Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a devastated country she has come to love Nguyen Pran Linh, the man who loves her, must deal with his own conflicted loyalties As they race through the streets, they play out a drama of love and betrayal that began twelve years before Their mentor, the larger than life war correspondent Sam Darrow, was once Helen s infuriating lover and fiercest competitor, as well as Linh s secret keeper, protector, and truest friend As the sun sets on their life in Saigon, Helen and Linh struggle against both their inner demons and the ghosts of the past, illuminating the horrors of war, the dangers of obsession, and the redemptive power of love.
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      Tatjana Soli Kirsten Potter

    About Tatjana Soli Kirsten Potter


    1. Tatjana Soli is an American novelist and short story writer Her first novel, The Lotus Eaters 2010 , won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize, was a New York Times Bestseller, and a New York Times 2010 Notable Book Her second novel, The Forgetting Tree 2012 was a New York Times Notable Book Soli s third novel, The Last Good Paradise, was among The Millions Most Anticipated Books of 2015 Her fourth novel will be published by Sarah Crichton Books in 2017 Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times Book Review.


    760 Comments


    1. In the final days of a falling Saigon, this story is told of photographers covering the war But importantly, it s told from the point of view of a woman photographer Helen Adams is young, she drops out of college and goes to Vietnam as she wants to go before the war is over Also, her brother was killed there and she wants to find out about it Her story is told of her two lovers and fellow photographers Linh, a local Vietnamese man who is haunted by his past and Darrow, an American who thrives [...]

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    2. Initially set against the fall of Saigon and then flashing back to the early 1960 s, Tatjana Soli s The Lotus Eaters evokes the hypnotic horrors of war set against a lush, culturally rich landscape that lured many photojournalists during the Vietnam War Falling victim to the intoxicating mix of adrenaline, fear, curiosity, and self righteousness, they just as the lotus eaters of Homer s The Odyssey forsake their homelands as war becomes their passion and their comfort.The novel focuses on Helen [...]

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    3. My thoughts This one punched me deep in my gut.I literally sobbed for 15 minutes after I finished the last page All of these emotions were swirling within my chest and brain and I needed to release them with a good cry I am just beginning to understand why my two uncles that served in Vietnam never spoke of their experience Who would want to revisit those horrors, to have those images dredged up again, to make them real once I felt shell shocked and wounded deep in my soul by the evil of war an [...]

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    4. I had such high hopes for this book Basically it s the story of a young woman combat photographer in Vietnam towards the end of the war, Helen Adams, and the two men she loves Sam Darrow a seasoned photographer who has a reputation , and Linh the Vietnamese man who is Darrow s and then Helen s assistant.I didn t find anything about the relationships believable I didn t feel the passion or tenderness or compassion or love between any of them The mark of good writing is that the author will show, [...]

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    5. Wow Can this really be Tatjana Soli s first novel She pierces right through all the bullshit about war in general and the Vietnam debacle in particular I ve learned to steer clear of most novels about Vietnam because there s usually too much of the macho jungle combat detail I m glad I made an exception for The Lotus Eaters Written by a woman about a woman a photographer who shows up in Vietnam in 1965 with no idea what she s doing or how it will change her life I m glad I stayed with this one T [...]

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    6. I watched the film The Hurt Locker recently I have had difficulty putting my thoughts onto paper about it and so you haven t seen a review One thing in particular that stood out for me, however, was the scene where Staff Sergeant James is grocery shopping, followed by a scene of him trying to talk to his wife about his experiences in the Iraq War as she prepares a meal These are very revealing scenes The soldier goes from intense and life threatening situations in Iraq to the every day monotony [...]

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    7. Typically, I avoid war books like the plague with a few notable exceptions Tim O Brien, Kevin Power So The Lotus Eaters sat on my To Be Read shelf for nearly three years before I picked it up And once I started reading, the house could have burned down around me THAT S how compelling it is.Tatjana Soli s main character, gutsy Helen Adams, is a photographer who feeds on the adrenalin rush of covering the war in Vietnam an unwinnable war in which it is not unusual for a native Vietnamese to fight [...]

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    8. The perfect title As readers, we give it little thought By the time we see a book in its finished state, it s a done deal We consider its cover, the heft in our hands as we ponder the accolades on the back jacket or peruse the synopsis on the inside flap I don t know what e reading sorts do don t you miss the feel of a book, the whisper and scent of paper and ink Sigh At any rate, the right title is perhaps the most critical and taken for granted aspect of a book But the perfect title will be t [...]

