A National Book Critics Circle finalist and highly acclaimed upon its publication, Dispatches still retains its resonance as America finds itself amidst another military quagmire.
©1977 Michael Herr; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"The best book I have ever read on men and war in our time." (John le Carré)
"The best book ever to be written about the Vietnam war." (New York Times Book Review)
"Tough, profane, relentless...elegant." (Newsweek)
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
I could say this is one of the best memoirs I've read. I could also say it is one of the most brilliant books on war I've ever read. It would probably be easier, however, for me to just acknowledge I haven't read many books that have the power, the poetry, the intensity, the vividness, the bathos and the pathos that Herr pushes through every single page of this amazing book. This is a book that haunts you hard while you read it and resonates both the horror of war and the surreal qualities of war and the men who fight it.
I've read dozens of books dealing with war and Dispatches stands apart from nearly all of them.
This is not meant to be an authoritative historical overview of the conflict in Vietnam. Rather it's a deeply personal account of Herr's time spent with the guys in the mud, doing the fighting, marking their time and hoping to make it home in one piece.
Plenty of books have been written from this perspective before. But Herr's jazz-like prose, keen observations and raw honesty paint a picture that's so immersive it will be hard to forget.
Put it in your shopping cart now.
I have listen over the last couples of months with fascination. The reading is well paced not monotone. The scientific explanations are will written and easy to understand.
I have really enjoyed this audio book and would recommend it just for the historical perspective alone. It provides a startling and sometimes grotesque picture in words on subject almost forgotten by today generations.
Makes you think before saying “just nuke them”.
This was a fantastic audible! It brought me closer to the Vietnam Vets and what they experienced as they fought in it and those that laid down their lives in Vietnam. The author, Michael Herr, wrote in such a way that you felt close to his emotions and the emotions of the soldiers. With his descriptions you could visualize the images that he saw as a journalist in Vietnam.
He did an awesome job of telling his story and theirs. You could easily put yourself in his place. You could also understand how it had such ravaging effects of the soldiers.
The performance by Ray Porter was superb.
I was definitely glad that I purchased and listened to this audible.
While well written the story itself felt as if it was about the language the author chose to use rather than the people and situations in it. It was like watching a movie through fog. I've listened to and read many first person Vietnam books and this one was the only one that's really gotten on my nerves to the point that I quit before I finished.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
Here's a superb look at the folly of how the US conducts war. Cover your eyes and just listen. Is this Iraq? Afghanistan? Vietnam?!!!
Some things never change.
A superbly written, personal account of the Vietnam War told with absolutely pitch-perfect narration. Porter's performance empowers and invigorates Herr's writing in the same way a great actor breathes life into Shakespeare. Dispatches is not a linear history of the war or a chronology of Herr's experience. It is a series of vignettes, impressions and reactions to something Herr knows he will never comprehend. He writes masterfully of war's effects and how it feels.
I chose the highest rating for this book because Mr. Herr was able, because of his personal Vietnam experience, to give clarity to a very complex time in our history.
He doesn't come up short being able to illustrate the day to day operational side of the war's prosecution at the expense of our young combatants and the Country's blood and treasure.
The frustration of field commanders and the failures of political promises, and especially the changes the young soldiers and Marines faced with bravery, brutality and a primary focus of protecting their brethren, while being unable to understand fully why they were there.
Whatever your knowledge or position regarding this conflict, it happened and those who served willingly or unwillingly were, none the less, forever changed by the experience.
As an attack helicopter pilot during Vietnam I have the greatest respect for those guys who sacrificed so much only to face disdain returning home. But we will never forget that they became the "Latest, Great Generation"
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