They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It can also drive you mad with fear. The conditions that the 19-year-old soldier-hero of Kenneth Waymon Baker’s Alone in the Valley faces in the steamy jungles of the Central Vietnamese Highlands are so terrifying that it’s all he can do from succumbing to chronic terror. From the moment he touches down until he is airborne on his way home from the war, this young hero’s senses are on hair-trigger alert. It’s what enables him to survive and emerge as a warrior, but at a nightmarish price.
Publisher’s Weekly said, “This first novel by a disabled Vietnam veteran compassionately examines a year in the life of a combat infantryman during that conflict. As the protagonist…gains experience in the field, so does the reader, who comes to share his heightened awareness and sense of paranoia…The narrative remains focused on the grunt’s life of monotony mixed with fear, so powerfully evoked as to provide a better understanding of why many veterans have never entirely overcome the war’s terrors…an absorbing plot unfurled with gripping realism and an evocative sense of time and place will stir memories and convictions.”