Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  18 reviews

The wrenching, sometimes hilarious and always thought-provoking memoir of a mischievous teenager who enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps seeking adventure and his father's approval and finds both, plus more danger than he ever could have imagined. Barry Fixler gets molded into a Marine at Parris Island and sent to Vietnam, where he is assigned to a company that would soon etc

Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Exalt Press (first published December 1st 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 145)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
*Rated 3.5*

The thing with memoirs is that it's all real (Duh!). You can't tell yourself - "This is just fiction, not true. " So everything that happens or is described in a memoir tends to affect you more.

Semper Cool is the story of author, Barry Fixler's experiences during the Vietnam war. The memoir starts right from the time he enlisted to his homecoming after the war. Barry Fixler was just a teenager when he joined, a mere boy and by the end of it, he was a "grown-up", a man who had seen too...more
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

About the Cover Photograph
Author Barry Fixler holds the skull of an North Vietnamese soldier at an outpost near the DMZ. The Marine to his right was killed shortly after this photo was taken. The Marine to his left lost both legs in battle.

When reading this book, there were times when I FELT the jungle and it's heat around me and the weight of the gear the soldiers had to carry. Mr. Fixler's unapologetic look at the t...more
This book was a gift from my Uncle Larry who served with the author in Vietnam. It was a great insight to what went down among the ranks of the soldiers that fought in that war. Gritty. Rough. Brutal. The brave men that fought never have gotten the credit they deserved and some of them have suffered for the rest of their lives because of it.

The author has pledged 100% of the profits from this book to aid and assist those veterans that never got enough aid from the government. A very noble cause....more
Larry Mccartney
Not for the faint of heart. Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam is probably the single best book yet to come out of the Vietnam War. Unlike, many others, Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam doesn't address that much maligned war from the perspective of the officers or senior noncommissioned officers who served, mostly in career enhancing support roles, it lets the reader into the mind of the American teenagers who fought that war—-the men who served in the trenches...more
Emily Placido
I loved this book! I was amazed at the author's ability to immerse himself in the Viet Nam War and come out totally unscathed, physically and mentally. He is a truly uinque man, worthy of our honor and respect!!! The book doesn't come out until November. I was lucky enough to meet Barry Fixler at the Book Expo in New York City and he signed a copy of his book for me.
Barry Fixler
Dec 10, 2010 Barry Fixler rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I'm the author!
Mar 01, 2011 ReviewsByMolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to ReviewsByMolly by: PUYB
I can't really write a long review of this memoir. No, it's simply not going to be possible. Why? Well, simply put, you need to read it for yourself. This is a unique book. Not your normal war memoir. When you think (or atleast when I think) of a war memoir, you are thinking that it will be about all the details and dramatic, gut wrenching events. Not this memoir. This is a memoir of a Viet Nam Marine Corp vet who remembers the fond times he had as a soldier of war. He remembers his happenings o...more
Semper Cool by Barry Fixler is a memoir of one marine’s time before, during, and after the Vietnam War. Fixler’s writing style is accessible for all readers, though some who have read a number of military books may find themselves skipping over definitions of terms they already know, which are defined for less experienced military readers. Through clear sentence structure, fast-paced flashbacks, and frankness about boot camp and other aspects of a marine’s training, readers get a feel for the gr...more
Despite my being born after my father's service in Vietnam, the Vietnam War was still a part of my life. It was a part of who my dad was and, to a degree, shaped the way he viewed the world. Like Barry Fixler, my father enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. The two men went on to serve in Vietnam. From there, their experiences diverge, but I imagine there are some similarities. I read Fixler's memoir thinking of my dad and what his life might have been like during that time i...more

At first glance, a person may only see three guys laughing at the camera. Looking closer, and after reading the title, you realize these guys are Marines ... and one of them is holding a human skull. I enjoyed seeing smiling faces on the cover of a book about the military. Most of the time the people pictured are so solemn (and with good reason).

What most intrigued me about this cover was the knowledge about the photo the reader gained. In the book, Barry (the author and middle guy in the c...more
Semper Cool is one Marine's tale of his experiences during Vietnam. Fixler begins by walking us through the robbery of his jewelry store, then he quickly goes straight into the life of a young officer and beyond. His retelling gives readers a clear image of Vietnam and what it must have been like for not only him but the many other men who served the U.S.

Adding photographs as part of the retelling was a fantastic way to give further insight into a era before my existence. I enjoyed the journey b...more
The Marine's creed is Semper Fidelis, often shorted to Semper Fi. Translated it means always faithful. The fact that Barry Fixler decided to call his memoir as a marine in Viet Nam, "Always Cool" is a good indication of this books' many shortcomings. Let me start off by stating that I mean no disrespect to The Marines, but with the exception of the very last chapter when Fixler actually did demonstrate faithfulness to The Marines creed Semper Fi, to me this book was a complete waste of time and...more
Having lost a cousin to the Vietnam war by friendly fire I was interested in seeing yet another side to Vietnam via a Marine's view especially since my youngest son was a Marine during Iraq/Afghanistan conflict. Its amazing in a way considering how Barry came through it all and loved the ending how he came through for another marine. Barry doesn't hold back on the confusion and horror he went through with Vietnam...interesting story, had a hard time putting it down.
Matthew Helenek
Amazing Book. The author donates all his proceeds to the wounded warrior project. The stories are so interesting abot his experience in Vietnam. On his website, there is video of the attempted robbery that occured in his jewelery store. His description of this in the book along with the video provides such an amazing persepctive of the event. Totally worth the read especially with the charitable aspect.
I thought that this was an amazing book. The only reason I first got interest in it is that I had to read a book with some history in it. This seemed like a cool looking book. I didn't know what a great book I was getting myself into. I would say this is definitely one of my favorite books. It really makes you think on what it is to be an american. After reading this book, I realize how proud I am to be an american.
Mark Occhipinti
Great Book. Fast paced. No nonsense. No punches pulled. An excellent memoir by Barry Fixler. Great charity and cause he promotes as well.
For any Marine or former Marine a good read. For anyone trying to understand what makes a Marine a Marine this will help.
Angie marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
Susan marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2014
Hope Dee
Hope Dee marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book