Soul Deer - Book Review

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Book Review of :  Soul Deer


"Soul Deer" by David Mintzer explores the heartfelt story of Steven Vincent, a young soldier facing his final days. While deployed in Afghanistan, Vincent is tragically exposed to a deadly chemical agent that slowly deteriorates his lungs, giving him a mere few weeks to live. Despite his bleak outlook, Vincent displays extraordinary bravery and camaraderie among his fellow soldiers.

First Sergeant Nelson, whose inexplicable mistreatment of Vincent adds an additional layer of complexity to the story. He found himself grappling with a mix of emotions. The origins of Vincent's fatal lung condition can be traced back to a seemingly unnecessary task assigned by Nelson, a decision that haunted him with feelings of shame and remorse. As Vincent's days dwindled, leading up to his inevitable death, the bonds with his fellow soldiers deepened, revealing a camaraderie that transcended mere duty. Through Mintzer's masterful storytelling, a palpable sense of magic and melancholy unfolds in the tale of Steven Vincent as he comes to terms with his inescapable fate.

This raw, heartfelt, and inspiring book narrates an extraordinary journey from a warrior to a man facing mortality. The protagonist illustrates the harsh realities of life and the wisdom gained from acknowledging that not every battle can be won. Mintzer's diverse characters exemplify the essence of unconditional love and true friendship. It delves into themes of destiny, faith, family, and comradeship and how these elements shape our identities and rule our lives. It reminds us that our life journey is not just about ourselves but also about the people we encounter and the relationships we form along the way.

As Steven Vincent's story unfolds, readers are taken on an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. They witness his struggles with mortality, his fears and doubts, but also his resilience and determination to make the most out of the time he has left. Through his journey, we are reminded to cherish every moment and live life to the fullest, even when faced with our mortality.

Both tender and exquisite, David Mintzer's triumphant debut, The Soul Deer, is a pitch-perfect look into the choices we make and the consequences that they carry long into the future. This riveting tale reminds us of our shared humanity. It combines grit, dedication, suffering, adventure, grief, love, resurrection, and succor for those most in need.

Vincent harbors a final desire - to journey through Europe, visiting Paris, Amsterdam, Poland, and Prague. Accompanying him on this adventure are his Comrades and Sergeant Nelson. Their days ahead are brimming with exploration, dreams, and the gradual decline of Vincent's health. Nelson grapples with self-reproach and marital dilemmas. Each member of the party battles inner turmoil, with one struggling significantly from evident signs of severe PTSD. Vincent, his comrades, and Sergeant Nelson discover the beauty and diversity of different cultures. They are amazed by the grandiose architecture in Paris, the liberal lifestyle in Amsterdam, the rich history in Poland, and the old-world charm of Prague. Surrounded by shared laughter and immersed in alcohol, these comrades-in-arms support Vincent in making the most of his final days.
Soul Deer delves into war's profound effects, exploring its physical and emotional tolls. Mintzer skillfully portrays the intricate dynamics of military life and the deep connections forged among soldiers. The narrative deftly captures the soldiers' inner conflict between pride and guilt as they serve their country.

Beyond Vincent's personal journey, Soul Deer prompts readers to contemplate universal themes like sacrifice and mortality.

Reviewed by: David

About David Mintzer

David Mintzer grew up in Hell's Kitchen, NY. He has travelled the world as a professional musician. He is a retired soldier from the US Army. He lives in Florida with his wife and 2 children. His writing is a collection of social satire. His objective is to hold up a fun house mirror of sorts to the world. Showing you how bad things can get if they continue, while at the same time making you laugh at the absurdity of modern life. Giving society it's medicine, but with a candy coating. His goal is to provide character driven stories that offer a different take on the comedy and tragedy of human existence.

Visit for more information on David Mintzer


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