'Pick any highway, I was told: all of them go to the war.' For three combat photographers, friendship, comradeship and love are intensified to an ultimate degree by a decade of covering war in Indo-China, a decade which culminates in the fall of Saigon.
Highways to a War is the story of a search - a search for Mike Langford, a war photographer with a reputation for risk-taking, who disappears inside Cambodia after its fall to the Khmer Rouge. It explores the personal highways that have led Langford to war, and to his ultimate fate. By nature drawn to lost causes, he gives his emotional allegiance to the badly-led South Vietnamese and Cambodian troops whose dangers he shares. His obsession with their plight drives him to eventually to putting down the camera and picking up the gun; and his love for Ly Keang, a young Cambodian, leads him into a fateful commitment to her country's struggle. Missing, but perhaps still alive, Langford exerts a fascination over everyone who knows him, and his contemporaries invest this essentially ordinary, country-bred Australian with the qualities of a hero from myth.
Koch also depicts a wartime Indo-China which itself seems semi-mythical: deceptively tranquil paddy fields of the Vietnam delta, where the figures of the Viet Cong appear like black ghosts; the pink and cream city of Phnom Penh, locked in a long colonial dream - a dream that will turn to nightmare.
Original title: Highways to a War
Genre: Fiction→ Adventure→ Military and Naval Adventure
Fiction→ Historical→ Asia
Fiction→ General Fiction