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John OBrien

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 40
  • helpful votes
  • 149
  • ratings
  • Chesty

  • The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC
  • By: Colonel Jon T. Hoffman USMCR
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 23 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

The Marine Corps is known for its heroes, and Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller has long been considered the greatest of them all. His assignments and activities covered an extraordinary spectrum of warfare. With his bulldog face, barrel chest (which earned him the nickname Chesty), gruff voice, and common touch, Puller became - and has remained - the epitome of the marine combat officer. Author Jon Hoffman has been given special access to Puller's personal papers as well as his personnel record. The result will unquestionably stand as the last word about Chesty Puller. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book great man good read

  • By Just_Shoppin on 07-10-18

OUTSTANDING

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-19-18

This was a great book about a great Marine and Marine Corps legend. I have read the book Marine but found this book to get into more detailed information about Chesty. I found the narrator to be perfect and he held my attention. The sadest part of the book was when Chesty said goodbye to his son and when he returned home from Vietnam. As tough as he was, Chesty had a heart of gold, his love and affection for his family was something many people did not know.

I met his son Lewis Jr at a Marine Corps birthday ball at Camp Smith, NY around the late 1980s. I sat at the same table with him and it was an honor to know him. We spoke about Vietnam but not his injuries or his father. I was very saddened when Lewis Jr took his own life, but I noticed at the Ball he was quite depressed. I attended his burial and and to this day think of him often knowing he is at his fathers side in heaven.

This is a must read book about the life of LtGen Chesty Puller. Rest in peace Chesty and Lewis Jr, slow hand salute. Semper Fi.

  • Vietnam Rough Riders

  • A Convoy Commander's Memoir
  • By: Frank McAdams
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

In the Vietnam War, American "rough riders" drove trucks through hostile territory delivering supplies, equipment, ammunition, weapons, fuel, and reinforcements to troops fighting on the war's ever-shifting front lines. But, all too often, the convoys themselves became the front lines. Frank McAdams, a Marine Corps lieutenant, learned that the hard way during a tour of duty that began right after the 1968 Tet Offensive and the siege at Khe Sanh.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent book

  • By John OBrien on 07-18-17

Excellent book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-18-17

Frank McAdams had some real incompetent commanding officers in Vietnam, his Capt sounded like the typical go by the book officer and was a coward who dodged taking convoys out. As a Marine grunt myself who rode as a convoy escort, I can tell you the motor T Marines had no picnic. The convoy runs were hazardous from Quang Tri to LZ Stud. I don't know how he was able to deal with his incompetent superiors who should have been relieved of command. His Capt is lucky he wasn't fragged. My officers in my unit Charlie Company 1st bn 3rd Marines were competent, proffesionals and excellent leaders and thankful that they cared about their Marines. I highly recommend this book.

  • Guns Up!

  • By: Johnnie M. Clark
  • Narrated by: Jimmy Starace
  • Length: 1 hr and 58 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

This gut-wrenching firsthand account of the war is a classic in the annals of Vietnam literature. Oliver North calls Guns Up! "a tough, no-nonsense portrayal of combat, courage, and camaraderie."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this Book

  • By Toni on 09-05-03

Guns Up The real deal.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-17

As a machine gunner with Charlie Company 1st bn 3rd Marines 68-69, and having been medevaced back to St Albans Naval hospital I can totally relate to every word Johnnie wrote. This book is the brutal truth about what a Marine Grunt experiences in the bush in combat. This is a no BS story about what it's like. My unit was in An Hoa for operation Taylor Common, I might have passed Johnnie at An Hoa which was the rear that we didn't stay at for very long, we got hot chow a shower and then back out to the Bush. I highly recommend this book if you want to know the real deal about what it's like for a Marine Grunt in combat. I live in Florida, I hope I can make contact with Johnnie. Semper Fi.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Killing Zone

  • My Life in the Vietnam War
  • By: Frederick Downs
  • Narrated by: Barry Press
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 306
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300

Among the best books ever written about men in combat, The Killing Zone tells the story of the platoon of Delta One-six, capturing what it meant to face lethal danger, to follow orders, and to search for the conviction and then the hope that this war was worth the sacrifice. The book includes a new chapter on what happened to the platoon members when they came home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It dont mean nuthin.

  • By John OBrien on 06-21-17

It dont mean nuthin.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-21-17

As a Marine Corps infantryman who served in Vietnam as a machine gunner, this author brings home to the uninitiated the horrors of combat. I highly recommend this book if you want a full understanding of what the Grunts endured in a war that our government had no intention of ever winning due to political unwillingness. There was no plan to win, when you fight for the same real estate time and time again, all our government did was lead patriotic young men to the slaughter and kept the fat cat businessmen wealthy. The Brave soldiers in this book are my Brothers, I know first hand what they went thru. We were mistreated by our countrymen when we returned home and blamed for this Foley and total waste of lives for nothing. Worse yet, our own government who sent us turned their backs on us , but had no problem sending us. I feel a bond with these men, I salute them and think of all the killed in action and the maimed for life and pray for them and their families. God Bless them all. Semper Fidelis.

