The Committed: A Novel

The Committed: A Novel

by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Author)

The long-awaited new novel from one of America’s most highly regarded contemporary writers, The Committed follows the unnamed Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris in the early 1980s with his blood brother Bon. The pair try to overcome their pasts and ensure their futures by engaging in capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing.

Traumatized by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, Man, and struggling to assimilate into French culture, the Sympathizer finds Paris both seductive and disturbing. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals whom he meets at dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese “aunt”, he finds stimulation for his mind but also customers for his narcotic merchandise. But the new life he is making has perils he has not foreseen, whether the self-torture of addiction, the authoritarianism of a state locked in a colonial mindset, or the seeming paradox of how to reunite his two closest friends whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition. The Sympathizer will need all his wits, resourcefulness, and moral flexibility if he is to prevail.

Both literary thriller and novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen’s position in the firmament of American letters.

This audiobook is a sequel to The Sympathizer.  

Copyright 2021 by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. Epigraph by Rithy Panh with Christophe Bataille, excerpted from The Elimination, translated by John Cullen. Copyright 2014 by Rithy Panh. Reprinted by permission of Other Press. “Seasons in the Sun.” Written by Jacques Brel and Rod McKuen. Published by Edward B. Marks Music Company (BMI). All rights administered by Round Hill Carlin, LLC. “Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi.” Words and Music by Jacques Dutronc and Jacques Lanzmann. Copyright (c) 1966 Alpha Editions Musicales. Copyright Renewed. All Rights Administered by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard LLC. 

"The Committed" by Viet Thanh Nguyen: A Haunting Exploration of Love, Loss, and the Lingering Legacy of War

In the gripping novel "The Committed" by Viet Thanh Nguyen, readers are transported to a tumultuous post-war Saigon, where the echoes of conflict reverberate through the lives of those left behind. At the heart of the story lies the character of Bon, a young man grappling with profound loss and a complicated relationship with his father, a former Viet Cong soldier.

Bon's life becomes intertwined with the enigmatic woman known as Madame Lan, the owner of a popular bar called "The Dream." Together, they navigate the treacherous terrain of a city struggling to rebuild amidst political upheaval and social unrest. Nguyen's evocative prose captures the vibrant energy of Saigon, contrasting its beauty with the scars of war and the lingering trauma that grips its people.

As Bon delves deeper into Madame Lan's past, he uncovers a web of secrets and betrayals that challenge his understanding of truth and morality. The novel explores themes of love, loss, and the enduring consequences of war, offering a poignant reflection on the complexities of human existence.

With its rich tapestry of characters and its unflinching portrayal of the aftermath of conflict, "The Committed" is a powerful and thought-provoking literary achievement. Nguyen's novel offers a stark reminder of the lasting wounds inflicted by war and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.


March 02, 2021