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Extended Audio Sample Paco’s Story Audiobook, by Larry Heinemann Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (278 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Larry Heinemann Narrator: Richard Ferrone Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781504756686
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Paco Sullivan is the only man in Alpha Company to survive a cataclysmic Vietcong attack on Fire Base Harriette in Vietnam. Everyone else is annihilated. When a medic finally rescues him almost two days later, Paco is waiting to die, flies and maggots covering his burnt, shattered body. He winds up back in the United States with his legs full of pins, daily rations of Librium and Valium, and no sense of what to do next. One evening, on the tail of a rainstorm, he limps off a bus and into the small town of Boone, determined to find a real job and a real bed, but no matter how hard he works, nothing muffles the anguish in his mind and body.

Brilliantly and vividly written, Paco’s Story plunges the reader into the violence and casual cruelty of the Vietnam War and the ghostly aftermath that often dealt the harshest blows.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Larry Heinemann is…the grunt’s novelist of the Vietnam War. His is the storytelling of life and death between the laager and the treeline, a life of dirt, fear, dope, alcohol, brutality, curses and evil.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Resonates with a devastating and bitter irony…Heinemann writes about workingman’s Vietnam, exceptional for its bleak, shared unexceptional reality. This is the war, no question, and there is no escape.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Paco’s Story deserves a place among the best Vietnam war novels.”

    Providence Sunday Journal

  • “A well-written, ruminative work…Heinemann has a promising talent.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Intense, vividly written…a very frightening, yet wondrously rendered tale of violent extremes of human behavior. A strongly emotional reading experience, it is highly recommended for collections of serious contemporary fiction.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 1987

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ana Cunningham | 2/10/2014

    " Absolutely fascinating and life-changing novel. Besides the fact that I actually finished this book for class, it was such a gripping and heart-wrenching tale. I cannot wait to read more from Larry Heinemann! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 12/24/2013

    " Account of the survivor of a Vietnam massacre, and his life after he returns to the U.S. Stark reading, but it gives a good feel for what these guys had/have to endure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Muir | 12/20/2013

    " the horror...the horror "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johnplavelle | 12/17/2013

    " Larry Heinemann described the Vietnam Memorial long before it was designed and he hit it right on the head. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/12/2013

    " I still remember the haunting feeling I experienced when I realized "who" is the narrator of Paco's Story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 12/7/2013

    " How does one write in such a way that every sentence is poetry...? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Funke | 10/21/2013

    " It's no "The Things They Carried," but then it's not trying to be. Depressing but good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberley | 3/25/2013

    " Richly descriptive, an American story through and through, totally unforgettable, so glad to have read this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eddie | 1/28/2012

    " if you could give 1/2 stars, this would rate a 3.5. it won the nat'l book award, and i really enjoyed it, but it was a little rough around the edges. still. anyone interested in vietnam lit has to read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann-marie | 9/24/2011

    " Elegant, brutal, timeless. Should be on more reading lists. If you've read or teach Tim O'Brien's work, assign this as well. Just read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 8/21/2011

    " Incredible piece of work! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 8/13/2011

    " I loved this book and the description and the reality of the Vietnam War "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neil | 11/7/2009

    " Another great Nam book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nic | 9/17/2009

    " How this won the National Book Award is beyond me. Foul, vulgar language, boring story and no redeeming value/moral/point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ms.P | 6/10/2009

    " An incredibly disturbing story, but powerful as well. There are some scenes of extreme violence, but the voice is true. An important novel for those interested in the soldier's experience of Vietnam-and after. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 7/11/2007

    " There is a scene in this book that was so powerful that I startled when I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ferris | 2/7/2007

    " Audiobook...........Stark, disturbing, evocative..........Try to imagine being a living ghost, whom no one really sees, disfigured by war wounds after supposedly fighting for your country, and the sole survivor of an attack on your unit in Vietnam. Enough said! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 11/8/2006

    " A good story, well told, though some parts are hard to get through. "

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About the Author
Author Larry Heinemann

Larry Heinemann, a Vietnam vet, has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the William Fulbright Scholarship Program. His work has won the National Book Award and the Carl Sandburg Award. He lives in Chicago with his wife. His short stories and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of publications, both here and overseas.

About the Narrator

Richard Ferrone has recorded over 150 audiobooks including thrillers, romances, science fiction, and inspirational novels. He has earned an Audie Award and four Audie nominations, including for Best Solo Male Narrator of 2003. He was also recognized as an AudioFile “Voice of the Last Century” and a “Rising and Shining Star.” He has earned nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards, including the 2011 Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense as well as the 2009 Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy. A science fiction fan, he narrated Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. He has also narrated works by James Patterson, Walter Mosley, John Sandford, Eric Van Lustbader, and Stuart Woods.