“The Proud Bastards: One Marine’s Journey from Parris Island through the Hell of Vietnam” by E. Michael Helms

proud bastards

This is a coming of age memoir of a young soldier that was written twenty-seven years ago.  The author, E. Michael Helms, was kind enough to send me an e-copy while also sending me another one of his book’s, “Deadly Spirits” for review.  In “Proud Bastards,” we follow Helms from his brutal experiences during boot camp to the unspeakable acts of violence he witnessed in combat.   I have never read a memoir about Vietnam before, so even though I had heard of the horrors I was still often shocked reading (and mentally seeing the pictures in my mind) of a Marine grunt’s experience of life and death inside a foxhole.  The book begins with an 18-year-old Helms, joining the Marines with John Wayne glory in his eyes.  As a mother, I found the brutality of boot camp difficult to read.  The recruits are immediately thrust into the stressful whirlwind of in-processing, haircuts, uniform and gear issue.  It appeared to me that from day one, the recruits must begin to learn how to cope with emotional and physical abuse.   Just as in the movies, confused kids really were screamed at from the moment they woke up till the moment they went to bed.  “Get out of them goddamn racks you goddamn shit maggots.” The author was such a sweet kid, after any day where he might be forced to eat his own vomit, he writes home “Dear Mama….I am getting along fine.”   His charming ways allowed me to continue reading without breaking for this poor disillusioned boot camp abused kid.

It has been said, Marine Corps recruit training will be the most difficult thing one endures in life that is unless you are sent into the Vietnam War.  I thought boot camp was an impossible situation to live through, and then I read about combat and realized boot camp was a piece of cake compared to what went on during the Vietnam War in 1967.  I found myself in hell with the author and his buddies – especially when he wrote of watching friends die violent combat deaths.  Reading about teenagers with peach fuzz on their chins in horrifying battles scenes often had me in tears.  (Think of the movie “Full Metal Jacket”).   Helms is a talented writer who managed to capture every horrifying experience down as if he experienced it yesterday.  It amazed me that even at war he managed not to lose his natural humor and wit (which I think helped keep him alive) into his writing.  When he first arrives in Vietnam and is meeting his fellow soldiers, he makes a comment that doesn’t come out right and thinks “Way to go Mikey.  Real smart move, boy.  How to win friends and influence people.”    How can the reader not like this kid?

In this riveting memoir, the author does not talk about politics or of the controversy that surrounds the Vietnam War.  Instead, he gives the reader a mix of emotions he felt during the good times (usually the bonding with other young men) and bad times (literally everything else.)  So many heroes, so much maiming and killing of young men had me thinking of the author’s story long after I finished the last page of his memoir.  Helms always made me think, he often made me cry and he frequently made me laugh and.    I highly recommend reading this memoir, even if you are not interested in war stories.  I found it hard to put down, needing to know what would happen next to our endearing and very brave 18-year-old “grunt.”

https://www.amazon.com/Proud-Bastards-Marines-Journey-through-ebook/dp/B000NY12QO/ref=dp_kinw_strp

Find all my reviews at https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4793025-martie-nees-record?shelf=read

 

“The Proud Bastards: One Marine’s Journey from Parris Island through the Hell of Vietnam” by E.Michael Helms

Full Review.

Leave Me Alone I Am Reading and Reviewing

proud bastardsThis is a coming of age memoir of a young soldier that was written twenty years ago.  The author, E. Michael Helms, was kind enough to send me an e-copy while also sending me another one of his book’s, “Deadly Spirits” for review.  In “Proud Bastards,” we follow Helms from his brutal experiences during boot camp to the unspeakable acts of violence he witnessed in combat.   I have never read a memoir about Vietnam before, so even though I had heard of the horrors I was still often shocked reading (and mentally seeing the pictures in my mind) of a Marine grunt’s experience of life and death inside a foxhole.  The book begins with an 18-year-old Helms, joining the Marines with John Wayne glory in his eyes.  As a mother, I found the brutality of boot camp difficult to read.  The recruits are immediately thrust into the stressful whirlwind of…

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Sorry

I won’t be online for awhile. I’ve been trying to read your book reviews but it has been difficult since I am post surgery.  I’m sorry because I know I’m missing some wonderful reviews from some wonderful reviewers BUT I will return!

Happy Reading

 

A Question For My Blogger Buddies

I have been in Paris for two weeks (I live in the US) and fell in love with the city. But my kindle broke (and is still broken) meaning I couldn’t read my books.

I did get to read some of your book reviews on my smart phone but alas being surrounded by such beauty kept me busy.  I felt as if I was walking in a historical museum (yes I hit them all up.)

My question to you is do you know any Historical Fiction reads on Paris?

I have read a few (they are in my bibliography and way more in my Goodreads account, of course, I do not expect you to check them out before any recommendations) but I am sure there most be other great finds out there.  I also was lucky enough to win (from Goodreads) “The Wine of Solitude.”

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Merci beaucoup,

Martie

 

 

Blog Tour: Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant 

Novelgossip


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: May 5, 2017

Publisher: Pigeon Park Press

Genre: Chick Lit

Blurb:

Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding.


Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister? Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn? Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her into her happily ever after.


Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Disenchanted. I have a funny guest post to share with you today.


Heide and Iain’s latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale…

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What to Do with Goodreads

Kristen Twardowski

New-York-City-Library-Hotel-booksGoodreads is the largest book review website on the internet. As of April 2017, it had 55 million members who wrote 50 million reviews and added 1.5 billion books. According to Quantcast, a website ranking and data collection site, around 400,000 unique visitors access the Goodreads each day from all around the world. Those numbers are all very impressive, but they don’t solve my problem.

I don’t have the slightest idea what to do with Goodreads.

I have a Goodreads page, but I haven’t done much with the rest of the site. There are great forums, lists of fabulous books on every subject imaginable, quotes from novels, ways to win books, and places to ask authors questions. But there are so many ways to interact with the Goodreads community that I don’t know where to start. I’ll admit that I usually don’t even look at a book’s Goodread’s rating before…

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