Mekong Delta Blues



Part war story, part love story, transformation is at the heart of Mekong Delta Blues, the first novel in James Ballard’s Mekong River Trilogy. Murder, love, death, chaos, drug abuse, betrayal are some of the themes in the story

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Mekong Delta Blues by James Ballard is basically a story about love in the face of war. It is inspired by the author’s wartime experiences as a medic. Murder, love, death, chaos, drug abuse, betrayal are some of the themes in the story

As the Vietnam War escalates, the counterculture arrives in 1960s California. Johnny Ornowoski and his girlfriend, Cecelia, are immersed in the changing times and their newfound love. When these currents collide, the young lovers are confronted with a bad set of options. Their lives are irrevocably disrupted.

No longer able to avoid the draft, Johnny is inducted into the army. After training as a medic, he is assigned to an infantry platoon in Vietnam. Uncertainty amidst the violence dominates Johnny’s world.

Will he survive the war? Will his girl wait for him? Bonds are formed with the young men in his platoon as they cope with their tours and come to place their trust in Johnny as their medic.

As Johnny struggles to cope with the war, unexpected repercussions from his past trap him in a complicated web. Surviving Vietnam isn’t the only obstacle to returning to the normal life he yearns for.

Additionally, through language, imagery, and tone, the author takes the reader to:

  • 1960s California, immersed in hippie culture, and
  • 1960s Vietnam, immersed in a tragic war.

For more info on the author, visit, his website

Weight 453 g
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.66 in


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