Jack O'Brien
Charlie Company 1st bn 3rd Marines
March 1968- Feb 1969
Dai Do Survivor.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Center

  • A Marine Sniper's Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War
  • By: Ed Kugler
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 542
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 539

Raw, straightforward, and powerful, Ed Kugler's account of his two years as a Marine scout-sniper in Vietnam vividly captures his experiences there - the good, the bad, and the ugly. After enlisting in the Marines at 17, then being wounded in Santo Domingo during the Dominican crisis, Kugler arrived in Vietnam in early 1966. As a new sniper with the 4th Marines, Kugler picked up bush skills while attached to 3d Force Recon Company, and then joined the grunts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If not the best certainly tied for the best

  • By Rose Dawn Blanton on 08-04-15

It don't mean nuthin

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-25-16

As a Marine Grunt who served in Vietnam from 1968-1969 with Charlie Company 1sr bn 3rd Marines, I can say this is one of the better books I have read about the Vietnam War. Ed's good humor fits right in as a Marine during trying times of a crazy war. His story brought to the forefront the Brotherhood that combat brings between men. I recommend this book to veterans as well as civilians who want to know what it's like to be a field Marine and not in the rear with the gear. I had to laugh with Ed when gear and supplies we should have gotten out in the bush was confiscated by the,REMFS. Being out in the bush on an Operation for 90 days with only two hot meals during that time and the rest being C rations and with you jungle utilities in shreds is part for the course for Marine Grunts. Some minor technical issues caught my ear, the rockets that hit us,we're 122 mm and not 140mm, if there were 140mm I wasn't aware of them. I think during combat operations some chances are taken, and some chances Ed took I must admit raised my eyebrows as a Grunt. Any suspected booby traps if possible should be blown up in place and not assume that they aren't.

  • Devil of a Whipping

  • The Battle of Cowpens
  • By: Lawrence Babits
  • Narrated by: Knighton Bliss
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

The battle of Cowpens was a crucial turning point in the Revolutionary War in the South and stands as perhaps the finest American tactical demonstration of the entire war. On January 17, 1781, Daniel Morgan's force of Continental troops and militia routed British regulars and Loyalists under the command of Banastre Tarleton. The victory at Cowpens helped put the British army on the road to the Yorktown surrender and, ultimately, cleared the way for American independence.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Don't forget the reference downloads!

  • By Jeff on 01-22-10

The Narrator

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-16

the Narrator using quote and unquote is very annoying and takes your focus off the story. there is no need to use those words in telling this story, I will avoid this Narrator in any future purchases no matter how good the book is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Men of War

  • The American Soldier in Combat at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima
  • By: Alexander Rose
  • Narrated by: David Marantz
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

In the grand tradition of John Keegan's enduring classic The Face of Battle comes a searing, unforgettable chronicle of war through the eyes of the American soldiers who fought in three of our most iconic battles: Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima. This is not a book about how great generals won their battles, nor is it a study in grand strategy. Men of War is instead a riveting, visceral, and astonishingly original look at ordinary soldiers under fire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Review

  • By John OBrien on 04-22-16

My Review

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-22-16

As a Marine Corps Veteran of the Vietnam War who survived the Battle Of Dai Do, I can understand a little bit better how combat has affected my life. The author is quite right, war is not glamorous, but it is vicious, savage and horrible. It is regrettable that as long as there are two human beings on this planet there will surely be wars. The author brings home with accurate details the insanity of war on a level to those who have not experienced combat. Reminding me of the phrase, "for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. I highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Generation Kill

  • By: Evan Wright
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 915
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 702
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 703

They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and well paced, though poorly narrated

  • By James on 12-06-11

Proud of the new breed.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-15-16

This is one of the best books about operation Iraqi Freedom I have read so far. As a Vietnam Marine Grunt, C/Co, 1/3, 0331, Marines haven't changed much at all since 1968. You have to have sick humor in combat to get through it, you don't have time to analyze everything. First and foremost on an individual Marine level, you fight for your Brothers to keep them alive, Apple pie and mom waving the American flag doesn't enter your mind. Fighting for freedom for the people of the country you are in doesn't enter the picture either. All your experiences in combat are put on the back burner, keeping yourself and your buddies alive and completing the mission are the first priorities. You don't want to let your your comrades down, you don't want to let the Corp down. The expression, fuck it, it don't mean nuthin gets you through tough times. As my uncle who fought on Saipan as,a Marine told me after I returned home medically evacuated from Vietnam. " You will never forget what you did, you will have to learn to live with it and carry on, live for your fallen friends, that's what they would tell you if they could speak. Welcome home Marines, I highly recommend this book. Semper Fi.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dear Leader

  • Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look inside North Korea
  • By: Jang Jin-sung
  • Narrated by: Daniel York
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,631
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,514
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,514

As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • richly detailed account of getting out

  • By Andy on 07-17-14

Terrible narration

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-16

It would be more understood if the narrator didn't have a lisp, very hard to understand him.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Brute

  • The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine
  • By: Robert Coram
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

From the earliest days of his 34-year military career, Victor "Brute" Krulak displayed a remarkable facility for applying creative ways of fighting to the Marine Corps. He went on daring spy missions, was badly wounded, pioneered the use of amphibious vehicles, and masterminded the invasion of Okinawa. In Korea, he was a combat hero and invented the use of helicopters in warfare.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Leaves a deep impression while also entertaining

  • By PaulaD on 04-26-15

The greatest Marine General that ever lived.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-27-16

I greatly admired General Krulak, I was his driver for two years. He loved his Marines and their well being was always his first concern for them. He was especially fond of the junior enlisted Marines in his command, he had a wonderful sense of humor and was held in high esteem by the Marines under him.