Announcement that The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men has won an International Book Award. It's black with mostly gold lettering and shows the book cover.
Excerpt from National Book Critics Circle of Rod Davis' International Impact Award for The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men

The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men

(1 customer review)
This item will be released July 16, 2024.

Human Bondage in the After-market of War

a novel by Rod Davis
WINNER OF AN INTERNATIONAL IMPACT
BOOK AWARD

ISBN: 978-1-956440-79-9 paperback $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-956440-80-5 ebook $9.99300 pp.
July 16, 2024


A moving and well-written war drama.
Kirkus Reviews


In 1970, Second Lieutenant Thomas Jefferson Hobbes, fresh out of college and ROTC, finds himself sent to South Korea instead of the expected Vietnam. His arrival at Kimpo Air Base turns his destiny from a war zone to another face of warfare, the destructive interactions between soldiers and camp followers, aka men and women, that are a part of conquest and occupation throughout history and around the world. Utterly unprepared, he follows trails and carves his own, his soul and sense of humanity falling to levels of hell that even Dante would find daunting.

A beautiful young Korean working girl, known only as Miss Kim, becomes Hobbes’s partner and his guide into deception and danger. Pushing through his 13-month tour, he becomes a part of the thoughtless, predatory subculture that binds him to the love of his life, but at an impossible price.

$9.99$22.95

Description

Cover image for THE LIFE OF KIM AND THE BEHAVIOR OF MEN: Human Bondage in the After-market of war, a novel by Rod Davis. The red and white letters are superimposed over picture of a sloping street flanked by tile-roofed buildings on the outskirts of Seoul. South Korea. A young woman, apparently naked, faces away from the camera, looking down the street. We can only see her head and shoulders.The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men
Human Bondage in the After-market of War

a novel by Rod Davis
WINNER OF AN INTERNATIONAL IMPACT
BOOK AWARD

ISBN: 978-1-956440-79-9 paperback $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-956440-80-5 ebook $9.99300 pp.
July 16, 2024


In 1970, Second Lieutenant Thomas Jefferson Hobbes, fresh out of college and ROTC, finds himself sent to South Korea instead of the expected Vietnam. His arrival at Kimpo Air Base turns his destiny from a war zone to another face of warfare, the destructive interactions between soldiers and camp followers, aka men and women, that are a part of conquest and occupation throughout history and around the world. Utterly unprepared, he follows trails and carves his own, his soul and sense of humanity falling to levels of hell that even Dante would find daunting.

A beautiful young Korean working girl, known only as Miss Kim, becomes Hobbes’s partner and his guide into deception and danger. Pushing through his 13-month tour, he becomes a part of the thoughtless, predatory subculture that binds him to the love of his life, but at an impossible price.


Praise for The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men:
Human Bondage in the After-market of War by Rod Davis


Announcement that The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men has won an International Book Award. It's black with mostly gold lettering and shows the book cover.Thomas Hobbes is deployed to South Korea during the Vietnam War… Davis’ story is well paced, its descriptive prose deftly conveying the setting and the culture of life in the camp: “Whiskey at thirty cents a glass, opium and heroin in cigarette packs, switchblade knives sold by amputees and hustlers in the alley, dice slammed against mud walls…” The author is unafraid to highlight the flaws of his protagonist… once Hobbes and Kim do have a deeper bond between them, he struggles to commit to her because she is not of “the World.” Davis’ story… presents an impressive and engaging tale of love in a rough setting.

A moving and well-written war drama.

Kirkus Reviews


Rod Davis has shown us what countless American war movies have not—the tragic results of G.I.’s stationed in a foreign land, where poor and desperate young women routinely become prey for the soldiers far from home. Nonfiction writers have documented this ugly truth before, but Davis does something more powerful by creating a set of unforgettable characters who give flesh and bone to the unintended consequences of the U.S. military presence in Korea 20 years after hostilities ended. The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men illustrates all too well the social cost and darker side of empire.

—Sean Mitchell, award-winning writer for the Los Angeles Times
and author of the upcoming memoir Irresistible Calling


War is hell, but it’s also a trap as Rod Davis eloquently demonstrates in his novel The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men. Davis’s narrator—LT Thomas Jefferson Hobbes—finds himself deployed to Korea, not Viet Nam as he had expected. Although the assignment may guarantee that Hobbes won’t witness mass slaughter (or be killed himself) he witnesses another kind of slow, methodical slaughter of people’s souls. The economic system that thrives around a war machine crushes and kills, and as Hobbes narrates his own story we can only hope that by telling it he can salvage himself and make some sense of the fate of the bar girl—Kim—whom he loves. He is presented with a true Hobbesian choice—the necessity of accepting one of two equally objectionable alternatives—and one must wonder how we ourselves would fare under those circumstances.

