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Guns Up!

A Firsthand Account of the Vietnam War
Narrated by: Jimmy Starace
Length: 1 hr and 57 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)

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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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  • 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

not the complete book

i read the actual book multiple times and there are parts of it missing from this narration

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

where is the unabridged version?

I've read this book many times in the past and this version seems to go by way too fast there are too many things missing because of abridging. I would really like to have the unabridged version, but this is still a great story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Authentic, raw and refreshingly shallow

Guns up! is authentic, raw and refreshingly shallow. Narrated excellently. Too bad the author decided to give us the censored version in an attempt to bribe God to allow his book to be published (?). But even the tiring, and sometimes melodramatic religiousness feels authentic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • EB
  • 08-14-18

Not much of the book

This audio book is but only a small portion of the real book thus I was disappointed.

Pick up the paperback if you can there is so much more to the story.

If you're looking for a decent listen this audio book hits on a lot of the major themes of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful