When Can I Stop Running? , John Podlaski

Action & Adventure, Historical Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Memoir & Biography, Military Fiction, Thriller & Psychological Thriller

John Podlaski’s encore Vietnam War novel brings back John (‘Polack’) Kowalski, the central character in ‘Cherries’, and introduces us to Louis (‘LG’) Gladwell, his irrepressible black friend. Polack and LG are a ‘Salt and Pepper’ team, best buddies and brothers in a way that only those who have fought side-by-side in a war can ever truly understand.

The year is 1970, and the story follows the two soldiers – impressionable Detroit teenagers – during their long night in a Listening Post (‘LP’), some 500 meters beyond the bunker line of the new firebase. Their assignment as a “human early warning system”, is to listen for enemy activity and forewarn the base of any potential dangers. As they were new to the “Iron Triangle” and its reputation, little did they know that units before them lost dozens of soldiers in this nightly high-risk task and referred to those assigned as “bait for the enemy” and “sacrificial lambs”? 

Sitting in the pitch black tropical jungle – with visibility at less than two feet – John’s imagination takes hold throughout the agonizing night, and at times, transports him back to some of his most vivid childhood memories – innocent, but equally terrifying at the time.

As kids, we instinctively run as fast as we can to escape imaginary or perceived danger, but as soldiers, men are trained to conquer their fears and develop the confidence to stand their ground and fight. Running is not an option.

In ‘When Can I Stop Running?’ the author juxtaposes his nightmarish hours in the bush with some of his most heart-pounding childhood escapades. Readers will relate to the humorous childish antics with amusement; military veterans will find themselves relating to both of the entertaining and compelling recollections.

When Can I Stop Running? Is a sensational military novel which takes the reader on a thrilling, terrifying, and addictive journey. As we are taken on this journey, we follow two soldiers through a harsh and unforgiving environment as they try to complete a mission. When Can I Stop Running? Is a thrilling read and even more so because it is based on real experiences and written by a veteran. This book follows on from the first book, named Cherries (linked HERE) however I believe this could be read as a standalone as we meet new characters. However when you read this book, you will be compelled to read the first anyway because it is incredible!

When Can I Stop Running is a book in which the reader is taken on a mission. We follow the two protagonists of the novel – John Kowalski who is the central character in Cherries and a new addition to the story, Louis Gladwell. These two characters make a fantastic pairing, they propel the story of the book forward along perfectly; their dialogue alone was brilliant and incredibly witty at times! I do not want to spoil this book for you, so this is all I will write on the synopsis, however, please know lovely readers that many epic, as well as poignant events, happen within this novel. It is a thrilling, all-consuming novel that you can’t help but fall in love with!

The story of this book, just like the story of Cherries, is excellent. I am impressed with the author’s talent; John Podlaski is a talented writer. I admire him not only as a human and for serving but for his raw talent to write excellent military books that not only entertain and delight the reader but also inform the reader what it was like during the Vietnam war and the period in general. I have read a lot of military books over the years, but this has to be my favorite of all of them. This is because it is clear to me that Podlaski is passionate about his work as well as the military. The majority of the authors who write military books have never served, never experienced the harshness and brutality of it, never experienced the sense of community that occurs when you serve with your fellow men. That is why this book is so incredibly unique and special because Podlaski lets the reader know all of this, it feels real as well as incredible, so I really would implore you wonderful readers to read this book!

Podlaski’s writing flowed from one page to the next effortlessly. His descriptions of the action scenes were impeccable and made me feel as if I was right there at the moment. The whole time I read this book I did not feel like I was intruding on the protagonist’s journey, quite the opposite. Podlaski made me feel as if I was included… like I was there at the moment experiencing the same events they were. I love being involved in a novel, this book talked to me, and it has clearly spoken to so many others as this book has fantastic write-ups!

Overall, When Can I Stop Running? Is a poignant, action-packed novel in which the reader is taken on an epic journey; the journey may be unforgiving at times, as well as harsh but at the core of this book is the bond between two people who are serving their country. This bond binds the book together and so it makes for a beautiful, compelling read. This incredible book gets Five Stars! 

Thank you so much for reading book lovers, I deeply appreciate it and love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please, comment below and let me know your thoughts on When Can I Stop Running? Do you see yourself reading this book? Is it not your usual cup of tea? Let me know all of those brilliant thoughts of yours below! Thank you so much again for reading!  

Goodbye for now book lovers,   

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon USA! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for the Amazon U.K. website. I have also attached some links about the author and this wonderful book! Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book!   

Amazon U.K. / Goodreads Author Website Author Facebook / Author Twitter / Author LinkedIn / Author YouTube / Smashwords 

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Notify of
%d bloggers like this: