This is one a very few books to explore the Viet Nam war by a Vietnamese author. It is a very interesting and worthwhile book, with some sections that are captivating and others that are more philosophical. The Sympathizer is a person who is able to see many sides of a story. His story is complex - from his birth to a young and unmarried mother and an unacknowledged French Catholic priest father, to his lifelong friends Man and Bon, each on different sides of the Viet Nam conflict. I was not sure what the final message of the book was - nihilism? The power of friendship? The dangers of duplicity? Certainly the absence of the Vietnamese perspective on the history that many of us lived through keeps us in an ignorant state about our own history.