• If I Die in a Combat Zone

  • Box Me Up and Ship Me Home
  • By: Tim O'Brien
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Before writing his award-winning Going After Cacciato, Tim O'Brien gave us this intensely personal account of his year as a foot soldier in Vietnam. The author takes us with him to experience combat from behind an infantryman's rifle, to walk the minefields of My Lai, to crawl into the ghostly tunnels, and to explore the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war gone terribly wrong.

Beautifully written and searingly heartfelt, If I Die in a Combat Zone is a masterwork of its genre.

©1975 Tim O'Brien (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A personal document of aching clarity. . . . A beautiful, painful book." ( New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about If I Die in a Combat Zone

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A solid Vietnam war memoir

A solid Vietnam memoir from one of the best known writers seasoned by the Vietnam war. Things I liked: cover, Plato, Eric as mirror, dialogue, etc. Things I didn't: didn't seem to add much to the combat veteran memoir, repetitious, risk-free, light. Sure it was updated with the particular nuances of the Vietnam experience, but it was rather safe (a bizarre thing to say about a memoir of a combat vet).

Don't get me wrong. I liked it. I appreciated it, and will read/listen to more of Tim O'Brien. I just didn't think this was on par with Robert Graves, Michael Herr, Guy Sayer, Artyom Borovik, Bob Kotlowitz, etc. Good but just not great. I say this realizing I'm reading this 40+ years after it was first published. I allow that I may think the book is safe only because the road of Vietnam war memoirs was built with a helluva lot of O'Brien's own bricks.

13 people found this helpful

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felt as if I was at his side

the book drew me in and the narrator made it very easy to stay focused

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Excellent

I truly thought that more than one person narrated this book and had to check to see that it’s all done by one man, and he does every voice perfectly. I’ve read other things by Tim O’Brien and am a fan although I’d never read this book. The listening experience must surpass the reading one here although the text is well-crafted too.

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reminder

was well written and read. no over fluffing of politics or of what one would think reader wanted to here. very honest and easly related to.

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If I Die in a combat zone.

What disappointed you about If I Die in a Combat Zone?

This book just sucked. The story was terrible. I am a Viet Nam Vet. and it was very disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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Not bad for a early try

I believe this was Mr O'Brien's first published novel. So it is good for that. It's more of a cohesive set of tales than his other semi autobiographical The Things They Carried, which jumped around and was a series of connected essays. Lighter than most stories from the war and he presents ideas of challenging the morality of his being there and the whole US involvement. But he does not force his thoughts and theories down your throat.

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Amazing Read & Great Narration!

This book is a very great read for those wanting to get to know the impact the Vietnam War had on those who had their boots on the ground. Especially those who were fighting just mere feet away from the VC. The narrator did a great job, tone wise, conveying situations that were happening and making this book somewhat relatable almost. Overall would highly recommend!

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Excellent!

I was deeply moved by this presentation. It helps me understand some of the things people experienced.

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If I die...

An outstanding listen. Story is excellent, as is the narrator. Well worth the time to pay attention.

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Well written and timely for appreciation of our mi

Great account of the harsh realities of war very applicable to today. Good narration.

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