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Dispatches

Dispatches

Paperback

By (author) Michael Herr

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  • Publisher: PICADOR
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 15mm | 91g
  • Publication date: 10 March 1978
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0330255738
  • ISBN 13: 9780330255738
  • Sales rank: 10,217

Product description

'The best book I have ever read on men and war in our time.' John Le Carre 'Having read Dispatches, it is difficult to convey the impact of total experience as all the facades of patriotism, heroism and the whole colossal fraud of American intervention fall away to the bare bones of fear, war and death' William S. Burroughs 'Splendid ...he brings alive the terror of combat in a way that rivals All Quiet on the Western Front' Tom Wolfe 'In the great line of Crane, Orwell and Hemingway ...he seems to have brought to this book the ear of a musician and the eye of a painter, Frank Zappa and Francis Bacon' Washington Post 'We have all spent ten years trying to explain what happened to our heads and our lives in the decade we finally survived -- but Michael Herr's Dispatches puts all the rest of us in the shade' Hunter S. Thompson 'If it were only unconventional journalism, it would stand with the best there is -- but it's a good deal more than that ...I believe it may be the best personal journal about war, about any war, that any writer has ever accomplished' Robert Stone

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Editorial reviews

"Vietnam, man. Bomb 'em and feed 'em, bomb 'em and feed 'em" - a chopper pilot summarized the war strategy for Herr. And with Herr's belated volume of unfiled dispatches from the front, the awareness grows that this war - like no other since WW I - continues to produce a rich lode of literature, part litany, part exorcism, part macabre nostalgia. Like his buddies Scan Flynn and Dana Stone - later MIA in Cambodia - Herr was a correspondent with a license to see more than just a single mud hole. Using the "Airmobility" of the helicopters, he hopscotched the country from Hue to Danang to the DMZ to Saigon ("the subtle city war inside the war" where corruption stank like musk oil). He was at Hue during the battle that reduced the old Imperial capital to rubble, at Khe Sanh when the grunts' expectations of another Alamo were running high. Between mortar shells and body bags he reflected on the mysterious smiles of the blank-eyed soldiers, smiles that said "I'll tell you why I'm smiling, but it will make you crazy." And Herr, who is full of twisted, hidden ironies, is all wrapped up in the craziness of the war, enthralled by the limitless "variety of deaths and mutilations the war offered," and by the awful "cheer-crazed" language of the official communiques which always reported spirits high, weather fine. He knew, and his buddies knew, that this kind of reportage was "psychotic vaudeville" - though not for a moment would he deny the harsh glamour of being a working war correspondent. He came home eventually, to do the "Survivor Shuffle" and miss Vietnam acutely, and he writes with a fierce, tight insistence that never lets go. (Kirkus Reviews)