—Helen Thompson, writer and associate editor for Texas Monthly; founding editor of TexasMonthly.com; and author of Marfa Modern, Texas Made/Texas Modern, and Santa Fe Modern


It’s 1970 and LT Thomas Jefferson Hobbes is shipped out not to Vietnam as expected but to Korea, where GIs have way too much time on their hands. And more importantly for this compelling and unflinching portrait of Ugly Americanism, where temptations for grift are irresistible. Hobbes watches fretfully while a supply officer peddles pilfered PX goods and runs a drug ring, a mess sergeant sells steaks on the sly to local restaurants, and an army dentist treats local women for sexual favors. A chief attraction to the soldiers is bar girls rented by the hour or, better yet, set up in hootches for a pittance per month. Hobbes has a moral compass, but he’s also part of the crowd, and his agonized attachment to “Kim” is the twisted heart of his story. The tragic consequences that follow make this novel march at double-time to a very big ending.

—C.W. Smith, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at SMU, former marine, Dedman family,
and author of Girl Flees Circus


Rod Davis once more finds darkness in light and a harrowing path for the reader and his protagonist to navigate. This tale of U.S. troops in Korea during the Vietnam Era holds truths which, sadly, continued for decades. His narrator is no hero but concisely illuminates the short, brutish path he follows through a tour in post-war Korea so real you can smell the ondol charcoal in the alleyways and taste the kimchi. He, like us, the readers, can escape but the women and their accomplices are doomed. Though fictional, this is an important piece of history the Korean and US leadership would rather we all forget.

—Perry Jefferies, First Sergeant (retired), US Army. Once an Imjim Scout,
now an artist and farmer


Thoughtful with dark, more-than-entertaining humor, would be a good way to describe The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men. Rod Davis calls on his own experience as a first lieutenant who found himself in South Korea instead of Vietnam, and he writes convincingly about the rocky relationship between LT Thomas Jefferson Hobbes and Kim, a young working girl who almost survives what can be called “after-market of wars.” This is a better read than Catch-22.

—Bill Helmer, former Playboy editor
and author of St. Valentine’s Day Massacre


This is a rare find of a novel that reveals the truths of the lives of American soldiers stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War era with gritty realism, authenticity, and compassion. The interwoven love story between a young officer and a business girl struggling for a better life will haunt you for a long time.

—Wondra Chang, author of Sonju,
Kirkus Starred Review historical novel


This novel moves quickly, and the dialogue helps keep the reader centered on the conflicts and events at hand. Yet, there are passages of deep reflection interspersed that help people see the boredom and rebellion that naturally spring up in institutions centered on hierarchy and public displays of obedience. Hobbes is a narrator who becomes equally intellectually engaging as he is challenging, as he constantly rightly critiques a system and then wrongly fails to transcend his own critique.

—Mike Hilbig, author of Judgment Day & Other White Lies


Author Rod Davis. Rod wears a cap that says veteran. He has a short white beard. Behind him, in the distance is a streetlight and a beach.Award-winning writer Rod Davis is the author of East of Texas, West of Hell, the sequel to South, America, described as “a triumph of Southern noir.” He is also the author of Corina’s Way, winner of the fiction prize in the inaugural PEN Southwest Book Awards for 2000-2005, and of American Voudou: Journey into a Hidden World, selected as one of the “Exceptional Books of 1998” by Bookman Book Review Syndicate. A long-time journalist and magazine editor, he is a member of PEN America, the Texas Institute of Letters, and was formerly on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. He served as an Army first lieutenant in South Korea in the Vietnam Era.

 

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × .6 in
Edition

Ebook, Paperback

1 review for The Life of Kim and the Behavior of Men

  1. kpdavis

    While everybody knows I’m called Kim, this isn’t the reason I like this book. This book describes a time and a situation that many of my ex-military friends lived. They don’t talk about it except to each other. It’s gut-wrenching to think of the hurts all the people involved carry–at least the ones who survived.

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