Sidetracks: Annotated Dispatches

14 11 2007

Actually I “only” wanted to recommend Michael Herr’s Dispatches to a friend. While looking if there are some text fragments available online, I came upon this Blog Entry by Darin Boville.

QUOTE: A few days I ago I stopped by the “for sale” section of my local library. I’ve had good luck here. My best finds have been a first edition of True Grit and a first edition of 2001: A Space Odessey. But I’m not really a collector–so I hesitated when I saw a hardback of Michael Herr’s Dispatches.

I’ve already read the book. It’s a journalist’s account of Vietnam from the “grunt” level. Great stuff, especially for those of us who are too young to have any real memories of Vietnam(…)

So I thought it would be cool to have the hardback even though I had bought the softcover new a few months earlier. It was priced at one dollar.

The inside gave me further pause. There was extensive writing in the book in ball point pen, blue and black. Oh no, I thought. I was an “anti-highlighter” in school.(…) I almost put the book back down on the table.

Then, as I flipped through, some of the penned phrases jumped out at me:

“My God, is Herr the prophet who enlightens us?”
“Talk of death-True.”
”I remember, God, I remember…”
“I did once the 1st time I saw one of us die.”

I realized I had found something special. I bought the book.

Annotated Dispatches Website



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