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Marble Mountain: A Vietnam Memoir Hardcover – March 25, 2011

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Named Tennessee's Outstanding Young Man for service to his community, state and country, Bud Willis has been well recognized for his first book, Bluestocking, released in 2009, now in its second printing. A native Tennessean, Willis grew up in Tullahoma, and graduated from Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville. There, Bud served as editor of the campus literary magazine. His professional career extended through 34 years in the securities industry as Partner with J.C. Bradford and Company. As a successful business man, public speaker, and humorist, his spirited Southern writing style engages readers quickly, with pathos, humor, and new knowledge regarding the lives and labor of young, Marine pilots serving in the mid-60's in Vietnam. Currently semi-retired, Bud lives in Naples, FL with his wife and best friend, Lee. Bud can be reached at: budsvilla@aol.com, or at 16719 Pistoia Way Naples. FL 34110. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 484 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (March 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145674349X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456743499
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,242,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Is "Marble Mountain" a humorous book, a memoir, a personal legacy, or a war story regarding the author's plight as a Huey helicopter pilot in the early stages of the Vietnam War? The answer really depends on who is reading it. Regardless of who that is, Bud Willis's book revealed disturbing futuristic trends of a war America was only seeing, metaphorically speaking, the tip of the iceberg as to its unavoidable climax. In making this statement, there are several factors to consider. Willis selected the May 7, 1954 French surrender at Dien Bien Phu to Ho Chi Minh's forces, known then as the "Viet Minh," as his starting point. Hell In A Very Small Place: The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu It should also be noted that within two years of this, America's casualties would commence. For the historically uninitiated, the author's history lesson is concise, arming the reader with reference points whereupon everything that followed makes sense. Two months after this French debacle, an accord was reached in Geneva, Switzerland whereby both North and South Vietnam were partitioned into two zones at the 17th Parallel, used as a demarcation point. Elections were to scheduled to occur within two years of this to determine Vietnam's fate, with its indigenous population selecting either Uncle Ho's Northern Communism, or opting for leadership from the former Emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai.

Considered a French and Japanese puppet, it was taken for granted Dai would lose and Vietnam would become Communist. Eisenhower already had developed his version of the "Domino Theory," prompting the CIA to quickly step in. Next, they installed Ngo Din Diem as the South's Prime Minister, and Dai was quietly ousted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ima Giver on May 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thank you for writing this, Gus Plum was in this account of the vmo2 at Marble Mountain. The purchase of this was excellent and a precious purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Podlaski, Author of Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel on December 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Vietnam Infantry veteran, I have always held chopper pilots in the highest regard for always being there when needed. Without them, many more of us would have perished. I had jumped from choppers into hot LZ's, seeking the deepest depression or fattest tree for protection, while the crew functioned cool as cucumbers during this ordeal. These chopper pilots were relentless and continued to ferry reinforcements and pick up the wounded with not much protection for themselves. They flew their machines through steady streams of gunfire, some exploding in the air or crashing, and yet, the crews continued as if they were invincible. Dust off's, ash and trash runs, troop deployments, evacuations, resupply, over-head support, VIP taxi's and tour guides were all part of their everyday job - sometimes having to fly by themselves when short on personnel. Additionally, Mr. Willis informs us that all pilots also have secondary duties (administrative functions) while on the ground.....sleep was at a premium and a single shift sometimes lasted 24 plus hours or more

Bud Willis does a wonderful job with this well-told story and offers the reader an in-depth look at the everyday life of these flying Marine warriors, which isn't, by the way, a nine to five job. Bud's memoir also includes pictures, copies of reports and written statements from those he had served with. The book follows "BOO" through training and then during his tour as a chopper pilot in Vietnam; his tour lasting 13 months from March, 1966 through April, 1967. The author also has a fantastic sense of humor and wit that sometimes catches me off-guard, making me laugh out loud.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bud Willis has crafted a funny memoir that keeps the narrative alive with some history lessons along the way. He cites the poll shown to President Eisenhower showing that Ho Chi Minh would have won the election unifying North and South Vietnam in the fifties. He goes on to relate President Kennedy's horror at the "unintended" assassination of the Diem brothers, and his probable resolve to remove American involvement from Vietnam before his own untimely assassination. He also explains various terms and phrases to new Vietnam readers.

These historical asides are very important, as I realize many new readers need these clarifications to follow the narrative. To young readers of today, the Vietnam War is as ancient as the Korean War was to my generation. Good that Bud Willis the older writer is able to craft a phrase or two better than the young Marine recruit he remembers being. It's a pleasant read throughout.

With that said, there are a few minor quibbles on this edition I have. Typographical errors are few (McArthur for General MacArthur being the most noticable), and the font changes oddly from chapter to chapter. Maybe this was deliberate to mark senior recollections away from youthful diary entries. Although I appreciate the diary entries being edited and polished, I think they could have been cleaned up a little more to look more like a narrative and less a daily record on how much dirt was on the rubber mattress that particular day.

For some reason, I have the phrase "AuthorHouse" printed as a watermark imprint on every page. I cannot recall if I ordered this new from Amazon, or used. If used, then I suppose this may be an author's proof edition made before the book's release.
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