Written by: Paula Limbaugh
When I first began to read Buddha Hill by Bob Booth, I wasn’t sure I would like it. Bob wrote Buddha Hill in 1986 to be included in an anthology, In the Field of Fire. He ended up with a novella and unable to include it in said anthology. So there it sat until some 15 years later while doing home renovations his son found the story and convinced Bob to publish it. I’m glad he did.
The story takes place in 1968 during the Vietnam war, related to us by a 21 year old fresh from the States. Slowly we are drawn into his life, where reality and supernatural become blurred lines. Buddha Hill is place the Vietnamese consider a holy place; it is a burial ground for the monks. Strange torch lights are seen at night, is it Charlie or spirits of the undead? A sentry gone missing when investigating the lights and later to be found brutally murdered, add to the subtle horror.
Our narrator and companion are sent on an overnight leave to Saigon to help rid their minds of finding the brutalized sentry. There they witness a monk with the aid of his acolyte sets himself on fire in protest of the war. When seeing the acolyte a second time a grasp of what is happening hits him hard. Soon enough the burden of salvation rests on his shoulders.
This story slowly draws you in, but once it has a grip on you it doesn’t let go.
Order Buddha Hill right here.