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Publisher's Summary

"Kids like me didn't go to Vietnam", writes Jack McLean in his must-listen memoir. Raised in suburban New Jersey, he attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, but decided to put college on hold. After graduation in the spring of 1966, faced with the mandatory military draft, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for a two-year stint. "Vietnam at the time was a country, and not yet a war", he writes. It didn't remain that way for long. 

A year later, after boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, and stateside duty in Barstow, California, the Vietnam War was reaching its peak. McLean, like most available Marines, was retrained at Camp Pendleton, California, and sent to Vietnam as a grunt to serve in an infantry company in the northernmost reaches of South Vietnam. McLean's story climaxes with the horrific three-day Battle for Landing Zone Loon in June, 1968. Fought on a remote hill in the northwestern corner of South Vietnam, McLean bore witness to the horror of war and was forever changed. He returned home six weeks later to a country largely ambivalent to his service. 

Written with honesty and insight, Loon is a powerful coming-of-age portrait of a boy who bears witness to some of the most tumultuous events in our history, both in Vietnam and back home.

©2009 Jack McLean (P)2019 Tantor

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What listeners say about Loon

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  • ML
  • 05-02-19

Besides a production issue, excellent.

Story -
The author was the first Vietnam vet to gain admission to Harvard. But it's not all roses; he was exposed to Agent Orange on top of having buddies get killed before his eyes.

Performance -
Top quality storytelling skills by Chris Ciulla.
Production quality was problematic. You need to alternately raise and lower volume in places. When you don't raise volume fast enough, you need to go back 30 seconds to catch it.

Overall -
This is a real easy listen, the type of book one finishes. One finds out about NVA use of long-range heavy artillery, and how this rendered U.S. operations ineffective in some areas toward war's end. Heavy artillery isn't like mortars. It helped me understand what went wrong for the U.S. at Khe Sanh.



5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Didn't hook me...

I was hoping for a new engaging take on Vietnam. Felt like id heard it before. Same old same old. But if you've never read a true war story you might like it. I quit after 2.5 hours.

Cuilla gave an okay read.