Wednesday, December 13, 2023

#BookReview: Di Di Mau: A True Story About Tigers, Rock Apes, the Jungle, and War by Darren Walton , Michael J. Coffino

Synopsis: “A revealing, sometimes gut-wrenching war memoir that examines virtually every aspect of his tour of duty." —Marc Leepson, Arts Editor and Senior Writer, The VVA Veteran magazine. 

In 1969, Darren Walton, at the tender age of nineteen, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, trading life in idyllic Marin County in California for the chaos of a raging jungle war in Southeast Asia. In no time, he got pressed into service as a member of a Marine reconnaissance unit operating near Da Nang, Vietnam.

There were a few times when he basked in the breathtaking beauty of the triple canopy jungle, the contoured glistening mountain ridges, and the luscious green valleys. But there were many, many other times when he and his fellow Marines labored under the terror of the worst the jungle had to torrential monsoons, torturous humidity, rapacious insects, and enemy-placed punji traps springing from hell below.

Darren survived thanks to the unconditional loyalty and courage of his fellow Marines, men who risked their own lives to save his, men who demonstrated uncommon courage in the most desperate of circumstances. No questions asked. No conditions imposed. No social barriers erected. Semper Fidelis.Di Di Mau is Darren’s unabashed personal account of warfare, survival, and brotherhood—and the enduring reflections that followed. It is unlike any book about the Vietnam War.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review: I once spoke with a soldier who had gone to the front lines of war and how it was to transition back into his everyday life.  And the look on his face you could tell before he ever even said anything that it was a new journey where he had to fight again.  Leaving behind the jungle is harder than you could ever imagine and this book does a wonderful job at attempting to really show the reader what these people have gone through.  Yet this book is so much more. Tigers, Rock Apes, and more lay in wait for the reader.  I don't want to spoil it for you.  But if you enjoy stories that are one of a kind then check this one out. 

About the Author

Darren was born and raised and still lives in Marin County, California, which he cherishes for its extraordinary coastline, sprawling open spaces, diverse terrains, and sheer beauty. He has been a long-distance runner since high school and continues to run the hills and mountains of California on a regular basis. Recently, he organized and led the first group of over-seventy runners to compete in the grueling Hood to Coast long-distance running in Oregon, which stunned the assembled runners and public with their impressive performance.After his stint in the Marines, Darren pursued a variety of endeavors and ran multiple businesses, including as a commercial diver, locomotive engineer, and personal gym trainer. He currently owns and operates a machine shop in San Rafael, California, called Walton's Saw Works, which was founded in 1956 and specializes in sales and services of router bits, saw blades, and printer's knives, among other items.Darren lives with his wife, Gina, in Marin County, California, and has a son, Andy.

Before becoming a full-time author, ghostwriter, and freelance editor, Michael had two parallel careers: one in the courtroom and the other in the gymnasium. He was a business litigation and trial attorney and legal writing instructor for more than four decades and concurrently devoted twenty-five years as a basketball coach, primarily at the high school level.He has written or coauthored eight published books, including Truth Is in the House, his debut novel.Michael grew up in the South Bronx. He served in the U.S. Army 1968-1970 and later earned a BS in Education from the City University of New York and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.Michael plays guitar, holds a black belt in karate, is a workout junkie, and plays pickleball and hikes regularly in the hills and mountains of California and Colorado. He lives in Marin County, California.
  --This text refers to the paperback edition.

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