THE TWO SHORES OF HELL by Michele Ray

THE TWO SHORES OF HELL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Michele Ray is an ex-Co-Co Chanel model turned French journalist/photographer who has a penchant for poking camera and pen into political hot spots. Recently she did some rough and ready reportage on the death of Che Guevara in Ramparts. But this book is a combat zone account of her visit to Vietnam where she became the only woman reporter to have gone through action with both sides; she went on various missions, including a bombing raid with the G.I.'s, and was eventually captured by the Viet Cong. The book is a marvel of camera's eye detail from the booming padded bra industry which has changed the silhouette of the Vietnamese woman: to the ""children-hundreds and thousands of children"" everywhere; to the sounds of rock and roll transistors coming from enemy positions; to a New Year's Eve at a leper colony; to a devastating death march performed by the marines, leeches and mud. The most interesting section, of course, deals with her days with Victor Charlie-crouching for hours in a tiny underground shelter under a horrendous air attack from U.S. forces, living, eating, playing cards with the Cong whom she found very considerate and fiercely nationalistic in striking contrast to the pathetic South Vietnamese People's Forces. She decries the propaganda machine on both sides but is most sympathetic to the idealism of the National Liberation Front-considers our efforts practically a Mission Impossible. A best seller in France, this may find a large audience here.

Pub Date: May 17th, 1968
Publisher: McKay