The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer

By Viet Thanh Nguyen

  • Release Date: 2015-04-02
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 455 Ratings


Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel
Winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

“[A] remarkable debut novel”—Philip Caputo, New York Times Book Review (cover review)

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as seven other awards, The Sympathizer is one of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Vladimir Nabokov, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who comes to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.


  • A peek into an Asian American experience

    By bio teacher 2
    I had the good fortune of encountering Viet Than Nguyen during his high school years. I was the only Asian American teacher at the school during that time and the Asian American student population certainly wasn’t what it is today. I think The Sympathizer definitely provides a unique insight into the Vietnamese American experience, the Asian American experience in general, and maybe even the overall American experience. There are demons that inhabit all of our existences and Viet Than Nguyen has poetically afforded us an opportunity to confront some of them.
  • Sympathizer

    By Judystep
    Beautifully written - his vocabulary is astonishingly large and diverse. Use of language increíble, and , of course, the story is told in totally new perspective. But book so unrelentingly brutal I often didn't want to pick it up. Yes, I know, "it's for me own good" to understand the story he tells, but please! Sympathize with the poor reader who can only bear so much torture, sadness, and remorse!
  • Five Stars

    By Lukester2012
    Riveting, Unique & Spellbinding.
  • Bill T

    By macdaddysapple
    A true piece of literature, and a telling portrait of a man divided, a chameleon forced to choose a color so he could live. The protagonist of this novel takes its reader to the other side of the Vietnam war, with a description of those on the other side of the bullets, of village hootches being burned, of villagers being brandished VC by other villagers,to later be shown in the media of the time and movies made since being dropped from helicopters or lying crumpled on the ground with hands still tied in a pool of blood, of the underage prostitutes in the brothels. This is the backstory behind the iconic picture of the last helicopter leaving the American embassy the failed (Flag raising of Iwo Jima) of my generation and the televised atrocities surrounding the Fall of Saigon and the Vietnam war as a whole. Yet it also tells of the pitfalls and struggles of the newly arrived war torn people's to assimilate into Western society, at times with similar contrasts to the mistrust held toward the current refugee crisis.