Thursday, 9 July 2015

To Ride the Tiger - Robert Parker



                One of the meanings of the saying “to ride the tiger” is to finish a job until the end, no matter how dangerous, because getting off the tiger would have much worse consequences. This pretty much sums up Robert Parker’s life. This book takes the reader on a ride of their own as he writes graphically and candidly about his life as a Green Beret in Vietnam and his struggles with emotional and mental issues when he came home. I know very little about Vietnam so I was interested to read Mr. Parker’s first-hand account of what it was truly like for the soldiers, something the history books never really acknowledge. The whole book is hard to read due to the content but the descriptions of the war itself, knowing the story isn’t fiction, was very disturbing. The torment Mr. Parker went through in his mind as he did his job was almost as horrible as what he was ordered to do to the enemy, including women and children. In a time before PTSD was a recognized disability, Mr. Parker came home unready to deal with living a normal life. The fact that he befriends quite a few unsavory characters, including mob bosses, adds to a life story that should be fiction but is entirely true. It is a gripping account of life experiences that thankfully most of us will never have to deal with but we should be aware of them. Everyone should read this book because it will open reader’s eyes on so many levels. I read the digital form of this book and it translated well to my ereader. The bright red cover is eye catching but it’s the content that will really catch a reader’s eyes.