Saigon, 1967. Fresh-faced 25-year-old Australian Hugh Lunn arrives in Vietnam to cover the war for Reuters. He is befriended by a local reporter, Dinh, who warns him that in Vietnam it is 'very quick and easy to be killed'. Dinh knows things that Hugh cannot: Vietnam is always too short of fortune-tellers, Hugh's Australian roommate is 'not long-live man' and Heaven hurts fair women for sheer spite.
As colleagues die violently, Hugh finds himself questioning a war that cannot be won...and his role in it. Faced with the daily US military news briefings where fantasy is put out as fact, he responds with humour and quiet despair. The year builds to an explosive conclusion, culminating in the cataclysmic Tet Offensive, the shooting of four friends, and Dinh's final revelation that one of their colleagues - the most trusted and influential Vietnamese journalist in Saigon - was, all along, a Viet Cong colonel.
Winner of The Age Book of the Year for non-fiction.