Released on 13 October 1995.

Read extract

In Pharaoh's Army

Memories of a Lost War

4.08 based on 2186 ratings & 163 reviews on


Having survived the extraordinary childhood recorded in This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolff finds himself serving in Vietnam and assigned to a unit in the Mekong Delta. A young officer out of his depth, he lives in boredom and terror and grief for lost friends. Much has been written about the scarring Vietnam experience, but never with this blend of exactitude, humanity, grotesque humour and painful truth.

‘An outstanding addition to the library on the Vietnam War . . . Wolff makes it so funny, moving and memorable you feel it has never been written about before’ Tibor Fischer, Financial Times

In Pharaoh’s Army has an irresistible flow. He is a lucid, self-honest spirit with a gift for narrative. I read him at a sitting and was sad to run out of pages’ Ian McEwan, Financial Times Book of the Year

‘Wolff is a fine judge of difficult material. Always entertaining, always thoughtful, this book is a worthy successor to This Boy’s Life ’ Erica Wagner, The Times

‘Wolff’s book is funny, self-chastening and unforgettable’ Nick Hornby, Sunday Times Book of the Year

‘The finest piece of prose I read this year . . .Wolff cannot be parodied, as sure a sign of greatness as there is’ Will Self, Independent on Sunday Book of the Year