The Killing Zone

My Life in the Vietnam War
Narrated by: Barry Press
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (489 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2007 Frederick Downs (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The best damned book from the point of view of the infantrymen who fought there." ( Army Times)

What listeners say about The Killing Zone

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    364
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    300
  • 4 Stars
    92
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    12
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    354
  • 4 Stars
    69
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It dont mean nuthin.

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.

45 people found this helpful

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

Vietnam experience

H
adn't read a Vietnam era book in ages and this one will take you for a brutal and unrelenting ride. brutality of war abounds in this book and demonstrates the bravery of the Americans who served and died in that conflict. Highly recommended

10 people found this helpful

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

Maybe good story, but horrible narration

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Either give the narrator some coffee, or make him listen to how professionals do this. I'm having to return this though only in Chapter 3. The bizarre enunciation of every, single, word, regardless of whether it is a firefight or filling a canteen is insane. It is so distracting that the story cannot compete. I sampled later chapters to see if the pace picked up as the author's experience increased during his tour, but it's the same plodding narration throughout.

What other book might you compare The Killing Zone to and why?

n/a

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barry Press?

Anyone else who can read and speak English in a conversational or storytelling manner.

What else would you have wanted to know about Frederick Downs’s life?

Could not finish the book.

Any additional comments?

From the review I have read here and for printed version it sounds like an excellent piece, but desperately needs a new narrator.

8 people found this helpful

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

One of a kind story.

A remarkable book, and author. A true story of selflessness, realism, and bravery. No facts of the difficult lives these men faced were spared.

8 people found this helpful

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

A great record of "Nam"

Lt Downs leads us down the jungle trail to manhood. From the wide eyed sweat soaked FNG to seemingly invulnerable platoon leader, to international emissary, he takes us along. This is a must read for warriors, past, present and future; as well as those hoping to avoid war at all costs.

3 people found this helpful

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

A solid and honest POV

Really enjoyed this book. some great gripping moments and a book to give to you good insight into what it was really like for a soldier in the Vietnam war.

the voice was a little bland to start with but you get used to it.

1 person found this helpful

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

Ugh

The narrator's insistence on over pronouncing every hard consonant it so annoying, I stopped after a few chapters. Unlistenable, which is unfortunate.

5 people found this helpful

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

Unlistenable - The author speaks too slowly

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The author speaks unreasonably slowly, choppy, and deliberately. It is very unnatural, and is so distracting that I can't get through this book.

7 people found this helpful

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

It is no 13th Valley

The story is above average and the writing is decent. Do not expect any effort from the narrator to disguise his voice for different characters. It is a very mono tone production.The reader is kept interested by the overall action of combat. There is very little downtime and not much character development.

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

Yet another excellent Vietnam Memoir.

Narration: Clear and rhythmic.

Story: Another excellent recounting of bravery and detailed descriptions of battles.

Recommendation. Must reading for Vietnam war buffs.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dan
  • Dan
  • 07-15-17

Insightful and though provoking

The narrator takes you into the jungle and some of the scenes leave you chilled. Gripping but also really educates you on what it was like to be there.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for h-bomb deluxe
  • h-bomb deluxe
  • 07-31-17

outstanding real account of the Vietnam war and ..

true leadership, through the authors brutal time in country. A must listen for anyone interested in the reality of war. Also very good performance from the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for D. Williams
  • D. Williams
  • 05-11-17

One of the early Vietnam memoirs

Well written and performed. Great story from platoon commanders perspective and the aftermath of his experiences.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-02-19

Amazing diary of Vietnam

this was a compelling listen, follow the journey and keep with it. Some of it is tough to listen to but these brave boys deserve to be heard what they went through was horrendous.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 01-11-18

Fantastic

I am an ex British army soldier and served tours in Iraq. I can honestly say this is one of the most honest and well written accounts of war I have ever read and have been spurred on to pen my own account of my military service off the back of it. Thanks Frederick for this great book

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for darren
  • darren
  • 04-25-17

loved it. highly recommended to all

as a former soldier it was difficult sometimes.
strong and powerful highly recommend to all.
I felt I was there

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tom
  • Tom
  • 09-25-17

poor narrator ok story

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

it was an interesting story with filler none story's in between. but very simpler to others about Vietnam

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Killing Zone?

when the enemy showed himself

What didn’t you like about Barry Press’s performance?

nothing, the narrator really let the book down. it was like he had no idea what word was coming next and said words in away that you thought it was the end of a line then it carryed on. very poor

Could you see The Killing Zone being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

yes it could be

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-20

An Important Contribution

Hard to say I enjoyed this book as the subject is so hard to understand and disturbing but it is an important contribution to anyone who wants to learn about this war. It's certainly 5 star and the ending, shocking then astounding, completed an incredible story. Soldiers doing their job.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-20

Good

This book is a hard hitting genuine account of a soldier's war in Vietnam.
With cool reflection of the aftermath of being in a doomed conflict.
Definitely worth the read.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-07-18

great account of Vietnam war

great story just could not engage with the narrator, a little to monotone for me.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert
  • Robert
  • 08-02-20

The killing zone

Brilliantly worded. I couldn’t put it down. So sorry to hear it end. I will get the other books he wrote.