Customer Reviews for

Fields of Fire

Average Rating 4
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This is the definitive Vietnam War novel

Many Vietnam war stories have a strong cynical political view point or a strong expose of the horror and depravity(not that this war or most wars do not have a fair share of this). Mr Webb takes a different approach. I believe that many of the scenes were gleaned from h...
Many Vietnam war stories have a strong cynical political view point or a strong expose of the horror and depravity(not that this war or most wars do not have a fair share of this). Mr Webb takes a different approach. I believe that many of the scenes were gleaned from his own experiences as a highly decorated Marine in Vietnam. Yes, he does inject the horror and waste of life, but I think his overall spirit throughout was the exisitential experience of young men fighting this war. Not the heady esoteric existialism of a French parisian cafe. This was an ordinary existentialism of the common man or the everyman, who knew they could die a horrible death any minute. These kids(and I say kids because many were so young, Webb himself was only 23 years old as a company commander in 1969) showed immense courage when the need be but deep inside they all just wanted to go home ("back to the World").Like many of our wars this was the classic case of ordinary young men who were sucked into this terrible war and thrust into an extraordinary situations and they dealt with it the best they could.

posted by Mark56 on March 9, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Overated

I am a decorated Vietnam vet. Two tours SOG 1964-1965. This book is very slow. It's really a study of various persons and their experience. This is not an action story if your looking for that. I was disappointed.

posted by Calcpro on August 9, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Posted August 9, 2009

    Overated

    I am a decorated Vietnam vet. Two tours SOG 1964-1965. This book is very slow. It's really a study of various persons and their experience. This is not an action story if your looking for that. I was disappointed.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2014

    I am of the Vietnam generation depicted in this excellent book.

    I am of the Vietnam generation depicted in this excellent book. I have studied and lived through these events and times. No book I have read has ever done a better job of explaining the "why" of the men who fought in Vietnam and, perhaps, many wars.



    I would like to pick at one minor problem I had. This novel is buried in dead American soldiers. My recollection is that the death rate was much lower than what is depicted in this book. Yes, many served, many fought under horrible conditions, many were wounded and many of them died. But, the dead rate really seemed pushed by the author to drive home his points. But, don't get me wrong. This is a very fine book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2010

    This is the definitive Vietnam War novel

    Many Vietnam war stories have a strong cynical political view point or a strong expose of the horror and depravity(not that this war or most wars do not have a fair share of this). Mr Webb takes a different approach. I believe that many of the scenes were gleaned from his own experiences as a highly decorated Marine in Vietnam. Yes, he does inject the horror and waste of life, but I think his overall spirit throughout was the exisitential experience of young men fighting this war. Not the heady esoteric existialism of a French parisian cafe. This was an ordinary existentialism of the common man or the everyman, who knew they could die a horrible death any minute. These kids(and I say kids because many were so young, Webb himself was only 23 years old as a company commander in 1969) showed immense courage when the need be but deep inside they all just wanted to go home ("back to the World").Like many of our wars this was the classic case of ordinary young men who were sucked into this terrible war and thrust into an extraordinary situations and they dealt with it the best they could.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2006

    tough on the uninitiated

    Was not sure what to expect not having read any of the 'vietnam war ' genre of books. There is so much senseless violence, pain, suffering, hate, isolation, futility and death vividly depicted throughout this entire book - it is overwhelming. Although each character is well depicted and masterfully portrayed, and the prose is engaging, in the end, the book left me feeling empty and depleted. No individual escaped unscathed. None. I can't believe that the misery was so permeative during the vietnam war. It would be tragic if things were anywhere nearly as awful as the book suggests.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    Extreme but great book....captures the reality...USMC vietnam ve

    Extreme but great book....captures the reality...USMC vietnam vet

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Look him up and be grateful

    Col. Donald G. Cook was the first man to receve the meddle of honer in vietnam he was a senior marine advisor serving in the Phouc Tuy province in 1964-1967

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Different branch (USN) Different era (earlier) Different area (B

    Different branch (USN) Different era (earlier) Different area (Bassac River). The Delta. I wouldn't want the job of trying to write a book about it. What James Webb writes about is a different world. I got news for some wanna be vets of "Viet Nam", some days were freakin' boring. How do you make a day where you got two hours of sleep the night before, interesting? A diary would bore the hell out of most people and it would not sell. You want to know what interests me most? Stuff of recollections. Pleasant funny stuff. Descriptions of Saigon that hold water. Like the meanest cops were not MP's or the Shore Patrol, they were the Armed Forces Police. You did not go into Northwest Saigon because it was there the province chiefs had their homes. The ARVN there were not the Abbott and Costello versions as shown in a lot of Vietnam novels. They were hard and they were good. And mean. And they did not go into the delta and they did not go into the highlands. They guarded their boss. The industry of converting MPC to Francs to Dollars. Illegal as hell to be caught with dollars. Dope? We were warned that pot or Thai Stick meant a general and a possible trip to Portsmouth. Webb wrote his version of "The Bush" and all I can say is thank god for barrack on stilts, hot chow, and an occasional trip up 4 to Saigon. I wanted to read someone else's perspective and it wasn't pretty. I ran the wrong way to the trench in a night mortar attack and woke up in Japan. The special forces camp 3km to the west was over run as was the ARVN company.. Ah what the hell now it doesn't mean anything. But I am constantly amazed by the number of slick gunners I run into who cannot seem to recollect how to disassemble and clean a 60 or M2. Or what kind of engines and drive the river patrol boats used. BTW the book is worth reading. Most aren't.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    For children of VN Veterns

