If I Die in a Combat Zone

Tim O’Brien

First published in 1973, this intensely personal novel about one foot soldier’s tour of duty in Vietnam established Tim O’Brien’s reputation as the outstanding chronicler of the Vietnam experience for a generation of Americans.

From basic training to the front line and back again, he takes the reader on an unforgettable journey – walking the minefields of My Lai, fighting the heat and the snipers in an alien land, crawling into the ghostly tunnels – as he explores the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war no one believes in.

Reviews of If I Die in a Combat Zone

  • ‘No one has written about the Vietnam War with the eloquence of Tim O’Brien. If I Die in a Combat Zone may be the single greatest piece of work to come out of Vietnam – on a level with World War II’s The Naked and the Dead and From Here to Eternity.’ Washington Star

    ‘A work of passion and protest … one of the few good things to come out of that desolating struggle.’ Guardian

    ‘A personal document of aching clarity … O’Brien brilliantly and quietly evokes the foot soldier’s daily life in the paddies and foxholes. A beautiful, painful book.’ New York Times Book Review

    ‘I wish O’Brien did not write so beautifully, for he makes it impossible to forget his book. Years from now it will still have that terrible power to make me remember and to make me weep.’ New York Times

    ‘O’Brien certainly ranks among the best writers we have.’ Joseph Heller