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THE ORANGE BARREL by Charles Lynch


by Charles Lynch

250 pages
True helicopter combat stories that go beyond imagination and reality.

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Category: Fiction:Adventure
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About the Book
This first of its kind action novel explores the intensity of air combat experienced by an 18-year-old helicopter door gunner during the Viet Nam War. Throughout the day he flashes back on his life, and the previous year's worth of experiences and observations, and struggles with his conscious and guilt. He relives dozens of battles and experiences taken from actual accounts from combat veterans who served in the war. He also has flashbacks from childhood that are recounted in a way that relate to actual combat from other wars and wars to come. Toy beach landings, child Civil War battles, dirt clod and BB gun fights, and playing with army men in a sand box become struggles with an enemy that is much too real when taken from a child's perspective and related to actual combat with an artistic twist. Other stories are woven into the main plot from other wars either past or future along with numerous surprises and accounts from the sixties and the anti-war effort at home.

As his day progresses our heroine goes through a series of experiences with the help of a dose of LSD(The Orange Barrel)and he makes a number of startling realizations. He discovers the beautiful exotic French/Vietnamese girl he's been dating is his key to survival. She gave a purpose to his life that changed his attitude towards the war, living in general, and a reason for a future. He also realizes that she is enemy, along with her family, and is a war dissenter whose philosophy is affecting him in his deepest being, causing him to question the moral implications of his service.

As the day unfolds and the drug reaches its highest intensity, the battles and flashbacks, thoughts and nightmares coalesce into a mental struggle that dominate our hero's fringe of sanity. The scenes painted by a visual as well as verbal artist bend his reality, warping the true perception of his frightening world into a kaleidoscope of action and horror, peace and love, and life and death that are always only seconds apart from each other. As his aircraft hops from one situation to the next, his time for reflection causes him to crawl deeper into his helmet for safety and securty from the mayhem that sometimes occurs on both ends of the trip, and are each more interesting than the last. He is unflinching in his duty, a true American, and is determined to see it through although the moral dilemmas of his service are causing him mental strife while awake or asleep. He reaches a point where his nightmares are crossing over into his reality and vice versa, affecting his abilities and causing the growing FEAR to dominate his actions.

The incredible and astonishing ending brings the reader to an amazing conclusion, as you find the entire book has been bracing you for the final chapter and the shocking finish that you were secretly being prepared for.



About the Author
Charles grew up in Sacramento, joined the military and vacationed in beautiful Southeast Asia for a year. Coming home, he married his high school sweetheart, went to college for 7 years, then moved out into the backwoods of Idaho to become a homesteader/firefighter/artist and a whole lot more.



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