This is in the top ten. The stories circle back and are retold with new details, new perspectives, new perspectives that reflect on life, death, friends, relations, and memory. It is not just a Vietnam/war book. It is a book on life.
Tim O'Brian: both the fictional one and the real one.
Bryan Cranston has the perfect world weary voice that reflects the humanity of the primary character as well as being adaptive to perfectly bring the other characters to life. He is a great actor. I do hope he narrates more books. Wow. I would give him more than five stars if possible.
Everything. The end was so perfect. I didn't see it coming as the end, but it hit home.
The final hour is the author speaking. This is the most honest and raw reflection on life that only makes the novel more powerful and real. Everything reflected in the book about truth and story are manifested in Tim's brutal truth and reflection. I am going to listen to this book again.
Every ten years or so, I encounter a book that makes my short list of important literary finds. Now I listen to audible.com books and seldom snuggle up with paper and ink text especially when I knit or wait for the sandman to come late at night. If you want to behold an impressive artistic achievement, check out _The Things They Carried_ by Tim O'Brien.
I have noticed that O'Brien's soldiers do many things that, in Matterhorn, would get them killed. They put light colored objects in their helmet-bands, which the young Matterhorn lieutenant is warned against doing on his first night in the bush; they smoke cigarettes and weed in the bush on operations, which in Matterhorn "an enemy could smell for miles"; they wear machine gun ammo on bandoliers across their chests, while a Matterhorn sergeant warns troops leaving the base "to keep the ammo in the cans, so it won't fail when you need it."
These seem like differences which can get you killed, so who is right? Both O'Brien and served in the bush in Vietnam, but it would seem that one of them was making a lot of mistakes.
Great books, both, though. Great literature, not merely war literature.
I'm a Viet Nam vet and was offended by it. It makes us all look like we were young idiots with no moral fiber whatsoever. Some of those things happened but they were not typical of all of us. I served for 30 years, retired a Col. and do not think this book is good literature.
Tell us about yourself!
This isn't the typical war story. Deep down inside this book feels true. It delivers an honesty, both about the good and the bad, that is rare in war stories. I was moved by the emotions in some places and the detachment from emotion in others. This book makes me feel as if I have seen a very small sliver of what things happened during Vietnam.
Bryan Cranston delivered a high quality performance. It meshed perfectly with the feel of the book as if the author was telling the story himself.
If the author didn't characterize Americans as being murderers and fools.
Clear, concise reading of the story.
Sadness and disappointment.
The author makes it very clear that he believes America's part in the Vietnam war was immoral, evil and just plain wrong. He interleaves real events he witnessed with his recalled dreams of guilt and shame. The book is a pessimistic condemnation of the U.S. Military in Vietnam.
In the author's comments at the end of this book the My Lai massacre is presented (in the author's own voice) as being representative of America, not the horrible crime of a few. It's a common technique for anti-war authors to elaborate on My Lai and exonerate our enemies crimes, while avoiding giving America credit for doing anything right. He does not mention the horrors resulting from the Communist victory, the reeducation camps, the refuges who fled our enemy. He is only sad that he fought them.
This book is a heartfelt, tightly guarded emotional diatribe against America in Vietnam.
Real, true war stories told by an accomplished storyteller. if you liked this book I suggest you give "With the Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa" by Eugene B. Sledge
One of the best books I have ever read. The Audible version is narrated beautifully, and I couldn't stop listening to it over and over. Moving and poignant.
I enjoyed listening to this book very much. Cranston's natation was excellent, although I also appreciated hearing the author's voice in the bonus material. I was moved by this book, and I caught myself crying more than once. I wish every American would take the time to either read or listen to this. The author is very specific that there are no morals to soldiers' stories, but I think this book has an important message and a strong wish that we all need to hear.