Growing up in America has its challenges. . .
4 out of 5 stars • By JRO • January 25, 2014
“Longworth” is an account of one young man’s experiences growing up when national attention was largely focused on the unfortunate circumstances of the Vietnam war. Carson Longworth, the protagonist, seemingly has an innate preference for a rational and commonsense approach to life. Nevertheless, he winds up enlisting in the Marine Corps and eventually becomes a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Pressure to accept the national ethos which supported the war effort and to knuckle under to a military bureaucracy results in constant challenges. His seeming inability to “go along to get along” is a quality which I admire. Those who either lived through this era, or who are aware of its history, should easily relate to Carson’s frustrations.
Carson shares other experiences during his journey, one being the courtship of Kathy Wilkerson, the love of his life. This relationship has an important role in his becoming of age.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and heartily recommend it to others. I believe most readers will agree we need more Carson Longworths in the world, and, at the very least, a sequel is in order.
(A final comment: For those, such as myself, who have wondered what happens to a helicopter when the rotor stops spinning, this is an excellent opportunity to find out.)
Longworth is something that anybody that experienced the ’60s would enjoy
4 out of 5 stars • By KL • January 2, 2014
This novel hit the mark on what many people in the mid to late 60s experienced. You don’t need to have experienced Viet Nam to appreciate the book. It has experiences that we all have gone through in life or if young could go through in your life.
The writing is dense at times but definitely readable. I look forward to another book by the author
Just as easily, take a toke
4 out of 5 stars • By GMC • August 16, 2014
If one were to ask the average American, in any part of the country and particularly Baby Boomers, if the nation has healed from the Technicolor horror that was the Vietnam War, the consensus would most likely be, “no, it hasn’t healed…”. Vietnam was a singular tragedy because the erosion of belief in any subsequent American war effort, began there. Moreover, it was America’s first bona fide loss-at-war. Longworth, is that rare book that takes one directly back into the Vietnam Era and causes one to relive all chaos and magic of that pivotal time. It is not a ‘warm and fuzzy’ book. One doesn’t curl up with it, in front of a slow, crackling fire, with a glass of chardonnay and a kitty on the tummy. Rather, one takes a long, hard jog to shake off the never-addressed frustrations of a generation whose heroes were all assassinated. One might pass it on to a buddy, and the book becomes the topic of never-ending conversations over beer, a topic that never seems closed and never seems finished. One might, just as easily, take a toke, remember the Summer of Love and look at the character of Longworth as he or she would a brother, father, friend or schoolmate, a man or a woman – one who was forever changed by Vietnam and who, for better or worse, changed America; an America that lost it’s innocence and began to grow up, because it had to.
Wonderful story. Well written. I would recommend this book to anyone.
5 out of 5 stars • By NW • May 5, 2014
“Longworth” is about a young man who is launched into manhood during the 1960’s and ’70’s while serving his country in the military. Before he joined the Marine Corps, Carson thought he knew everything. By the time he left, he was forever a changed man.
As you begin the first chapter, the book appears to be a weighty read, however, you understand rather quickly that it is necessary to define the character of Carson Longworth. Throughout the story, the author provides just enough explanation that the reader can easily enjoy the story. I appreciated the history, the military terminology and the descriptions of the inner-workings of the military. While this book is a work of fiction, it gives the reader a glimpse of that era through the eyes of someone who has experienced, first-hand, the life of our military men and women during that time.
Overall, “Longworth” is a well written book with an engaging story. A must-read for anyone who also enjoys a good love story.
5 out of 5 stars • By JH • June 9, 2014
As a Vietnam Veteran I was particularly taken by Mr. Smith’s account of the daily struggle all of us faced concerning the moral and ethical dilemmas that presented on a daily basis while we tried to fight and survive a very unpopular war. This is not a Vietnam War story as much as it is the portrayal of the emotional strain and philosophical confusion that affected all of us as very young combatants suddenly thrust on to the world stage, ill prepared to make the life and death decisions that were required day in and day out. This is also a wonderful love story woven in to the tale of a young man trying to match his good conscience against flawed value systems and misguided political agendas. Anyone, not just veterans, should read this book to gain an understanding of the very difficult personal process of trying to understand and justify participation in a war. This book will leave you thinking hard. A must read. Well done Mr. Smith!
5 out of 5 stars • By JS • May 31, 2014
I was very taken aback by how much I did not know about the war in Vietnam. This may be listed as fiction, but I believe it is much closer to non fiction. It was a real eye opener. Great reading, The story and the human interest content were a pleasure to explore and I will highly reccomend this book to everyone. I am of age to appreciate this history and I am glad that Mr. Smith wrote it.You will learn alot about what goes on behind the curtain.
A Well Written Story About Life and Survival in a Misunderstood Era
5 out of 5 stars • By RLW • May 9, 2014
In order to review LONGWORTH it helps to have known and understood the author and his innermost feelings.
Rusty Smith is one of the finest and most talented helicopter pilots ever to come out of the Vietnam era. He could make that machine of war do things it was never designed to do. He lived it and survived it; and all of that comes through in this his first novel. This is well written and an excellent read.
5 out of 5 stars • By CW • June 30, 2014
Well written account of the Vietnam war from one protagonist’s viewpoint. Brought me back to that period.