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...and a Hard Rain Fell: A GI's True Story of the War in Vietnam
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...and a Hard Rain Fell: A GI's True Story of the War in Vietnam

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  380 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The unforgettable story of a veteran's rage and the unflinching portrait of a young soldier's odyssey
ebook, 432 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks (first published June 1985)
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A very powerful book, especially for those of us who faced the draft and Vietnam in the late sixties. Ketwig was sent to Vietnam where he faced unimaginable horrors. He rails against the army, as did most draftees, who became the "expendables" while the "lifers" stayed in their air-conditioned bunkers behind the lines and collected medals for themselves.

He "volunteers" for a second year to guarantee a billet in Thailand rather than return home because he doesn't think he can explain his 370 day
An absolutely searing and visceral account of one young mans war in Vietnam and its after effects on his life. At times extremely hard to read, making one ask many questions that have no answers, chiefly among them "Why?". I laughed, I wept, I squirmed, the author has a gift and hits all of ones emotions. If you read only one book about this one.
This was actually assigned for one of my history classes and I dreaded reading it so much that I was finishing the book as I walked into my final for the class. But it was so worth it and is one of my many all time favorites.
Betsy Ashton
I generally shy away from such books, but a new friend of mine gave me a copy of a book he wrote in 1985. He thought it would have meaning for me. It did, but maybe not in the way he intended.

...And a Hard Rain Fell: A GI's True Story of the War in Vietnam by John Ketwig is still in print. It's a hard book to read if you were in Vietnam or if you were on the home front, protesting or not, waiting for a loved one to come home or not. The back cover likens this to Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trum
Tyler Y
The book ...and a hard rain fell: A GI's True Story of the War in Vietnam By: John Ketwig was an exhilarating war story, it induces the “True war story” feeling that author Tim O'Brien talked about in his book The Things They Carried . During the book John came across some Green berets, on a supply run, and they were interrogating 3 Vietnamese women. Throughout the course of this interrogation the women were beaten, battered, and abused since they refused to reveal any information. Until finall ...more
I think this is the first Vietnam memoir I ever read. What struck me is the total sense of disbelief that the baby boomer Ketwig had at getting drafted and being compelled to do things he did not wish to do. NOT a sense of entitlement at all, just bewilderment and then growing resentment. He wrote the book over a decade after he came home, and he was well able to focus on his unfocused feelings at that time. Very nice work!
this book was mostly just sad. war does horrible things to people on all sides.

i liked how the author was just honest about what he felt while he was in vietnam. the way he was trained and treated in the army completely desensitized him to all this violence and he did things and witnessed things that were so horrible that looking back he doesn't know how he did it all. but he couldn't think of how to do differently at the time.

he says at the begininng that he wrote this book because he wanted to
I am absolutely fascinated by this era. And this book is not only a book about war, but the culture at the time--politics, music! and life in the US. I do not generally like war stories, but this one is completely different. It is fascinating! I recommend this book to anyone who wants an honest look at the Vietnam war, the effects on our soldiers, and the interesting history of what was happening in the States while they were away. This book opened my eyes to this war. Rarely did anyone speak of ...more
Wow! If you like this genre- true life war stories that make you feel like you are there, then this is a great one. This book captrues how crazy the war was. Told from the point of view of a guy who was supporting the front line- a mechanic who was ambushed at times, on convoy details and mostly just fixing trucks, but at a place that would get shelled periodically. Not a "I was in the jungle for a year fighting every day" but just a typical guy- and how that screwed him up royally. The confusio ...more
I had the great honor of hearing Mr. Ketwig speak at my college a few years back, and after his talk I got to meet him and buy his book directly from him (on impulse, I might add.) It was an amazing and eye-opening experience, and I'm so glad that I got to hear Mr. Ketwig's story. When I eventually got to reading ...and a hard rain fell, I found the book is amazing, if a bit hard to bear at times because of the honest frankness with which Ketwig articulates his time in Vietnam. It's an important ...more
beautiful, thoughtful, thoroughly haunting.
Brought back into print for its 20th anniversary, this is a gut-wrenching account of one GI's experience in Viet Nam. Unable to face the idea of returning to the U.S. after his first tour in Nam, Ketwig was walking the streets of Cambodia on the evening of July 21, 1969, as Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. He was hailed as a hero, simply for being an American. He nevertheless returned to Nam for a second tour. Highly recommended but not for the faint of heart.
This book caught my eye in a 2nd hand bookstore I read a few pages while standing in the store and I bought it. I got home and I never put it down. I think it would be a great read for anyone...but especially great if you are connected to The Vietnam War in any way. This book might help you understand someone a little better. Certainly will give you a different perspective.
Cindy Deyo
This really is for anyone of "my" generation who wants to go back and truly feel what "the time's they are a changin'" was all about...wish I had just a bit of this information when I was in my tree-hugger days. A memoir of Vietnam - a slice of life for one 19-year old who came back forever changed. Humbling to say the least.
Oct 10, 2010 Katie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It really paints a vivid picture of what the entire process was like and makes the situation relatable and understandable. For someone who was not born in the Vietnam generation, it really helps make sense of what a generation of peacemakers felt about this war. This book is not afraid to evoke raw emotion.
Not having much else to do one vacation, I picked this up at my parents' house and started reading. Oddly enough, I enjoyed it...I generally hate movies about war because they tend to glorify it, but this story told how wrong and pointless it is. It appealed to the bleeding-heart liberal in me.
Jul 25, 2008 Lindsey marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo for school. My teacher recommended this one and conveniently enough, I already own it. So it's next on my list of Vietnam memoirs.
An excellent journal of the war in Vietnam. It had a great balance of personal life in Vietnam vs Wartime in Vietnam. The Vietnam War is a part of history that I am very much interested in and this was a great paperback that depicts the emotion involved.
I loved this book! It was a vivid account of the whole scene surrounding Hill 875, Pleiku, and Dak To. It made me want to research and find out more....Ketwig is brutally honest and i loved thst! Great book!!!!!!
Another book I devoured when I was in the sixth grade. Was I actually smarter and hungrier to learn about my world then I am I dumbing down in my old age? Dear God. Someone give me something to read!
I don't think I have ever read a book that stayed with me longer than this one. Without serving in Viet Nam, no one can imagine the horrors this war brought to the young men and women that served.
Jun 10, 2012 Raisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends, history majors, military people
Shelves: favorite-books
One of the few books that makes me cry. The narration of this book was magnificent. In some instaces I felt that I was right besides him.
This is one of the most touching books I have ever read. And I don't use phrases like, "I was touched." It's really great.
This book is very good. I would recommend it to anyone who likes war or history. It is very emotional but it IS worth reading
My dad is one of the guys in this book. He never talks about the war. It was a good read. I know him better.
Fordan Bonardi
This very good book reminds me of my Vietnam Era experience, so many parts hit home with me.
So good! This book gives you an idea of what it's really like to serve in a war.
so sad what these young men had to endure/lives forever changed by senseless war
Jul 22, 2009 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pacifists, peace mongers, anti-war activists, George Bush
Shelves: american-wars
Good hard look at the Vietnam War and it's ramifications from a soldier who was there.
Read it trying to understand what my father experienced in the war.
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Powerful Book 2 11 Nov 25, 2008 11:32AM  
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