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Publisher's Summary

Among the best books ever written about men in combat, The Killing Zone tells the story of the platoon of Delta One-six, capturing what it meant to face lethal danger, to follow orders, and to search for the conviction and then the hope that this war was worth the sacrifice. The book includes a new chapter on what happened to the platoon members when they came home.

©2007 Frederick Downs (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The best damned book from the point of view of the infantrymen who fought there." ( Army Times)

What listeners say about The Killing Zone

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great book

loved it. recommend for anyone who has an interest in the Vietnam war or combat leadership

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The killing zone

Brilliantly worded. I couldn’t put it down. So sorry to hear it end. I will get the other books he wrote.

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Profile Image for Jack OBrien
  • Jack OBrien
  • 21-06-2017

It dont mean nuthin.

As a Marine Corps infantryman who served in Vietnam as a machine gunner, this author brings home to the uninitiated the horrors of combat. I highly recommend this book if you want a full understanding of what the Grunts endured in a war that our government had no intention of ever winning due to political unwillingness. There was no plan to win, when you fight for the same real estate time and time again, all our government did was lead patriotic young men to the slaughter and kept the fat cat businessmen wealthy. The Brave soldiers in this book are my Brothers, I know first hand what they went thru. We were mistreated by our countrymen when we returned home and blamed for this Foley and total waste of lives for nothing. Worse yet, our own government who sent us turned their backs on us , but had no problem sending us. I feel a bond with these men, I salute them and think of all the killed in action and the maimed for life and pray for them and their families. God Bless them all. Semper Fidelis.

Jack O'Brien
Charlie Company 1st bn 3rd Marines
March 1968- Feb 1969
Dai Do Survivor.

48 people found this helpful

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  • Nick H.
  • 05-10-2017

Vietnam experience

H
adn't read a Vietnam era book in ages and this one will take you for a brutal and unrelenting ride. brutality of war abounds in this book and demonstrates the bravery of the Americans who served and died in that conflict. Highly recommended

11 people found this helpful

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  • R. Denton
  • 18-08-2017

Maybe good story, but horrible narration

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Either give the narrator some coffee, or make him listen to how professionals do this. I'm having to return this though only in Chapter 3. The bizarre enunciation of every, single, word, regardless of whether it is a firefight or filling a canteen is insane. It is so distracting that the story cannot compete. I sampled later chapters to see if the pace picked up as the author's experience increased during his tour, but it's the same plodding narration throughout.

What other book might you compare The Killing Zone to and why?

n/a

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barry Press?

Anyone else who can read and speak English in a conversational or storytelling manner.

What else would you have wanted to know about Frederick Downs’s life?

Could not finish the book.

Any additional comments?

From the review I have read here and for printed version it sounds like an excellent piece, but desperately needs a new narrator.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Hillman MD
  • 06-09-2017

A great record of "Nam"

Lt Downs leads us down the jungle trail to manhood. From the wide eyed sweat soaked FNG to seemingly invulnerable platoon leader, to international emissary, he takes us along. This is a must read for warriors, past, present and future; as well as those hoping to avoid war at all costs.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-2017

One of a kind story.

A remarkable book, and author. A true story of selflessness, realism, and bravery. No facts of the difficult lives these men faced were spared.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 02-07-2017

Ugh

The narrator's insistence on over pronouncing every hard consonant it so annoying, I stopped after a few chapters. Unlistenable, which is unfortunate.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Eric Smith
  • 07-03-2021

Great story but poor Performance

The narrator performance detracted from a very well written story. I would recommend reading this book instead.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Allan
  • 10-11-2020

Uncle Randy served in Vietnam that's why I read it

My whole family said uncle Randy never spoke about Vietnam.
One drunken night after the bar, he told me a horrific story, with tears filling his eyes that never dripped out onto his face.
I never spoke of it either. This book is just 1 mans life. There were thousands. They took turns in the battlefields.
At the end . Meeting the enemy after the war.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-2017

A solid and honest POV

Really enjoyed this book. some great gripping moments and a book to give to you good insight into what it was really like for a soldier in the Vietnam war.

the voice was a little bland to start with but you get used to it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mark
  • 19-05-2017

Unlistenable - The author speaks too slowly

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The author speaks unreasonably slowly, choppy, and deliberately. It is very unnatural, and is so distracting that I can't get through this book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 15-07-2017

Insightful and though provoking

The narrator takes you into the jungle and some of the scenes leave you chilled. Gripping but also really educates you on what it was like to be there.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 11-01-2018

Fantastic

I am an ex British army soldier and served tours in Iraq. I can honestly say this is one of the most honest and well written accounts of war I have ever read and have been spurred on to pen my own account of my military service off the back of it. Thanks Frederick for this great book

2 people found this helpful

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  • h-bomb deluxe
  • 31-07-2017

outstanding real account of the Vietnam war and ..

true leadership, through the authors brutal time in country. A must listen for anyone interested in the reality of war. Also very good performance from the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • D. Williams
  • 11-05-2017

One of the early Vietnam memoirs

Well written and performed. Great story from platoon commanders perspective and the aftermath of his experiences.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-07-2019

Amazing diary of Vietnam

this was a compelling listen, follow the journey and keep with it. Some of it is tough to listen to but these brave boys deserve to be heard what they went through was horrendous.

1 person found this helpful

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  • darren
  • 25-04-2017

loved it. highly recommended to all

as a former soldier it was difficult sometimes.
strong and powerful highly recommend to all.
I felt I was there

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 25-09-2017

poor narrator ok story

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

it was an interesting story with filler none story's in between. but very simpler to others about Vietnam

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Killing Zone?

when the enemy showed himself

What didn’t you like about Barry Press’s performance?

nothing, the narrator really let the book down. it was like he had no idea what word was coming next and said words in away that you thought it was the end of a line then it carryed on. very poor

Could you see The Killing Zone being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

yes it could be

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-04-2021

View from a Vietnam era infantryman

Engaging and realistic! Especially the authors description of CQB under hellish jungle conditions. Recommended to anyone interested in the Vietnam war from a grunts perspective.

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  • Aubers Ridge
  • 07-02-2021

superb gritty encounters.

A superb, gritty and enlightening account of a grunt platoon fighting in 1968. I hope these books help the veterans and allow the General public of America to heal the wounds of their soldiers.

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  • Mcott
  • 24-08-2020

Intense amd human

One of the best on the ground combat experiences of Vietnam I've ever read.

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