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4.5 out of 5 stars26
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 June 2014
Excellently written, personal account of an 18 year old US Marine in the Quảng Trị province of Vietnam. When you read Jack Estes' account of his year in Vietnam, you are THERE with him in action, not in your armchair at home. An exciting and brilliantly honest account of combat, exhaustion, death, fear, comradeship and the effects of combat on soldiers, civilians and animals alike. What really impressed me was Estes' loyalty to his wife and baby, and that, that loyalty and hope got him through the depths of despair and the questioning of RIGHT and WRONG almost every soldier struggles through in combat. The last sentence in the book will bring back poignant personal memories to anyone, in any army, who finally made it home.
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on 21 December 2014
Beautifully wrote book about a living hell,the author is very likeable young boy really with a gift for words and at heart a gentle soul as hard as that may seem,he conveys the journey of young all American boy to a trained killer who constantly struggles with juggling who he is at home with who he is in vietnam,what really makes Jackson's book different from other vietnam books I have read is at heart this is a love story.How these young boys who were lucky enough to make it home could adjust to life in the USA is a miracle in its self.A must read ,sensitive and brutal in equal measures.
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on 15 June 2006
this book is awesome, and hard to put down. the account of boot camp is as real as it gets for the reader and the tour in nam makes you feel like you are in the fox hole next to him. you cant help but associate well with the people in his life and jacks book makes you wish you could keep reading to find out more!! have read it several times in 15 years and it never disappoints.
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on 7 October 2014
I enjoyed reading this book: I liked the style of writing, which I thought was down to earth.
Someone compared it to the book 'Chickenhawk'; I found that I enjoyed this book even more.
The experiences; slow, fast or furious are well told and make good reading. From boredom to death and horror in the blink of an eye (for those who were still alive).
This isn't a 'spoiler', but I found the ending most poignant and sad, and I've read a good few... I would like to know more.

Books on this sad, destructive and futile war should be read by everyone. Great.
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on 13 December 2014
great read. this is a book about an ordinary everyday guy caught up in a war that a lot of americans did not agree with. these soldiers encountered a lot of horrific situations that they were lucky enough to come out alive. all through the book the one abiding thought from the writer was to get home to his family and like a lot of other soldiers the thought of their families is what kept them going . a great account of what can happen to an ordinary guy when caught up in a warzone.
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on 28 September 2015
One of the most moving, detailed and poetic memoirs of the Vietnam war I've ever read. One thing I must mention is how it challenged my misconceptions of some of the Popular Forces (Vietnamese local forces that were aligned with the Americans). Many of those Estes describes were extremely brave men, and he gives plenty of credit to their skill and courage. The last couple of chapters had me moved to tears.
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on 4 May 2015
A real surprise. It managed to capture the war from the perspective of the young father to be. His thoughts his motivations fears and desire just to survive. His change from small-town American values to Vietnam war rules. His desire to understand the war and see who and what he was fighting for. I would recommend anyone to read this.
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on 20 March 2016
I found this memoir of a soldiers tour to Vietnam so moving, really emotional but such a read I couldn't put it down. It really is an amazing book. Anyone interested in this subject should definitely read this one they won't be disappointed.
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on 2 August 2014
What can I say fantastic kept me gripped it's raw earthy content of men in a war zone cannot be faulted I was transported there it was so real I felt I could smell see hear what the soldiers were enduring a great book
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on 23 August 2014
This book is very interesting and looks at the VietNam experience through the eyes of a young soldier. It is very well written and puts another aspect of the war into view. I enjoyed it very much.
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