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    9. Very atmospheric and at times brutal novel about the Vietnam War Three intriguing main characters, Helen Adams a photo journalist, her colleague, reporter Sam Darrow, and a Vietnamese former soldier, Linh, who becomes a photojournalist in his own right The inevitable love affairs sequential, not simultaneous never quite rang true for me and there was something flat about the characters that I could not pin down, but I appreciated it for the extraordinary descriptions of battles and of a beautifu [...]

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    10. The Lotus Eaters, Tatjana Soli s debut novel, is quite impressive, but not without its faults It revolves around neophyte photojournalist, Helen Adams, who we first meet in 1975 in Saigon as the North Vietnamese begin to roll through the city, and the city falls I guess I shouldn t call Adams a neophyte photojournalist because she arrived in Vietnam in 1965, an idealistic California girl, fresh out of college, her only previous encounter with war being her father s tales of fighting in the Korea [...]

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    11. Every good war picture is an antiwar picture Why am I here otherwise This was a wonderful book to read, one of the best of the many books I have read about Vietnam It combines the horror of war with the beauty of the Vietnamese countryside you experience the city, the jungle, the village There is the strange confluence of periods of love and tenderness and peace with the overarching unpredictability of a war zone It is a story about love, love of place, love of self, love of danger And, of cours [...]

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    12. On the positive side, it was a gripping story and was well written However, for me, the negatives outweigh the positives First, the perspective shifted from character to character in a dizzying manner that often left me wondering whose thoughts and feelings we were following Second, it was full of cliches At least three characters who said something like I m a good luck charm or all we have is time were dead within 5 pages There was the tough as nails special ops soldier with a heart of gold, th [...]

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    13. Finished the Lotus Eaters on May 1 This is a great account of that war that made headlines and dominated the lives of my generation from the late 60s to the late 70s While I was traveling around the world and living the story of my book, Living Beneath the Radar, I arrived in Bangkok the day the last helicopters pulled out of Saigon, in Vietnam The author takes the present day reader back to that country leading up to the dramatic end and the chaos that existed in the neighboring countries of So [...]

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    14. 3 1 2 stars All they now wanted was to stay where they were with the Lotus eaters, to browse on the lotus, and to forget all thoughts of return.Homer, The Odyssey as quoted in The Lotus Eaters.In chapter one, photojournalist Helen Adams is preparing to leave Vietnam during the 1975 evacuation Chapter two starts in 1963 with Linh, a former Vietnamese soldier, now an assistant to photojournalist Darrow Both eventually meet Helen and become her friends, her life, and Vietnam becomes her home in way [...]

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    15. Wow, what a captivating read Generally I m not inclined to read wartime novels, however I was visually drawn to the book by the cover and the interesting title was the final temptation, enticing me to crack open the pages After the first couple of chapters I was hooked.Helen Adams is an American photojournalist in war torn Vietnam and through the lens of a camera she captures the violence and horrors of war, burned villages and mangled and charred bodies However, amidst the tragedy Helen finds h [...]

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    16. I d heard some good things about this book, and it had some good reviews, so I picked it up I m always willing to read something a little different.This was a historical fiction work about the Vietnam War The main character is a female photographer who kinda stumbles into becoming a star photographer of the war, and how living amid the war, and in Vietnam shaped and changed her life.The book was okay, as it took me awhile to sort of get into it I kept hoping for The writing was fine, as was the [...]

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    17. eyeroll What a book Here s this narrator who is in Vietnam to photograph the war and doesn t know how to load film in her camera, but somehow she s gifted as all heck because a couple pages later she s scored the cover of LIFE magazine Wheeee That s one of hundreds of flaws in this character and the storyline The writing around the relationships in the book was weak, while text describing the war were much stronger Ultimately I groaned throughout the book, trudged through 2 3rds, and then surren [...]

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    18. He was like one of Homer s lotus eaters He simply forgot all thoughts of return The novel opens as the US troops are pulling out of Vietnam in 1975, and photojournalist Helen Adams is walking the streets of Saigon, feeling familiar and close to the city She s been here over a decade, and is conflicted about leaving this now refugee town to go back to the states.She walks to the apartment she shares with her lover and also photographer, Linh, a Vietnamese who has been injured She is anxious to ge [...]

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    19. Tatjani Soli s The Lotus Eaters is a stunning debut novel set in the Vietnam War Helen Adams drops out of college and makes her way to Saigon, hoping to witness history in the making She learns the trade of combat photographer from Sam Darrow, a veteran journalist who becomes her lover Helen conquers her fears, survives combat, and masters the art of distilling a relentless human tragedy down into single images Like many of the soldiers she documents, Helen is sent home wounded, only to find tha [...]

