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Publisher's Summary

Marine lieutenant Waino Mellas and his comrades in Bravo Company have been dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam. Standing in their way are the North Vietnamese, the monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, and disease and malnutrition. When the company is surrounded by the enemy, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.
Β©2010 Karl Marlantes (P)2011 WF Howes Ltd
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By Ian C Robertson on 10-23-11

Made for the Big Screen

The plot, the personnel, the time and the place scream out for this to be adapted for the movies. I enjoyed that it stayed with Mellas and didn't jump between characters too much. The reading was terrific. It makes you want to know if Mellas makes it. On the downside, I thought the run up was a bit long, although it can't be said the foundation wasn't laid for the conclusion. I found the racial politics interesting. I could have read more about the fragging (in fact I am now). Must have made life and death even more tenuous to know the bullet could come from any side. I will definitely read another novel by the author and,of course, I think the narrator is worth watching too.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Geoff on 10-01-11

Magnificent

This book is magnificent. The writing of Karl Malantes and the narration by Jeff Harding combine to make this a very special experience. From the beginning to the end it is as if the listener is an adjunct member of Bravo Company in the jungles of Vietnam. The fear,the squalour,the bravery and the comradeship are all there. No punches are pulled.Whether it deals with battle, commanding officers or race relations the story and presentation is realistic and unrelenting.Of the many dozens of Audible books I have listened to this one is amongst the very best.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By James on 07-20-11

Fantastic

Well paced, interesting and engrossing. Make sure you have a free 30 hours before pressing play as turning it off may be an issue. Also hats off to Jeff Harding for some brilliant narration.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Ken on 01-19-13

The 'Grand Old Duke' Would Have Loved It..!

If marching troops to the top of the hill and then marching them down again meets your idea of 'effective Generalship' you'll love this book.



Karl Marlantes's book perfectly encapsulates the idiocy of warfare at 'the sharp end' where the man on the ground does his best to carry out the wishes of those often too remote from the situation or too stupid to know better. It was also harrowing evocation of a time when territory counted for little and strategic decisions were driven by the body count, notwithstanding the cost of gaining that territory, and his depiction of the conditions under which the Marines operated says so much for their perseverance and courage. Not a pleasant book, and not one that wraps-up neatly, but then, neither was the war in Vietnam.

One other thing the book brought home was the strange attitude to one's fellow-soldiers,at least to those of us from a British or Australian Military viewpoint. The manning of combat platoons and companies by people who were complete strangers to each other, had never trained together and had nothing in common apart from their currently sharing the same grid reference point, exacerbated tensions and limited the opportunity for the bonds of 'mateship' to develop. Such friendships as did exist were usually transitory and the benefit the Brit Squaddies or Aussie Diggers get from being 'in it together and here for each other' seldom arises beyond the short-term.

Jeff Harding, as usual, was great. I almost expected Jack Reacher to make an appearance.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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By Stephanie Williams on 12-01-17

A riveting listen

I was doubtful about whether this would be my type of book - but I absolutely loved it. The story is so compelling and the narrator was phenomenal

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By fiona on 02-20-17

Superb

Great book, excellent narration. Could not wait to get back in the car to listen on my way home from work πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘Œ

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