I did two tours in the 'Nam but this is the story of those who were really there. We saw these fellows when they came in from the bush and this is their story. I remember them well. This work reflects the look in their eyes and their attitude. It also reflects the politics of wars, good and bad leadership. In its way, as good as To Kill A Mockingbird, Caine Mutiny, Gone With The Wind, In Cold Blood. Narrator is superb.
If you were not there, you should read this if only to understand sacrifice, loyalty, honor, duty, and the stupidity of wars such as VN. If you were there, you need to read it if only to remind you of the lessons you learned early in life when you were there.
all the expected characters are present and real
black,white,rural,urban,ambitious,stupid and terrified
none are cartoons however you care about each one
surprisingly little contact with or knowledge of the NVA
the enemy is within and the true conflicts are internal
they fight each other constantly and the NVA occasionally
the jungle is the most vicious and relentless opponent
issues of infection,misdirection,malnutrition and isolation never end
the most scary episodes involved the unknowable dense " bush "
bronson pinchot is seriously underpaid
more than a dozen voices with only one narrator
each one distinctive and spot on and vibrant
It's dark, gritty and remarkably human. I can't say enough about the narrator Bronson Pinchot, he sounds like a voice actor and truly makes this book come alive.
If you enjoy a good book about the miserable plight of the American soldier in the Vietnam War you'll enjoy this book. It's in my top 10 listens.
This book was sad and humbling. It gave me a new respect for what the Marines dealt with in that horrible war and made me sad for our soldiers now at war. A recent book on the Irag war brought home the same message as this book - these are 19 year olds - yes "kids" as Melis calls them. The detail is gory and depressing -- some reviewers said it went on too long but you realize after a while that in some ways that is what makes the story real. While there are uplifting moments, this is not an uplifting book but perhaps a story that we need to hear. It is interesting how many people chose to review this book.
I've listened to over 250 audible.com books, and this is the best I have ever listened to. I dragged it out, because I could not stand for it to end.
I have just finished Matterhorn and am still reeling from the emotionally devasting ending (no, I won't spoil it for you).
This is an outstanding book and Bronson Pinchot does an amazing job as narrator. I listened to this shortly after finishing War by Sebastian Junger. I also had the pleasure of listening to the pair of authors share a panel at the Miami International Book Fair. While one is "fiction" and the other not, the both had an incredible emotional effect on me. The horror of the Vietnam War and the cultural context of that era comes clearly through Marlantes' narrative.
One comment I would make is do not believe the synopsis from the publisher about the supposed struggle between an ambitious 2nd Lt. and a more senior veteran officer. I did not find that at all; I felt the central figure, Waino Mellis, to be totally believable and quite human.
I strongly recommend listening to the fine work!!
Story had a realistic feel. Story spent a lot of time developing. Bronson Pinchot did a great job narrating used unique voices for all main characters it really added to the book. Book well worth the credit.
I loved this book. Riveting. I could not stop listening. It is gritty and tough and will take you down into the mud and the blood. The language is raw but feels realistic.
The excursion into race relations was a bit longer than welcome but does not take away from the book's impact.
The book follows a young lieutenant as he arrives to Vietnam and begins to experience leadership and the bush. I loved the way his training came into play as various situations unfolded.
Narration was very effective and deserved the "narrator of the year" award.