Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dispatches Paperback – August 6, 1991
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Khe Sanh is indeed the centerpiece of the book. He describes the battle from ground level, drawing comparisons to the infamous Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which brought the French chapter of the Vietnam War to an end. Commanding officers bristled at the comparison, yet here were the Americans entrenched in a remote outpost, with the mysterious presence of the Viet Cong all around them. Herr gives you the perspective of a handful of soldiers he was in closest contact with, following up on their fates in later chapters.
Herr doesn't try to make sense of the war, simply presenting it as the maelstrom it was. Chaos reigned. All you could do was keep your head down. He ties you in to some of the other reporters covering the war, including the flambouyant Sean Flynn, who would ride into most any situation with the aplomb of his legendary father, Errol Flynn. It is such a fantastic range of dispatches giving the reader a real feel for what went on in Vietnam.
Beyond that, Herr's writing is almost poetic. His descriptions of the war and the men who fought in it are impressive, borderline masterly. In addition he throws off gems of impromptu character studies, almost throw-away sentences that describe the very core of the soldiers he met. One of my favorite lines that Herr wrote for Apocalypse Now is when Willard meets the PBR crew; he says they're "rock and rollers, with one foot in their graves." Dispatches is filled to the brim with such lines, and if you enjoyed Martin Sheen's voice-over in the Coppola film, you'll really enjoy this book.
I've read Dispatches a few times, and each time I've taken something new from it. The "Khe Sanh" section is obviously the centerpiece of the book; it dwarfs all of the other stories. Stuck in the bombed-out, besieged base, Herr effectively conveys the sense of doom and paranoia that gripped the Marines trapped inside. This section features one of the more memorable soldiers in the book, the black Marine Day Tripper, as well as a mysterious grenade launcher who provided the inspiration for the character Roach in Apocalypse Now.Read more ›
Herr's use of brutal imagery absorbed me into his savage surroundings. From the soldier who can't stop drooling as a result of a particularly dreadful gun battle, to the scenes of the dead, American and Vietnamese, adult and infant, on eclectic battlefields and village streets.
The characters are real people in a situation that most of them neither like nor understand. They are young men who invoke the same shortcomings we all have. But they are a step above the common reader. They are professional soldiers and act that way despite their misgivings. They push past the boundaries of fear and into the realms of heroism or insanity or death. Everyone that he introduces is individual. There are no carbon copy soldiers here. They are funny or musical or religious or delusional, whatever their idiosyncrasy may be. I felt as though I was being introduced to people I knew throughout the book.
Most books on the topic of war that I have read tend to stay with one platoon. Herr constantly shifts places and battalions and makes the reader feel as though he/she is part of something bigger. There is no single climax in the book. An honest reflection of that war perhaps. Each chapter is as horrific and exhilarating as the next.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave it five stars. This book...well. Herr changes it up a bit and the first half is a novel, the second half is a kind of dreamscape of...well, buy it and read it. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Trailer Park Cyclist
A must read, should be required reading in high school. Trump should read it though I doubt he would understand.Published 2 days ago by Kindle Customer
For years I had a deep fascination for the Vietnam war. This book is a an insight into the human psyche and how we cope with anything.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Arrived in good condition, quickly. Very good book. Recommended for EVERYONEPublished 8 days ago by tim
As a Vietnam era ( not an actual Vietnam ) Army veteran the book brought back a lot of important but also painful memories from a very difficult period. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Bill C
Really just a trip down memory lane for a drugged out reporter suffering from survivor guilt. Didn't really enjoy it at all for the first the 50-some pages, the author's prose is... Read morePublished 11 days ago by craig
If you read no other book about Vietnam, read this one. I was there with the Marines in 1969 and what the author writes about was as true then as it was during the earlier war... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Capt. Chas
Extraordinary personal memoir of the Vietnam war, almost stream of consciousness, the prose just comes rushing out, sympathetic, never maudlin, wryly observed, a really unique... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Randy