Monday, January 18, 2021

Dispatches by Michael Herr

  

This is an incredible accounting of a time period about the Vietnam War, told with such descriptive clarity by journalist Michael Herr.

The journalist conveyed the horror using such descriptive language you could smell the fear, feel empathy for these children who wore the uniform of of military. He descrobed the young men as young but their eyes were old, old before their time having witnessed horrors no one should ever see.

He rode in choppers that were under fire and those filled with bodies of dead marines. He had humorius stories about the converstions with the men and frightening moments when they were targeted by incoming missles. Drugs, drink, death and sadness.  

I went through that thing a number of times and only got a fast return on my fear once, a too classic hot landing with the heat coming from the trees about 300 yards away, sweeping machine-gun fire that sent men head down into swampy water, running on their hands and knees towards the grass where it wasn’t blown flat by the rotor blades, not much to be running for but better than nothing.

Herr didn't have to be in Vietnam and soldiers and Marines who realized this were gob smacked.  One Marine stated once he was back in the States his own mama could be sent over and he'd never come back.

It took him years to write the book Dispatches as he came home with crippling depression. Writing this was probably theraputic.

The Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Shelleyrae at Book'd Out. 
 This is for the category Wartime Experiences.

 Check out the sign up post and info HERE. The challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2021. You can join in anytime!





12 comments:

  1. This sounds like a hard book to read but one I'd like to read. My brother in law was in the Vietnam War and I remember that time like it was yesterday. I wore one of his fatigue jackets to Jr. High every day until he came home.

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    1. Vicki, some of it was hard to read and I have such empathy for those soldiers and Marines. No one should have to endure what they did.

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    2. I agree with you that no one should have to go through what they did, or anyone who is sent to war. I ordered the Hardcover and it was delivered yesterday. I plan on starting it soon.

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  2. Sounds very affecting, thanks for sharing your thoughts

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    1. Shellyrae, it was a great read, unbelievable journalism.

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  3. Sounds like a tough read but a fascinating one. My grandfather was so torn on Vietnam. He was career Army but didn't end up being deployed to it thankfully (he had already been in WWII and Korea so it did seem like two was enough). He really didn't agree with the war at all but at the same time he was very loyal to the Army because it had done so much for him and was such a part of his life.

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    1. Katherine, it wasn't a beach read for sure. A part of history whihc Herr captured so well with his writing style.

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  4. This looks like a great one to add to the list! Glad you learned so much from this one.

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    1. Heather, it was intense and the author had PTSD after he came home.

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  5. I've found the Vietnam War one of the hardest to read about. Found your review on Book'dOut. :)

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    1. Carol, thank you for dropping by, I am getting many new suggestions for nonfiction through Shelleyrae's site!

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Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your comments!

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