    Well written story of VN between 1969-1970 and a group of young courageous men who struggled with death, life and all the gray area in between. I have read most of the VN books but, by far, this was the very best of all of them. James Webb describes each character, with humbling gentleness, and takes the reader into their lives, passions, and dreams. To me this is a "must read" to understand the men who served in VN.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great examination of American society in the 60's

    This book is extremely well written. You learn to deeply care for the characters, through both their background stories and their time in Vietnam. The book obviously is about the Vietnam War, but the parts that don't actually take place in the rice patties and jungle are what make this book. Don't get me wrong, the skirmishes and battles are very well-written and taken from the author's own experience in that hellish world, but the examination of our society is key. I wasn't alive in the 60's and you can see video footage and generalized descriptions about the era, but actually seeing how the times and experiences molded these young men (and a woman) into who they became, their motivations for what they did, and even the eventual justifications for some occurances is what made me give this book a 5-star review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2010

    Fields of Fire by James Webb

    I think this novel is well written and really remarkable. The vivid descriptions of the scene of the bushes in Vietnam and the characters are very attracting. There is absolute no awkward or lack of response in the story, every section is connected appropriately. The usages of words appeared in the conversations between soldiers brought me into the situation. There is also useful map I can trace along the reading and glossary of military terminologies or Vietnamese. The only thing I'm concern about is- for a war fan like me, this book contains lot more background information and interactions between character rather than actions. Which, it doesn't seem like a proper war novel to me without any battle scenes. But the overall is pretty good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Strong book but a subject already well covered

    This book struck me as a cross between the movie Platoon and the book "The Naked and the Dead" by Normal Mailor. Somewhat dated now but still an interesting read. It is seated in 2 decades: the 60's in which the actions in the book occur, and the 80's in which we as a country were coming to terms with Vietnam. Probably was a more powerful book to read at that time but still pertinent as our soldiers are currently engaged around the world. Most importatnly, still a very good book to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2009

    Fields of Fire by James Webb

    A great read for those interested in learning about the grunt on the ground in Vietnam; essential for any future military leader. This book describes well the many different stresses that were placed on our soldiers, both in Vietnam and back home.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    The Vietnam War comes alive

    I am a combat veteran of the Vietnam War like Mr. Webb although he was a Marine & I was a River Patrol Boat officer operating primarily in the canals of IV Corps. To me this book accurately describes the conditions and facts existing at that time as well as the emotions of those fighting the war. Almost everything I read in this great novel tells exactly what I would have told had I been articulate enough to describe the country, the smells, the people (Americans as well as Vietnamese) and what combat was really like. Although readers who have not been to the Nam or have not been in combat might not fully understand and accept the pictures Mr. Webb paints, this book is the closest I've seen to a "bible" of what it was like to be there in that era. The best book, by far, I've seen on the Vietnam War.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2004

    PERFECT

    Fields of fire has to be the greatest 'nam book of all time james webb just sucks you into an amazing adenture and gives this book the right to be called a classic

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2004

    A Story that Must be Read

    This book I first read when I was in the seventh grade and then again just a few days ago. I'm am now fifteen and I'm three years older and get a lot more of the book and it's message but I was not alive at the time period the book is writeen about nor do I ever hope to join the military but it still means a lot to me. This does not make me want to go and join up, if anything it makes me want to aviod it. It tells a story about a group of diverse men thrown into a isolated hell deep in Vietnam and forgotten to all who had the power to help them. Left by their own kind and the only attention they ever recive is from their enemy desperately trying to kill him. Maybe I missed the point entirely, but I did not get the feeling that James Webb was painting a picture of brotherhood and unity aginst the odds, I got the impression he was creating a world of division, agnst and injustice. James Webb who is a well decorated war hero and a military man himself was most likely not discrediting the Marines but I did get the distinct feeling of frustration and complete helplessness while reading the book as though I was there too, being shot at for an unappreciative public. But unlike what the other reviewers said I do not think that he was trying to show the brotherhood and unity in the Marines becuase I saw more fights and dissention in the pages of this book then happy times and dying for one another. This is the best bok I've ever read and believe me, for my short fifteen years I've read many books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2000

    Life Changing

    This new edition is long overdue. 'Fields of Fire' is one of the most important books I have ever read. Forget being in the military. If you are an American, you must read this book. You will laugh, you will cry, and once read, you will, for a few days at least, recognize the value of your freedom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2000

    A Novel for Today

    The reprinting of this book was long overdue. It will make civilian readers long to be Marines, and Marine readers will want to emulate the Lieutenant. Written about a diverse group of men who form a Marine platoon in Vietnam, it is a novel about honor, about brotherhood, and about living in the face of death. Some characters will make you cheer, while others will make you wish you could reach into the pages and strangle them. Webb has effectively addressed issues of the war that were not only questioned in the seventies, but which still linger today. Should we have been in Vietnam? Which group was right-the draft dodgers, the protestors, or the men who went and fought? And was it possible to be a member of more than one of those groups? My generation is taught very little about Vietnam, the war America did not win and would like to forget. Thus, this book, in its reprinting, will teach my peers more about the war than many of us ever learned in school. Additionally, this seventies wartime story about morality, love, and courage will teach young readers more about these issues than many of us could ever learn from today's society.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2000

    A Must-Read

    Anyone who ever has or ever will be in the military needs to read this book. Anyone who was alive during the Vietnam War, whether opposed to or supportive of the war, should read it as well. This book is more than just a diary of a Marine rifle platoon fighting in Vietnam, as most other books about the war are; it is also an important social commentary about the rift between civilian and military society. The divisions between the political and social 'elites' and the working class, who comprises a majority of the military's population, are also highlighted, as veterans encounter anti-war sentiments from the Ivy League students who will never fight in the war and likely know no one who has. This novel points out many of the social shortcomings that could prove destructive to American society in the near future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3