Thorndike Press

The Sympathizer

  • Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Offered By:
  • ISBN-10: 1410482626
  • ISBN-13: 9781410482624
  • DDC: Fic
  • Shipping Weight: 1.60 lbs ( .73 kgs)
  • 672 Pages | Hardcover
  • Published/Released October 2015
  • Bestsellers



A National Bestseller
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
An Amazon Best Book of the Year So Far (#5)
One of Newsday’s “10 Books Not to Miss in April”
A Publishers Weekly Debut Fiction Pick
A Library Journal Best Debut of Spring
One of Kirkus Reviews' "10 Novels to Lose Yourself In" and a Must-Read Pick for Spring
A Flavorwire Must-Read Book for Apirl
Shortlisted for the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a South Vietnamese general is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his captain, drawing up a list of those who will be on the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that the captain is observing and reporting on the group to the Viet Cong. Exploring a life between two worlds, The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War.


Customer Reviews

"Breathtakingly cynical, the novel has its hilarious moments . . . Ultimately a meditation on war, political movements, America's imperialist role, the CIA, torture, loyalty, and one's personal identity, this is a powerful, thought-provoking work. It's hard to believe this effort . . . is a debut. This is right up there with Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke."

— Library Journal (starred)

"[An] astonishing first novel . . . Nguyen's novel enlivens debate about history and human nature, and his narrator has a poignant often mindful voice."

— Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed)

"Nguyen's cross-grained protagonist exposes the hidden costs in both countries of America's tragic Asian misadventure. Nguyen's probing literary art illuminates how Americans failed in their political and military attempt to remake Vietnam — but then succeeded spectacularly in shrouding their failure in Hollywood distortions. Compelling — and profoundly unsettling."

— Booklist (starred)

"A very special, important, brilliant novel . . . Amazing . . . I don't say brilliant about a lot of books, but this is a brilliant book . . . A fabulous book . . . that everyone should read."

— Nancy Pearl