Customer Reviews for

If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted November 15, 2011

    review

    If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home is Tim O¿Brien¿s personal account of the daily life of a soldier during the Vietnam War. The beginning of the book takes us through O¿Brien¿s childhood, and his lack of desire to join the army. As main plot points begin to unfold, the reader learns more about Tim¿s life in the war training camp, and his new friend Erik. Both Erik and Tim are opposed to the war, and the United States¿ involvement. Against his will, O¿Brien is sent to the Vietnamese forest where he finishes his training at a nearby base, then is assigned to the Alpha Company 5th battalion of the 46th infantry, 198th infantry brigade. In this company, O¿Brien experiences the many horrors of war, and does not hesitate to go into detail about the horrific capability of mines, and how they mangled not only soldiers, but many civilians as well. Near the end of the story, Tim is offered a job near the rear, and is lifted away from the face-to-face jungle skirmishes. The time at the rear is more peaceful; as the account ends with Tim O¿Brien being flown back home. One of the things that was debated internally in myself was this simple question. Is questioning the American Government as an American anti-american, or patriotic? At first a reasonable answer to this would be anti-american because you are disagreeing with the government and what they have decided. With further thought though, it can also be seen that questioning the government can be patriotic as well. If the intention is to better this great nation, then it is patriotic. If one is just criticizing the government just to disagree, then that is what is anti-american. This is a fantastic account on an American soldiers mindset in the Vietnam War, as well as the atrocities that were committed throughout the war. If one is interested in either of these categories then this book is for you. O¿Brien¿s detail will leave no one¿s curiosity unsatisfied, and with his use of language he portrays the sinister picture of the Vietnamese War according to the soldiers. I would give this book three out of five stars, it is entertaining, although it has some slow moments and it takes some time to really get into this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2008

    Important and Superb Read

    I like this book because it is similiar to another book I read about the Vietnam War, 1970-71. The audience can learn so much about the Vietnam War in so few pages from this book! I wish I had been exposed to this book and others at a younger age that relate to the Vietnam War. However, it is never to late to study, learn, and try to imagine what it was like fighting on the ground during the Vietnam War. O'Brien's own experiences in country 'Vietnam' with an infantry unit is told in detail in this book. Thank You Mr. O'Brien for writing your side of the story, and not going to Canada after all. I will read this book again!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006

    Good stuff!

    But not great. I had high expectations of this book and was a little let down. The authors other works are much better reads than this one. Sorry but true. The book sounds and reads like so many others about the war.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2004

    A great setup

    This is a great way to start to read any of f Tim's books. It is the tale of his own war experience and justifies all of his war novels. In the begining he almost appears to be a coward but he redeams himself and wins you over. Its not his best title but it is a must if you want to read any of his other war titles.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    not his best

    i got this book because i really like his other work but this one didnt pull me in as much as his others. If i die in a combat zone goes much quicker through the events then his others. overall i liked the book but i dont think it was great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2002

    It works

    I got this book as a teen in the late 70's to see what the hubub of Vietnam was all about. After all these years, this book still rings the bell of what war is and how unglamorous it's not- I've passed this one over to MY teenager and hope others will too, so that future generations know what being in an unpopular war is all about.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2001

    Wonderful!

    I thought this book was very well composed and it make me realize the harsh raalities of the Vietnam war. O'Brien sure captured my heart and thoughts. I would highly recommend this book to any history fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2001

    captivating in every detail, not a dull moment

    A very moving tale from the 'average-mans' perspective of the vietnam war. Feels like you are walking with and experiencing what the infantrymen are.

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    Posted October 24, 2009

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