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    20. I loved the Lotus Eaters I don t think I took time to write reviews on at the time when I read it I loved The Lotus Eaters so much that I pre ordered Tatjana Soli s 2nd book The Forgetting Tree which I m now reading.Its also fantastic very engaging a page turner My only regret I gave away my signed copy of The Lotus Eaters the beautiful hard copy Some books are worth keeping and re reading The Lotus Eaters is that type of book Damn I blew it.However, I have a 2nd chance of recovery with The Forg [...]

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    21. I have tirelessly suggested The Lotus Eaters for consideration to all of my reading groups Currently I am a member of four Finally it was chosen and read for the November meeting of the One Book at a Time group We meet at a Mexican restaurant in Sunland, CA We drink margaritas, iced tea and diet coke We all talk at once We are writers, lawyers and ex school teachers Not everyone finishes their books but the ones who did finish The Lotus Eaters were as enthralled as I was.The novel opens as the c [...]

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    22. This was a terrific read, which came through despite my not reading it in the usual way I tend to be a fast, voracious reader I d have ordinarily made my way through this book in a few days, not a few weeks, but lately I ve been forced to put my spare time and energy elsewhere I m not sure if that was to the benefit or detriment of the book.The book is set during the Vietnam War and is centered on Helen, an American woman photojournalist and her two lovers Darrow, an American, Linh, a Vietnamese [...]

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    23. I have very mixed feelings about this novel A lot of good things here not least, a central character who is a photojournalist and a woman, in Vietnam during the American war years there At some points, the writing made me feel like I was there not in the Vietnam I know only a little, from a few weeks of travel, but in that Vietnam my child mind imagined when the war was on TV and the cover of Life magazine The other side of my experience while reading was a sense of doubt So many things just did [...]

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    24. update 9 26 11 as I keep thinking about this rating, it just keeps nagging at me It is not really a 4 star read, for me I am bumping it down to a 3 I guess it says something about the book that I am struggling with this rating, even days later But there it is a 3 star rating.This is a hard one for me to review Basically, I d rate it a 3.5 stars but since i can t, I ll bump it up to 4 stars For most of the story, I was turned off by the focus of a love story triangle I went into the book thinking [...]

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    25. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli takes place in Vietnam between 1963 and 1975 and becomes a journal of Helen Adams evolution into a photojournalist from a young woman chasing the ghosts of her father and brother The Vietnam War was one of the most controversial in American history, and journalists were on the front lines of the battles political and physical When they were fired on, the advisers called down airpower, but it dropped short, falling on them and civilians A free for all clusterfuck [...]

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    26. I truly disliked this book The dislike spoiler alert started out when the author describes the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War In a split second decision, Helen abandons Linh on the departing helicopter we ve all seen the footage of the mad scramble to get on those last helicopters , but manages to scrounge up PAPER and PENCIL to write a note, PLASTIC BAG in which to place the note, and a STRING with which to secure the bag note around Linh s note Then we are supposed to belie [...]

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    27. This book was slow to take off I didn t feel drawn to the MC or any of the other characters and I seriously wondered if I wanted to finish it It wasn t until about halfway, that I felt that the MC opened up and began showing emotion That s also when I started noticing the descriptive strokes in the writing Some of this was beautiful But it didn t seem consistent I listened to the audio The narration was great for the most part The one thing that was a big no no for me was the misproununciation o [...]

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    28. This book was a Christmas gift It was OK Interesting plot, but the writing so so Not much diversity in how characters talked They all spoke the same way, which was frustrating to read.

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    29. Tatjana Soli s The Lotus Eaters is a really marvelous novel both lush and beautiful but also brutal and heart wrenching As much as I got caught up in the story and wanted to keep reading, I found I could only mange it in small doses The story follows a young American woman who travels to Vietnam in 1963 to work as a photojournalist and gets so caught up in the war she remains until the bitter end I ve read very little about the Vietnam War save Tim O Brien s The Things They Carried, but I always [...]

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    30. I suspect this will be made into a movie, and the previews will use words like gritty and unflinching That will be a pity if so, because The Lotus Eaters starts there, and goes on to territory that I ve rarely experienced in my reading choices as an adult Helen Adams is a naive, 20 something amateur who wanders into Vietnam in the mid 60s, seeking work as a photographer as she also seeks to wedge her way into the most manly of men s worlds war.What kept me plugging away with this book was the ar [...]

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