The Odyssey of Echo Company

The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War
Narrated by: CJ Wilson
Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.7 out of 5 stars (304 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A powerful work of literary military history from the New York Times best-selling author of In Harm's Way and Horse Soldiers - the harrowing and redemptive account of an American army platoon fighting for survival during the Vietnam War.

On a single night, January 31, 1968, some 100,000 soldiers in the North Vietnamese Army attacked 36 cities throughout South Vietnam, hoping to topple that government and dislodge American forces. The 12 American boys of the recon platoon of the 101st Airborne Division, average age 19, are from small farms, California beach towns, and big cities like Chicago, and they are cast into a war they neither understand nor ultimately feel they can win. The fighting was hand-to-hand, nonstop, and waged in endless small battles that forged this group into a lifelong brotherhood of survivors. The Odyssey of Echo Company is about the young men who survived 60 days on the run from the enemy during the Tet Offensive, at the height of the Vietnam War.

Each young man lived 100 years in these days and came home to a country that did not understand, and didn't try to understand, what they had survived. They came home winners because they were alive but were losers for having fought there. When they arrived, they landed in San Francisco, took off their uniforms, and walked back into America, where they fell silent and realized that not many wanted to hear the remarkable story they had to tell - until now.

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, dozens of detailed letters written to and from Echo Company soldiers, a huge trove of Pentagon after-action reports, and travel to the scenes of battle with the American soldiers and some of their Vietnamese enemy soldiers, The Odyssey of Echo Company breaks through the wall of time to tell this important story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

©2017 Doug Stanton (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great look into what a Nam solder endured.

I would recomend this book to anyone who is interested in the Vietnam War. My father served 2 tours there in the Marines and I have studied this war for years. My father's health is declining rapidly and in listening to this book it gave some of the best insight into my father and his war.

5 people found this helpful

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The most intense Nam combat I've ever heard

Buckle up, Doug Stanton takes you on a harrowing ride through the eyes of Stan Parker. Attached to a Recon platoon, Stan saw intense firefights during the Tet offensive. Stan escaped death so many times it's incredible how lucky he was. During Tet and mini-Tet the US suffered the most KIA during the war. I've read about the fierce battle for Hue and Echo Co. was 15 miles north of Hue while that region was under constant attack for months. Story even discusses subjects as PTSD and Agent Orange which effected many in Echo company. I'm really enjoying the resurgence of Nam combat vets who are now telling their story like the WW2 vets of the late 90's. I was captivated, we need more books like this!

2 people found this helpful

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Heart reaching

A story that pulls at your heart strings. You hear the internal struggles of a good man in a hellish situation and realize the horrible choices these people had to make. Something I will never be able to fully comprehend. I want to say thank you for this story. Cpl. Wright USMC

1 person found this helpful

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The real thing.

As a veteran who was in Danang Bay multiple times during the war and spent 3 years in the hostile fire zone, I always wished I’d taken orders to a PBR, till I listened to this book. These men were indeed brutalized by the war, and I thank God He didn’t send me there. And I thank the men and women who did go in my stead; God bless them!

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Just an incredible story and odyssey

So well written...actually had to put the book down a few times given how moving and stirring it was. So very well done. Am glad that Stan asked it to be written...

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Amazing, enraging and heart wrenching.

Would recommend to anyone who enjoys and can handle war books. A must read. d

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WOW, could not stop listening.

I understand better what so many of my friends endured during the conflict. thank you Doug and to all who served.

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Barely got thru One Chapter

The writing style is too ornate and it is contrived. I had little to no sense of where anyone was located, where the enemy was, or even how much time had passed. One of the worst audiobooks I've ever tried to listen to. And I'm surprised, given the positive ratings from others.

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Insert title here

I listened to the audio book and it's pretty good.. This is the story primarily of a guy who volunteered to join the Army to fight in Vietnam. it is well written.Stanton does a wonderful job of communicating the near-madness -- mental and physical exhaustion, deafening noise, and continuous adrenaline response.

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Revelation, understanding, vulnerable, powerful, and healing!

The above words are what immediately comes to mind after reading this book. The author helped you to feel and come to love and appreciate the characters depicted. My father is a Vietnam vet, so this very insightful book helped to shed a lot of light on my father and his life/experiences/nightmares etc. My deepest respect and profound gratitude goes out to all of the veterans of this war in particular. I don't think I'll ever look or experience my relationship with them the same again. The quiet suffering they have endured all of these years is beyond comprehension. I am so saddened that these young men were placed in impossible situations with life and death decisions in a war no one could understand. I feel their pull with wanting to find peace and forgiveness and the terrible pain and resentment they must harbor. I hope and pray that each of them will find peace in knowing that they served honerably despite what happened. Those of us that have never been in the military can never understand the depth of pain and suffering that went on many years after the war.. physically and emotionally. I am grateful to all those that shared their most intimate memories so that we can all better understand and appreciate their sacrifices. They not only fight for freedom for those who are oppressed, but for their brothers and sisters next to them in combat who gave the ultimate sacrifice. We owe it to them to REMEMBER!

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  • Bot
  • 08-10-18

A great book. I would highly recommend.

A great book. Harrowing and thought provoking in places. Also covers the life of the soldier post war, and returning back to Vietnam. The performance is great, at times making you feel like the reader was actually there.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-20

I did not want it to end, brilliant book.

Loved it, so well written and the narration was the best i have had the pleasure to listen to.

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  • Bill
  • 04-11-18

Disappointing

The first audio book I read on the Vietnam war (The Battle of Hue by Scott Bowden) was fantastic. I'd hoped this one would be half as good. Unfortunately it was not.
We live in the world of the internet, and we can fact check. The stories got sillier and sillier, and could not be verified.
Narrator was good, but could not save this from sinking into the mud....