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Publisher's Summary

This gut-wrenching firsthand account of the war is a classic in the annals of Vietnam literature.

"Guns Up!" was the battle cry that sent machine gunners racing forward with their M60s to mow down the enemy, hoping that this wasn't the day they would meet their deaths. Marine Johnnie Clark heard that the life expectancy of a machine gunner in Vietnam was seven to 10 seconds after a firefight began. Johnnie was only 17 when he got there, at the height of the bloody Tet Offensive at Hue, and he quickly realized the grim statistic held a chilling truth.

The Marines who fought and bled and died were ordinary men, many still teenagers, but the selfless bravery they showed day after day in a nightmarish jungle war made them true heroes. Guns Up! contains updated information about those harrowing battles. It is a tribute to the raw courage and sacrifice of the United States Marines.

©2002 Johnnie M. Clark (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A tough, no-nonsense portrayal of combat, courage, and camaraderie." (Oliver L. North)

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Toni
  • Spokane, WA, USA
  • 09-05-03

I love this Book

I haven't heard the Audio book but I read the book and I love it it depicts war as it is and it shows it through the eyes of a gunner which of coarse are only suppose to live for 7.5 seconds once a fire fight broke out but Johnnie and his friend Chan got through it a must read for any war buff out there especially the Vietnam ones.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Guns Up The real deal.

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

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

good listen, but incomplete

i read the book 30+ years ago and loved it. i still clearly recall many of the best parts that were not included. no where did it say this is an abridged or p.c. addition, but this seemed like a PG version of the R rated original. i am listening to hear the most extreme human conditions and it is disappointing when the most poignant parts are left out. it makes for a bland story without them. after all, who wouldn't want to hear how johnnie got the clap from the red cross girl or how a comrade suggested using flares to keep an injured female viet-cong fighter warm while the troops had their way with her? that and much more was in the original edition

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

Not the full story.

I have read this book years ago.
I know there a few parts left out in this audible version. But it is one of the best books I have ever read.

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

Really only snippets of the book.

The book is one of my favorite Vietnam War memiors. This audio is NOT the book. It's literally just excerpts of the action. The book has 10 chapters. This audio has 4 incomplete stories that are too abridged to convey their meaning. Unfortunately this version omits the nuances that make the book great. If you want the full experience - the friendships, the tactics, the drudgery, the tragedies - get the print or Kindle version.

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

Exceptional short story

I found it so refreshing to experience a story from the Vietman War that was truly uplifting and has a message for today.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • Pottstown, PA, United States
  • 02-01-11

Gripping

If I found an unabridged version, I suspect the rating would be 5 stars instead of 4. A few big gaps in this version left me wanting more.

If you're looking to get a sense of the horrible toll that the Vietnam War exacted on the young men thrown into its relentless soul grinder, you will find it in this book. You would think accounts like this would make it very difficult for politicians to so cavalierly send soldiers into unwinnable conflicts such as Vietnam.

The author's style is simple and credible. Since I was hoping to hear from a Marine, not a poet laureate, this was welcome to me. You feel like you were there with Clark - and his experiences are vivid. Sometimes painfully so. Clark's story has no pretense and seeks no personal glory. It's honest and sober view of what one young, naive Marine endured in Southeast Asia.

I haven't read the printed version, but until an unabridged version is available, I recommend getting a version that leaves Clark's entire work intact. Failing that, get this book.