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Sergeant Dickinson
Sergeant Dickinson

Sergeant Dickinson


180 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $20.00)

Publication Date: August 2011

ISBN 9780930773984

Rights: WOR

Black Heron Press (Aug 2011)


eBook Editions Available

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Available from local and national retailers throughout the US.


Sergeant Dickinson is the radioman of a Special Forces A-team in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam. The camp is encircled and attacked for nine days by the North Vietnamese Army which wants to lure larger American units into combat for the first time. The war grows larger and darker, and Dickinson continues to be drawn back to it, tour after tour, even when he has the opportunity to leave, even though his post-traumatic stress threatens to overwhelm him. Readers of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, or those who saw the movie, will be interested in the battle that led to the battle in the Ia Drang Valley depicted in We Were Soldiers... Library Journal: Highly Recommended. New York Times: First-rate fiction about battlefield experience. Nelson DeMille: The hard-hitting simplicity of Hemingway and the imagination of Philip Caputo...Truly remarkable and original.


"Few novels in any genre are as lucid, or as memorably spooky, as Jerome Gold's new book, Sergeant Dickinson; it belongs on the high, narrow shelf of first-rate fiction about battlefield experience… Gold, who served in Vietnam as a Special Forces sergeant, writes spare and elegant prose that belies the brutality and the claustrophobia he evokes here. His slim novel is a carefully chosen assortment of details and impressions; he expertly dismantles the myth—dear to civilians as well as to soldiers—"that if you do everything right no harm will come to you." — Dwight Garner, The New York Times Book Review

"You won't know what hit you. Sergeant Dickinson takes no prisoners. It is merciless, concussive. It nails you to the ground; the next best thing to not being there." — John Westermann, author of Exit Wounds and Ladies of the Night

"The grim resignation that replaces fear in the psyches of combat soldiers under fire is vividly dramatized in this latest from Gold… Sergeant Dickinson in fact hits every note quite convincingly: the book's hard to take, but it's harder to look away from it… This brief, swift tale's relentless fatalism and narrative momentum identify it as an authentic member of the company of Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers and Michael Herr's Dispatches." — Kirkus Reviews

"A many-faceted jewel is the best description of this book because it forges humanity out of the most inhuman war situation. Gold has created a wry, war-worn character whose take on all that occurs around him will not be easily forgotten." — Beverly Gologorsky, author of The Things We Do To Make It Home

"I could not put Sergeant Dickinson down. This from a guy who has a house full of partially read books. This is a book for those who were there. And especially a book for those in Special Forces. Jerome Gold's first two sentences took me back to Vietnam. To the grinding of latterite dust in my teeth. To the stench of the dead. To the fear as I had known it. This is a miracle of hard work done by a tough but sensitive man. Gold has captured the raw edges of those things that will be with us forever." — Rollo Moss, veteran

"This book says it all with perfect pitch. It captures the visual imagery, dialogue, and complex psychology of the combat experience in a way that is unlikely to be equaled… The sit reps from other outposts are simply brilliant. The elephant bombing, unknown Americans entering the perimeter, etc. These things really happen. They are not, as I read in a literary journal review, simply a metaphorical device through which the author describes the absurdity of war. The creative reach presented here in a short work is incredible… I thought that Michael Herr's Dispatches had realistic dialogue, but he was a journalist, not a soldier. If you could leave on any helicopter, you could never tell the whole story. I have always hoped that someone who fought in the war would get it right. This is it." — Dennis Wagner, veteran

"Gold has shaped a powerful, merciless novel from this raw material. He captures the exhaustion and waste of war from the point of view of the noncommissioned officer… The political issues of the war are never discussed; only the reality of the moment matters. A natural for readers of Tim O'Brien." — Booklist

"A brooding, imaginative work that goes beyond many conventionally factual memoirs available. Highly recommended." — Library Journal

Author Biography

Jerome Gold is the author of fifteen books, including The Moral Life of Soldiers and the memoir, Paranoia & Heartbreak: Fifteen Years in a Juvenile Facility. Russell Banks said about this book: "I've finished reading Jerome Gold's terrific book cover to cover without a break… It's a powerful and very tenderhearted book without a soupçon of sentimentality. Unforgettable!" Mr. Gold's novels include Sergeant Dickinson, about which the New York Times Book Review said: "[It] belongs on the high, narrow shelf of first-rate fiction about battlefield experience." He has published stories, essays, reviews and poems in Chiron Review, Moon City Review, Fiction Review, Boston Review, Hawaii Review, and other journals.