Kien's job is to search the Jungle of Screaming Souls for corpses.
He knows the area well - this was where, in the dry season of 1969, his battalion was obliterated by American napalm and helicopter gunfire.
Kien was one of only ten survivors. This book is his attempt to understand the eleven years of his life he gave to a senseless war. Based on true experiences of Bao Ninh and banned by the communist party, this novel is revered as the `All Quiet on the Western Front for our era'.