Fields of Fire

Fields of Fire

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Fields of Fire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
TheLoon More than 1 year ago
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.
Mark56 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extreme but great book....captures the reality...USMC vietnam vet
Calcpro More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Octlow More than 1 year ago
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.
funrunner1977 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a GREAT read for the time Period! It really gives, what I feel, is an accurate feeling of the era. I greatly enjoyed reading this. The best book on Vietnam that I have read. Many memories...
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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
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