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Dispatches by Michael Herr

Dispatches (1977)

by Michael Herr

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,476393,727 (4.18)117
  1. 10
    Chickenhawk by Robert Mason (Peter4444, chrisharpe)
    Peter4444: The autobigraphical recount of a young man who flew UH-1 Iiroquois helicopters in Viet Nam. He flew personnel rather than gun ships, but his take on what Viet Nam came to mean for him and how he ended up back in civilian life are a must-read, as well as the sequel "Chickenhawk: Back In The World"… (more)
  2. 10
    In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War by Tobias Wolff (kraaivrouw)
  3. 10
    In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien (hazzabamboo)
    hazzabamboo: Dispatches was the central source for the film Apocalypse Now. It's non-fiction, but it conveys the hallucinatory horror of the Vietnam War in the same way as O'Brien's novel.
  4. 00
    Teaching Hearts and Minds: Colege Students Reflect on the Vietnam War by Barry M. Kroll (villemezbrown)
    villemezbrown: One of the books discussed in the text.
  5. 00
    The Face of War by Martha Gellhorn (gust)
  6. 00
    Naples '44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy by Norman Lewis (gust)
  7. 00
    Territorio comanche by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (chrisharpe)
  8. 01
    Supernotes: het waargebeurde verhaal van de CIA-spion die ineens op de dodenlijst stond by Agent Kasper, (Luchtpint)

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» See also 117 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Reporter's dispatches from Viet Nam as a war correspondent for Esquire magazine. ( )
  MasseyLibrary | Sep 9, 2018 |
Fierce and unsettling war correspondence from Vietnam, written in a profane, druggy, stream-of-consciousness rap that is yet vivid and precise. The chapter on Khe Sahn ranks with The Things They Carried as the finest writing to come out of that horrible, beautiful, soul-destroying time. ( )
  MikeLindgren51 | Aug 7, 2018 |
If you read any book about the Vietnam war let it be this one. The stories so vivid in their passages that I lost sleep at night thinking about them. ( )
  frschof | Jul 3, 2018 |
I found it somewhat dated and hard-going although I can understand why it was considered a classic in its time. ( )
  mumoftheanimals | Apr 24, 2018 |

So very human view of Vietnam during the war. An engaging memoir of Mr. Herr's experiences there. I highly recommend. ( )
  Feralreader | Nov 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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For my mother and father
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There was a map of Vietnam on the wall of my apartment in Saigon and some nights, coming back late to the city, I'd lie out on my bed and look at it, too tired to do anything more than just get my boots off.
Bob Stokes of Newsweek told me this: In the big Marine hospital in Danang they have what is called the "White Lie Ward," where they bring some of the worst cases, the ones who can be saved but will never be the same again. A young Marine was carried in, still unconscious and full of morphine, and his legs were gone. As he was being carried into the ward, he came out of it briefly and saw a Catholic chaplain standing over him.

"Father," he said, "am I all right?"

The chaplain didn't know what to say. "You'll have to talk about that with the doctors, son."

"Father, are my legs okay?"

"Yes," the chaplain said, "Sure."

By the next afternoon the shock had worn off and the boy knew all about it. He was lying on his cot when the chaplain came by.

"Father," the Marine said, "I'd like to ask you for something."

"What, son?"

"I'd like to have that cross." And he pointed to the tiny silver insignia on the chaplain's lapel.

"Of course," the chaplain said. "But why?"

"Well, it was the first thing I saw when I came to yesterday, and I'd like to have it."

The chaplain removed the cross and handed it to him. The Marine held it tightly in his fist and looked at the chaplain.

"You lied to me, Father," he said. "You cocksucker. You lied to me."
...what a story he told me, as one-pointed as resonant as any war story I ever heard; It took me a year to understand it:

"Patrol went up the mountain. One man came back. He died before he could tell us what happened."

I waited for the rest, but it seemed not to be that kind of story; when I asked him what happened he just looked like he felt sorry for me, fucked if he'd waste time telling stories to anyone as dumb as I was.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679735259, Paperback)

Michael Herr, who wrote about the Vietnam War for Esquire magazine, gathered his years of notes from his front-line reporting and turned them into what many people consider the best account of the war to date, when published in 1977. He captured the feel of the war and how it differed from any theater of combat ever fought, as well as the flavor of the time and the essence of the people who were there. Since Dispatches was published, other excellent books have appeared on the war--may we suggest The Things They Carried, The Sorrow of War, We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young--but Herr's book was the first to hit the target head-on and remains a classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A documentation of the day-to-day realities of the war in Vietnam experienced by men on patrol, under siege at Khe Sanh, strapped into helicopters, and faced with continuing nightmares after their return to the United States.

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