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A Rumor of War
A Rumor of War
Author: Philip Caputo
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 ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780805046953
ISBN-10: 080504695X
Publication Date: 11/15/1996
Pages: 356
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 46 ratings
Publisher: Owl Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A Rumor of War on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Everyone quotes Caputo's "Rumor of War" for a reason. It is an excellent account of the Vietnam War from a superb writer.
vbittersweet avatar reviewed A Rumor of War on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A moving, intimate account of the early days of Vietnam. Captures the undying spirit of the proud marine struggling to figure out how to apply all of his training to such an unfamiliar battleground. Compelling, insightful, brutal and frightening.
reviewed A Rumor of War on + 131 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
heartbreaking, terrfying, and enraging, it belongs to the literature of men of war, you have got to read it if you want to understand the conflict...
reviewed A Rumor of War on
Helpful Score: 1
I read this after reading "Matterhorn" and was jolted by how similar the authors' experiences had been. Caputo succeeded at his goal, making the reader experience the war as he did--- exhilarating, terrifying, disgusting, confusing and boring by turns. A well-crafted read.
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hardtack avatar reviewed A Rumor of War on + 2423 more book reviews
One of the best books I've ever read about the experiences of a U.S.M.C. lieutenant in Viet Nam. Like Caputo, I too was a young Marine lieutenant who served in Viet Nam. Unlike him, I ran convoys to combat bases throughout northern South Viet Nam and didn't tramp the 'boonies' in search of the foe. In fact, my mission was to hope to never see combat, as truck convoys were sitting targets on the roads built above the rice paddies.

Still, I too remember the initial enthusiasm of serving my country when arriving 'in country,' and, like him, undergoing gradual disenchantment of war and the fighting in Viet Nam, until I realized that my primary mission was to get me and my men back home in one piece.

If you want to know what it was like to be a Marine in Viet Nam, read "A Rumor of War."
reviewed A Rumor of War on + 27 more book reviews
From book review: "...a timeless testament to the men who leave their homes to kill and die in strange lands...and of the things that grow and perish in the deepest part of themselves."

From the Seattle Times: "It is the most eloquent statement yet on what Vietnam was for the lower echelons who had to do the dirty work."
reviewed A Rumor of War on + 533 more book reviews
Caputo describes "the splendid little war" as his road from an enthusiastic idealist poisoned by the romanticized view of war as a chivalrous and noble enterprise to the dehumanized and desensitized wreck that he becomes during his tour in Vietnam. The book is an amazing testimony about the true nature of war with all its atrocities and horrors. Caputo brilliantly captures the endless despair of being strained in the jungle with no clear reason for being there, the hopeless madness of chasing the guerillas and the agony of loosing friends. But the most important aspect of this book is that it shows how a normal mentally healthy person can be turned into a thoughtless killing machine in the course of a few months, fast on the trigger, without any remorse for his victims. Caputo uses very strong and vivid images such as "pigs eating napalm-charred human corpses" to force the reader into his story and feel what Caputo has felt. Very realistic book that cannot leave you indifferent, definitely up there with Remarque's "All quiet on the Western front." If you want to know what fighting the Vietnam War was really like, I can't imagine how any book can possibly be better than Rumor of War.
reviewed A Rumor of War on + 209 more book reviews
Philip Caputo has written a timeless testament to the men who leave their homes to kill and die in strange lands; and of the things that grow and perish within themselves.
RoyalCatwoman avatar reviewed A Rumor of War on + 278 more book reviews
A Rumor of War ranks up there with Gen. Harold Moore's, "We Were Soldiers Once and Young," and Col. David Hackworth's, "About Face." All three show how debates that raged in Washington, Paris, Saigon, and Hanoi were ultimately scored. Whether you were a "hawk or a dove," a liberal or a conservative, a professor or student, you will benefit from reading this book that answers the question authoritatively: "Hey! What was Vietnam really like?"
MKSbooklady avatar reviewed A Rumor of War on + 868 more book reviews
I grew up during the Vietnam war, so I knew all about it. Or so I thought. I knew Nothing.This book does such a phenomenal job of putting you right in the jungle of Vietnam, there were times I just had to put this book down and take a break. The soldiers there weren't so lucky. This book is just plain powerful. Philip Caputo went to Vietnam a young officer, ready for a great time in war. He soon found out that's not how it works. When I finished this book, my heart was broken, my soul shattered.This is as honest a telling of war I have ever heard of.
MaiasGranny avatar reviewed A Rumor of War on + 103 more book reviews
One of the few books I've read twice. Caputo's story of his time in the army in Viet Nam is real, captivating, and eloquent.


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