Kamikaze Peacocks & Oink by Peter J. Fournier

Peter J. Fournier’s cryptically titled memoir, Kamikaze Peacocks & Oink: Coming of Age in an Unfunny War (Raja and Associates, 256 pp., $21.94), covers the author’s four years in the Army, 1964 to 1968, including his two-year (1965-67) tour of duty in Vietnam, during which he worked mostly as a French linguist.

The book is organized into short, interesting, well-written chapters in which Fournier (below) tells the reader how he arrived in Vietnam as a Spec5 and left after two years as a Captain in the Intelligence Corps.

Fournier’s book is a delightful personal tale filled with humor and insight into how the Army works. It also shows great compassion for the Vietnamese people who Fournier had access to because of the fluent Vietnamese he learned at the National Cryptologic School at Fort Meade, Maryland.

If you are going to begin reading Vietnam War memoirs, this would be a good place to start.

The author’s website is www.kamikazepeacocks.com

—David Willson