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Download My Detachment: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample My Detachment: A Memoir Audiobook, by Tracy Kidder Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (283 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tracy Kidder Narrator: Tracy Kidder Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780739321669
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My Detachment is a war story like none you have ever read before, an unromanticized portrait of a young man coming of age in the controversial war that defined a generation. In an astonishingly honest, comic, and moving account of his tour of duty in Vietnam, master storyteller Tracy Kidder writes for the first time about himself. This extraordinary memoir is destined to become a classic.

Kidder was an ROTC intelligence officer, just months out of college and expecting a stateside assignment, when his orders arrived for Vietnam. There, lovesick, anxious, and melancholic, he tried to assume command of his detachment, a ragtag band of eight more-or-less ungovernable men charged with reporting on enemy radio locations. 

He eventually learned not only to lead them but to laugh and drink with them as they shared the boredom, pointlessness, and fear of war. Together, they sought a ghostly enemy, homing in on radio transmissions and funneling intelligence gathered by others. Kidder realized that he would spend his time in Vietnam listening in on battle but never actually experiencing it. 

With remarkable clarity and with great detachment, Kidder looks back at himself from across three and a half decades, confessing how, as a young lieutenant, he sought to borrow from the tragedy around him and to imagine himself a romantic hero. Unrelentingly honest, rueful, and revealing, My Detachmentgives us war without heroism, while preserving those rare moments of redeeming grace in the midst of lunacy and danger. The officers and men of My Detachment are not the sort of people who appear in war movies–they are the ones who appear only in war, and they are unforgettable.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stacy Lewis | 2/17/2014

    " Great write, but not a particularly interesting story. No coming of age, no lessons learned, no action (except in writer's mind). Only OK. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.v. Petretta | 2/6/2014

    " Having also served in a unit much like Tracy Kidder's, I expected to be at one with this story; I wasn't. Then again, I wasn't a Lieutenant. In fact, much of my life differs substantially from this Author. His Harvard education is apparent in his sophisticated writing. The Army for him was a severe step down; for me, it was an opportunity for a better future. My service in Vietnam also earned me an ARCOM, but I revered that accomplishment, rather than mocked it. I had so hoped to favor this book, and perhaps win favor of this highly acclaimed author, that he might choose to review my own book. Mine is simple, uncomplicated story telling; he would be bored stiff. But, I am the average Joe; therefore I wasn't able to appreciate the verbal artistry of Tracy Kidder. I'm sure this book is better than I rated it. I do want to read Mountains Beyond Mountains. I hear that book is enthralling. We'll see. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 1/23/2014

    " Pulitzer prize winning writer Tracey Kidder impresses with non flattering honesty in this memoir surrounding his days in Vietnam. From a rather lost, but generally accepted young man in prep school to a rather lost and somewhat accepted college student and army lieutenant, Kidder's journey wraps around a search for identity, purpose and respect. The wry humor of the work suffers in the audio version. Kidder reads the work in a monotonous, apathetic cadence that while fitting the work, does little to enhance it or help the reader follow or care. Very few authors read their own works as well as professional vocalists, and he sure isn't one of them. Still, this is a worthwhile read, particularly for those of us too young to remember Vietnam and the political and social quagmire of the time. Kidder's version is less spitting protestors, self medicating veterans, and PTS we've. One to expect from Hollywood, and more of the quietly confusing world of the average John. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frederick Bingham | 1/22/2014

    " This book is about the author's experience in Vietnam as an army intelligence officer. He was over there at a pretty low level, mainly intercepting and interpreting Vietcong radio signals. He was based near Chu Lai at an outlying operating base. He never saw combat like most of the other people who went over there. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane | 1/21/2014

    " I found this book highly disappointing by comparison to "Mountains beyond Mountains" which I liked very much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lou Cordero | 1/16/2014

    " Short account of Tracy Kidder's time in Vietnam. Not much to say about it other than that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyger | 1/11/2014

    " I listenedd to this narrated by Kidder. I wanted to hate it because of his "detachment" from the events in vietnam. Only later did I realize his subtle genius. Overwhelming and very moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven | 1/7/2014

    " Good book, not great. Not as entertaining as House. I think the best thing is it gives a perspective of the war from someone who was well educated, not thrilled to be there, but still felt a responsibility to his duties and detachment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 12/17/2013

    " This is the best title for a book, almost ever. It's simple, and both literally and figuratively perfect for the memoir. I'm so glad that Kidder has written a memoir. I love all of his books, and it was a delight to read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William Curtin | 12/13/2013

    " Pretty good book on the Vietnam war. A little too much information on the author's sexual experiences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Molly | 12/9/2013

    " tracy kidder is one of the best writers I've ever read. I will read anything by him, so this memoir was high on my list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rcowden | 4/17/2013

    " Tells of Tracy Kidder's time serving in the Vietnam War. Tracy Kidder is a great writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracey | 1/27/2013

    " I will say it again. This man knows how to write. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wendy | 1/18/2012

    " Tracy Kidder is such a genius, but not a memoirist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LaLa | 12/8/2011

    " Not my favorite Tracy Kidder book, but I'm glad I read it. I finished it. that should count. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susanna | 7/24/2011

    " Listened to this as a book on tape - interesting and revealing about the author in his youth. Didn't always admire him but did appreciate hearing one man's view of what went on in Vietnam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 10/9/2009

    " Started Februrary 12, 2011 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey | 1/12/2008

    " IRONICALLY, THIS BOOK ABOUT A YOUNG INTEL LT IN VIETNAM REMINDED ME OF MY TIME IN THE MIDDLE EAST...... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 eliza | 11/18/2006

    " Some really great moments, but on the whole not remarkable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jade | 9/13/2006

    " We all love Kidder for his genius portrayal of other people's internal crevasses, but this book open ups his own life and his own vulnerability and it's truly unforgettable! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith Rackley | 8/7/2006

    " A very different book from Kidder, his experiences of Viet Nam during one of the US's darker periods. Kidder tells his candid story away from the front lines and provides a view of the very different life within the military. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christiane | 2/5/2006

    " Interesting perspective of the Vietnam years "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 9/6/2005

    " This was really interesting. I've always liked Tracy Kidder's books, especially House and Among Schoolchildren. I haven't read much about Vietnam, and this inspired me to read more. "

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About the Author
Author Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, among other literary prizes. He is the author of The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Home Town, and others.