Searching for Gurney CoverSearching for Gurney

Available at: | Barnes and Noble | Annie Bloom's

Jack Estes' new novel, Searching for Gurney, follows the lives of three US Marines and a North Vietnamese soldier during horrific battles in the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam. The narrative is a set of character studies told in vignettes.

The book delves into the emotional, physical, and psychological effects of the war on the American and Vietnamese young men caught up in the conflict. American soldiers JT, Coop, and Collins, along with North Vietnamese soldier Vuong, fight for their respective countries in a war that is brutal and terrifying.

But what happens after the war? Eventually the Americans go to a home that’s no longer home, while Vuong is assigned to run a labor camp to “reeducate” South Vietnamese soldiers and sympathizers. The war is over, but as Vuong numbly observes, it lives on inside their heads. With gripping clarity, Jack Estes takes the reader into the damaged souls of these young men. The fate of Lt. Gurney haunts every corner of the story as each of them tries to make sense of the war.


"'Searching for Gurney' is a tender, convincing, sometimes harrowing, and wonderfully written novel that explores the psychological aftershocks of the American war in Vietnam. For veterans and their families this is a must read." - Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried

"'Searching for Gurney' will open your mind and heart to the sad reality that too many Vietnam veterans faced when they returned home. Jack Estes has given us powerful characters who allow readers to understand a time when young men risked everything and lost much to serve their nation's bidding." - Karl Marlantes, author of the Vietnam epic novel Matterhorn

"In Estes' war novel, 'Searching for Gurney, ' four soldiers cope with the effects of a deadly engagement between U.S. Marines and members of the North Vietnamese Army. The staggered timelines offer readers an almost Cubist vision of PTSD, providing its context while dramatizing its aftereffects. It all builds steadily to the key event, which, by the time it arrives, has grown to near-mythic proportions." - Kirkus Reviews

"Estes, a Marine Corps veteran who was wounded in Vietnam, brings both personal experience and meticulous research to the page. This brutal novel of American and Vietnamese soldiers' struggles during and after the war will enthrall fans of character-driven drama. Great for fans of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War. - BookLife

"Jack Estes has written an outstanding novel that’s painful to read, but also important to our understanding of the demons that so many of our veterans live with. It’s at once an account of the brotherhood forged in war and the physical and psychological issues that make it so difficult for these troubled men to find their place again among the rest of us." - George Rede, for The Oregonian/OregonLive (read full review)

A Soldier's Son CoverA Soldier's Son

Available at: | Barnes and Noble | Annie Bloom's


Read what Jack has to say about writing this novel on his Q&A page.

This new project from Jack Estes is a novel adapted from his award-winning screenplay of the same name. This screenplay took First Place in 2006 out of 1500 entries at FilmMakers International Screen writing Contest, top ten at Script Shark and First Place at Willamette Writers Conference.

A Soldier's Son is the powerful and redeeming story of a father's haunting memories of war, and his desperate attempt to save his son.

"Last night when the moon was gone and the neighborhood quiet, I grabbed my coat and walked down the hill toward Wilderness Park. With me was my squad of young Marines, dead and wounded still living in my memory. The air was wet and cool as they followed me down the block, gliding under streetlights and sliding past parked cars. At the bottom of the hill, we turned into the thick, dark woods."


"Estes skillfully presents the effect of war on familiies both in the moment and decades later. His characters are rich and complex. Battle scenes are vividly drawn, keeping the reader caught up in the action. A complex novel of the past and future, fathers and sons, and war and redemption, and the devastating impact of large-scale violence on both the perpetrators and the victims." - Kirkus Review (read full review)

"Sometimes we forget that there is only one generation between Vietnam and Iraq. That some of the boys who survived the first, lived on to have sons sent into a new horrific kind of warfare. When a middle-aged father braves the battlefield of Iraq to save his son, it is not just an act of courage, but an act of great love... Sometimes we are lucky enough to have a talented writer survive war with the skill to write about it for all of us to understand his experiences and war itself. And sometimes a writer is gifted enough to transform his hell into art. Jack Estes is one of these, now with an unforgettable, powerful book about war and about what it is to be a father." - Cynthia Whitcomb, two-time Emmy Awards nominee

"Jack Estes is a master at capturing the human costs of war, from the battlefield to the front rooms of America. As riveting as it is lyrical, A Soldier's Son will not be forgotten." - Karen Karbo, award-winning author of The Stuff of Life.

“In his beautifully written novel, A Soldier’s Son, Jack Estes, a Vietnam veteran, brings an authenticity and emotional intensity to the page. The result is a page turner.” - Larry Colton, past nominee for the Pullitzer Prize for Counting Coup.

“Jack Estes knows combat and its effects on the families of those who returned from it…and he knows how to write about both with such clarity and emotional intensity that you will keep turning pages far too late into the night. All veterans and their loved ones should read this novel of a father’s love, loss, and personal courage, both at home and at war.” - Karl Marlantes, author of the Vietnam epic novel Matterhorn

A Field of InnocenceA Field of Innocence

A Memoir of Love and the Vietnam War

Available at | Barnes and Noble | Annie Bloom's | Powell's Books


Jack Estes volunteered to fight in a war in a country he couldn't even locate on a map. He was a kid, eighteen years old. He was married, broke, flunking out of college and about to become a father. The Marines seemed like a good way out. He figured Vietnam couldn't be any worse than home. He was wrong.

Originally published in 1987, A Field of Innocence is available on in both paperback and Kindle editions and at other fine booksellers.


"With its raw realism and heartbreaking honesty ... one of the finest Vietnam memoirs." - Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carry

"This powerful memoir is an eyewitness account of how underfunded and undersupported U.S. Marines called combined action platoons fought in the tiny villages of Vietnam. With riveting clarity, Jack Estes brings to light the first test of true counterinsurgency warfare." - Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn

"Chilling... it tells how a youngster from Portland, Oregon matured in the crucible of combat... the reader is given a sense of what it's like to fight an unseen enemy who might appear anytime, anywhere and start shooting from ambush." - Publishers Weekly