The Advisor happens to be set during the Vietnam War, but its message is universally applicable -- the characters could be State Department, Peace Corps, or soldiers in Bosnia.
What sets The Advisor apart from many other novels written about Vietnam? This provocative story deals with the complexities of being an advisor to foreigners in wartime: a clash of cultures, combat action and political intrigue. Played out through Viet Cong as well as American and South Vietnamese characters, the book narrates both sides of that strange war.
More than just an action-adventure story, The Advisor is driven by historical intrigue, gripping drama, and haunting romance suffused with the mystery and seduction of the orient.
It begins in the summer of 1972, the last year of the war, before the U.S. military left South Vietnam, and ends in 1975 when the last Americans are evacuated. This metaphoric novel challenges the Domino Theory -- the premise of the Vietnam War, while spinning a tale of protecting the Long Tau Channel, the most strategic waterway in the campaign.
Commander Blake Lawrence, a blue water sailor, is unwillingly thrust into the Rung Sal Special Zone, a place he does not want to be, among a people whose culture he doesn't understand, and a kind of war he is unprepared to fight. As the Senior Advisor, he struggles to sort out several moral dilemmas: Will he be court-martialed and lose his destroyer command? Who is correct -- his boss, Rear Adm. Paulson, or his Vietnamese counterpart, Captain Duc-Lang? The ethics of dealing with guerrillas. What should he do about the women in his life -- his wife, Beverly, who is fed-up with Navy life, and the temptation of infidelity withseductive Peg Thompson? What's more important -- a North Vietnamese Colonel named Tu or the Russian AT3 rockets, his integrity of his destroyer command? What's the war about -- Communism or Dynastics?
At the end of the book, we find Blake back at sea in command of a destroyer, where he witnesses the final American withdrawal in 1975. We learn what happened after his days as an advisor, and why he is invited to return to fight.