A Rumor of War

  • by Philip Caputo
  • Narrated by L. J. Ganser
  • 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When it first appeared, A Rumor of War brought home to American readers, with terrifying vividness and honesty, the devastating effects of the Vietnam War on the soldiers who fought there. And while it is a memoir of one young man's experiences and therefore deeply personal, it is also a book that speaks powerfully to today's students about the larger themes of human conscience, good and evil, and the desperate extremes men are forced to confront in any war. A platoon commander in the first combat unit sent to fight in Vietnam, Lieutenant Caputo landed at Danang on March 8, 1965, convinced that American forces would win a quick and decisive victory over the Communists. Sixteen months later, and without ceremony, Caputo left Vietnam a shell-shocked veteran whose youthful idealism and faith in the rightness of the war had been utterly shattered. A Rumor of War tells the story of that trajectory and allows us to see and feel the reality of the conflict as the author himself experienced it, from the weeks of tedium hacking through scorching jungles, to the sudden violence of ambushes and firefights, to the unbreakable bonds of friendship forged between soldiers, and finally to a sense of the war as having no purpose other than the fight for survival.Most troubling, Caputo gives us an unflinching view not only of remarkable bravery and heroism but also of the atrocities committed in Vietnam by ordinary men so numbed by fear and desperate to survive that their moral distinctions had collapsed.More than a statement against war, Caputo's memoir offers readers today a profoundly visceral sense of what war is and, as the author says, of "the things men do in war and the things war does to men".

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Vietnam war classic, a must read for the genre

What did you like most about A Rumor of War?

The different perspectives of soldier and combat correspondent bring a different dynamic to this Vietnam war book


What did you like best about this story?

First person narrative, the detail of each encounter was just so real


What does L. J. Ganser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Everything, he completely makes the book come alive, the best narration of a book I've heard in a very long time, very apt casting, very believable


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, after a slower start, I didn't want to stop


Any additional comments?

A must for anyone interested in the Vietnam war, I would put this up there with Tim O'Briens "If I Die in a Combat Zone" which sadly isn't available on Audible yet, nor is the other must read from this Genre - Michael Herr's "Dispatches" , please Audible add these two literary classics to the library !!!

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- Drewberry71

The Vietnam's All Quiet on the Western Front. A thoughtful and considered story of a boy going to war and the men he served with

A fine performance of a very fine book. As good as it gets on the Vietnam war.
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- John Cornwell

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios