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Extended Audio Sample Dispatches, by Michael Herr Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,615 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Herr Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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One of the greatest examples of war journalism ever written, Michael Herr’s collection of dispatches from the front lines of the Vietnam War reveal with shattering impact how that war differed from any combat theatre fought before. Herr’s clearheaded yet unsparing retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, capturing the unique flavor of the time and place and 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, this modern classic retains its powerful resonance as America finds itself in the midst of another military quagmire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best book I have ever read on men and war in our time.”

    John le Carré, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “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 the rest of us in the shade.”

    Hunter S. Thompson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Having read Dispatches, it is difficult to convey the impact of total experience as all the façades 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

  • “Nothing else so far has even come close to conveying how different this war was from any we fought—or how utterly different were the methods and the men who fought for us.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “What a passionate, compassionate, brilliant book this is. With uncanny precision, [Dispatches] summons up the very essence of [the Vietnam War]…I believe it may be the best personal journal about war, any war, that any writer has ever accomplished.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Herr reaches an excruciating level of intensity…He seems to have brought to this book the ear of a musician and the eye of a painter…The premier war correspondence of Vietnam.”

    Washington Post

  • “Michael Herr’s Dispatches…remains one of the seminal texts in our understanding of the American experience in Vietnam. His unblinking, earnest, but absurdist treatment of a hundred landing zones, fire bases, base camps, and Saigon hangouts before and after the Tet Offensive in 1968 is full of powerful images, unforgettable characters, and haunting scenes of violence. Those unfamiliar with the original will recognize its flavor from derivative works like Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Like many sixties classics, Dispatches is not long on structure. This lack of structure is no impediment for the listener. Like Homer’s Iliad, Herr’s war stories seem suited to being spoken rather than read. Ray Porter provides the perfect clear, clipped, but not overdramatic narration. Porter’s occasional character voices enrich the text without distracting from it.”


  • “Herr captures the almost hallucinatory madness of the war…This is a compelling, truth-telling book with a visceral impact, its images stuck in the mind like shards from a pineapple bomb.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A Guardian Pick for Top 10 Books on 1960s America

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mickelo | 2/18/2014

    " One of the best books on the Vietnam "war". Good as, if not better than A Bright Shining Lie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jessica | 2/16/2014

    " One of my favorite books! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Terrell | 2/12/2014

    " Herr didn't waste ink mourning over the fact that Vietnam was a trying experience. Besides, Herr was a willing participate, who had he written a book about his bravery it probably wouldn't have garnered any respect from the soldiers. But it should not be concluded that Herr's actions were not admirable. It was made clear that he had to watch his back as well as his front in order to maintain his safety. The way in which Herr's courageous acts were conveyed didn't overshadow his reason for being there-to report the occurrences in Vietnam. Consequently, it is the book's humility that writers, especially writers who find themselves entrenched within the same chaotic circumstances with the people of whomthey seek to accumulate information from, should attempt to emulate. Herr's collection of thoughts and ideas are connected with those he spoke for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rob Palange | 2/11/2014

    " This book is fabulous. A first rate view of the Vietnam conflict. I haven't read it in awhile but I do remember it being on one of the more enjoyable, intelligent & enlightening books that I read about the conflict that embroiled the United States in one of its longest conflicts till 9/11 when we got involved in Iraq & Afghanistan. This book should be read alongside Tim O'Brein's, "Things They Carried" for a definite more personal view of what it was like to serve in Vietnam. "

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