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Publisher's Summary

One of the greatest examples of war journalism ever written, Michael Herr's clearheaded yet unsparing retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, finding clarity in one of the most incomprehensible events in our modern era.

A National Book Critics Circle finalist and highly acclaimed upon its publication, Dispatches still retains its resonance as America finds itself amidst another military quagmire.

©1977 Michael Herr (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

"The best book I have ever read on men and war in our time." (John le Carré)
"The best book ever to be written about the Vietnam war." ( New York Times Book Review)
"Tough, profane, relentless...elegant." ( Newsweek)

What listeners say about Dispatches

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Doesn't Entirely Work as an Audio Book

I've read this book on paper twice before, and I love it. There are so many lines that are so profoundly macabre and poetic that you need to pause and let them flow through you a bit before moving on. The audio book format often doesn't allow for that, and the story suffers for it. I would still recommend it, but I would steer people towards a physical copy if able. and support your local independent book stores when you do.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darwin8u
  • 2012-04-11

One of the GREAT war memoirs of ALL TIME!

I could say this is one of the best memoirs I've read. I could also say it is one of the most brilliant books on war I've ever read. It would probably be easier, however, for me to just acknowledge I haven't read many books that have the power, the poetry, the intensity, the vividness, the bathos and the pathos that Herr pushes through every single page of this amazing book. This is a book that haunts you hard while you read it and resonates both the horror of war and the surreal qualities of war and the men who fight it.

26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darren
  • 2010-06-23

A singular piece of work

I've read dozens of books dealing with war and Dispatches stands apart from nearly all of them.
This is not meant to be an authoritative historical overview of the conflict in Vietnam. Rather it's a deeply personal account of Herr's time spent with the guys in the mud, doing the fighting, marking their time and hoping to make it home in one piece.
Plenty of books have been written from this perspective before. But Herr's jazz-like prose, keen observations and raw honesty paint a picture that's so immersive it will be hard to forget.
Put it in your shopping cart now.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Cheryl
  • 2013-05-20

Brought me closer to Vietnam Vets and the War

This was a fantastic audible! It brought me closer to the Vietnam Vets and what they experienced as they fought in it and those that laid down their lives in Vietnam. The author, Michael Herr, wrote in such a way that you felt close to his emotions and the emotions of the soldiers. With his descriptions you could visualize the images that he saw as a journalist in Vietnam.

He did an awesome job of telling his story and theirs. You could easily put yourself in his place. You could also understand how it had such ravaging effects of the soldiers.

The performance by Ray Porter was superb.

I was definitely glad that I purchased and listened to this audible.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • James Turney
  • 2010-05-05

Great read, very interesting, Thought provoking

I have listen over the last couples of months with fascination. The reading is well paced not monotone. The scientific explanations are will written and easy to understand.
I have really enjoyed this audio book and would recommend it just for the historical perspective alone. It provides a startling and sometimes grotesque picture in words on subject almost forgotten by today generations.
Makes you think before saying “just nuke them”.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 2017-06-05

Outstanding Tales of the Vietnam Experience

Any additional comments?

Well told and extremely well narrated. Ray Porter breathes life into this story with his ability to take on the different voices of a variety of characters in such an entertaining way. This is probably my favorite Vietnam war story, as Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket are my favorite Vietnam movies. A must listen for those who enjoy this genre!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • curt
  • 2010-11-23

Vietnam

Gives you a feeling of what it was like, greatest Vietnam War Book ever written

3 people found this helpful

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  • Philip Graves
  • 2017-05-29

Excellent Novel, Sub-par Narration.

story was excellent. Narrator had trouble coping with the stream-of-consciouness writing. I felt the narrator spent too much time perfecting his "Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now" cadence and too little time practicing the book as written.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 2012-02-26

A great book brilliantly narrated

A superbly written, personal account of the Vietnam War told with absolutely pitch-perfect narration. Porter's performance empowers and invigorates Herr's writing in the same way a great actor breathes life into Shakespeare. Dispatches is not a linear history of the war or a chronology of Herr's experience. It is a series of vignettes, impressions and reactions to something Herr knows he will never comprehend. He writes masterfully of war's effects and how it feels.

4 people found this helpful

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  • William R. Todd-Mancillas (Name includes hyphen and camptalized M)
  • 2020-02-10

Exemplary content; excellent narration

Narration: clear, interesting, dramatic, excellent. Content: not an uninformative, captivating recollection in the bunch. Highly recommended. One of the very best viet memoirs.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Avidreader
  • 2018-07-21

Haunting book, made even better by great narration.

Dispatches reads sort of like a personal memoir that jumps back and forth in time, but this adds to the haunting quality. You will recognize some of the characters and scenes from Apocalypse Now! Michael Herr wrote the narration for the main character in that movie, and you will recognize the theme.

1 person found this helpful