A Rumor of War

  • by Philip Caputo
  • Narrated by L. J. Ganser
  • 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When it first appeared, A Rumor of War brought home to American readers, with terrifying vividness and honesty, the devastating effects of the Vietnam War on the soldiers who fought there. And while it is a memoir of one young man's experiences and therefore deeply personal, it is also a book that speaks powerfully to today's students about the larger themes of human conscience, good and evil, and the desperate extremes men are forced to confront in any war. A platoon commander in the first combat unit sent to fight in Vietnam, Lieutenant Caputo landed at Danang on March 8, 1965, convinced that American forces would win a quick and decisive victory over the Communists. Sixteen months later, and without ceremony, Caputo left Vietnam a shell-shocked veteran whose youthful idealism and faith in the rightness of the war had been utterly shattered. A Rumor of War tells the story of that trajectory and allows us to see and feel the reality of the conflict as the author himself experienced it, from the weeks of tedium hacking through scorching jungles, to the sudden violence of ambushes and firefights, to the unbreakable bonds of friendship forged between soldiers, and finally to a sense of the war as having no purpose other than the fight for survival.Most troubling, Caputo gives us an unflinching view not only of remarkable bravery and heroism but also of the atrocities committed in Vietnam by ordinary men so numbed by fear and desperate to survive that their moral distinctions had collapsed.More than a statement against war, Caputo's memoir offers readers today a profoundly visceral sense of what war is and, as the author says, of "the things men do in war and the things war does to men".


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Reality of the U.S in the Vietnam War

What made the experience of listening to A Rumor of War the most enjoyable?

The narration by L.J. Ganser convinced me I was listening to Philip Caputo. Caputo's story is believable and frank. It does not gloss over or dwell on the mistakes of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war nor does it dwell on them. This is a story of political naivety and the reality of being a professional soldier.
As a former soldier of the Vietnam era I could identify with his experiences and empathized with the changes he went through from enlistment to his days of being a war correspondent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Rumor of War?

The near mental breakdown when Philip Caputo started to visualise all around him as corpses.

What about L. J. Ganser’s performance did you like?

He sounded like what I would expect Philip Caputo to sound like. He had peculiarities of military jargon down pat. His range voices was true to the individual characters and allowed the listener to immerse themselves in the story and kept the characters different and distinctive.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Caputo realises that his classmate was one of the statistics that he had to record.

Any additional comments?

A fantastic listen and a true to life account of Marine officer's experience in early Vietnam.

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- Glenn

Excellent First Person Narrative

Wonderfully read first person account of a young Marine officer in the early days of the Vietnam War. For us history/military fans, it is a nice break from the dry Generals perspective, to what it is like to be a grunt in the field. Worth the buy.
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- Kyle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios