Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Close Quarters” as Want to Read:
Close Quarters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Close Quarters

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  14 reviews
From the moment his first novel was published, Larry Heinemann joined the ranks of the great chroniclers of the Vietnam conflict--Philip Caputo, Tim O’Brien, and Gustav Hasford.

In the stripped-down, unsullied patois of an ordinary soldier, draftee Philip Dosier tells the story of his war. Straight from high school, too young to vote or buy himself a drink, he enters a worl
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 316 pages
Published 1977 by Popular Library (first published 1974)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Close Quarters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Close Quarters

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 220)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Eric_W
This is not a book for the faint-hearted. If you don't like graphic violence, the f-word, and ethnic slurs, lots of brutal and mind-numbing sex, you should leave right now. Categorized as a novel, I suspect many of the incidents in this book reflected Heinemann's personal experiences in "the Nam." This book brings new meaning to the "pornography of violence." One feels almost like voyeur, feeling slightly dirty while reading.

There is one scene that I think particularly illustrates the frustratio
...more
Ben
I just reread this and all of the things I thought about it the first time held up through a revisit. Larry Heinemann has an incredibly strong and evocative narrative style, and his fictionalized past self is equal parts horrifying and sympathetic. Probably one of the best books about the Vietnam War that I have ever read, this is right up there with Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers and Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War, but it's less cartoony than the former and grittier than the latter. I can't ...more
Lisa
Feedbooks commentary:

From the moment his first novel was published, Larry Heinemann joined the ranks of the great chroniclers of the Vietnam conflict--Philip Caputo, Tim O'Brien, and Gustav Hasford.

In the stripped-down, unsullied patois of an ordinary soldier, draftee Philip Dosier tells the story of his war. Straight from high school, too young to vote or buy himself a drink, he enters a world of mud and heat, blood and body counts, ambushes and firefights. It is here that he embarks on the bru
...more
Jeffrey Miller
One of the first books I read on the Vietnam War by a veteran of the Vietnam War. I still remembered the day I bought at the BX on George Air Force Base.

This is a gripping, riveting story of combat. It is not for the fainthearted. This book has held up well over the years.

I highly recommend it.
Jason
Close Quarters often times feels like a confessional presented in the form of fiction. A confession of what the author, Larry Heinemann, either did himself or witnessed his comrades do while serving his tour of duty in Vietnam. Or both.

The story almost moves from scene to scene like a documentary. Although the beginning felt rushed to me, as there was no harassing of the "New F#@cking Guy"--our protagonist and narrator--the rest of the novel has a brutal reality feel to it that is both shocking
...more
Eudald Torne
Real life. Mainly going home and the lonelyness. I was drafted (no-volunteer) in the spanish army, 14 months, January 77 until february 78, send to EUSKADI, northern SPAIN when the ETA warfare was at the highest point, the duty nights in the middle of the mountains I feel the same on the listen points. The return to the civil life, search a job in the middle od a recession was an ugly time for my, I was 22 years old.
John Pappas
Brutal. Not as hopeless as Paco's Story, but a seemingly authentic study of how a bright idealistic boy becomes a terrifying killer by fighting in the Vietnam Conflict. Heinemann does not pull any punches in his graphic depiction of what must have been hell on earth.
Stephan
One of the best novels on the war from a soldier's existential pt of view. Doesn't let the moral ambiguities of the conflict get in its way.
Frank Sullivan
This book is not for the faint hearted, but I believe this is exactly how war in Vietnam was. I recommend this book, it is a good read.
Brooke
I'm not big on war novels, but I read this one for a 60's history class and ended up being sucked into the story.
Kenneth Nordqvist
One of the best books from vietnam i have read and in a totally different language set up.
DoctorM
Very simply: one of the finest Vietnam War novels. Hard, crisp, intelligent, powerful.
Catherine
Wasn't for me. A bit too graphic for my taste.
Carrie
Fall 98 Sweney
Robin Linore
Robin Linore marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2014
Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Cameron
Cameron marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
Don Thomas
Don Thomas marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2014
Ruthie
Ruthie marked it as to-read
Nov 03, 2014
Edward Scott
Edward Scott marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2014
Kelly
Kelly marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2014
David Gobbitt
David Gobbitt marked it as to-read
Oct 27, 2014
Guido Tenconi
Guido Tenconi marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Tom
Tom marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
Lindsey Armstrong
Lindsey Armstrong marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The 13th Valley
  • Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans
  • The Short-Timers
  • Gods Go Begging
  • Loon: A Marine Story
  • Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat
  • Novel Without a Name
  • The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War
  • The Nightingale's Song
  • Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War
  • The Cat From Hue: A Vietnam War Story
  • We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam
  • Steel My Soldiers' Hearts: The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of U.S. Army, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, Vietnam
  • Home Before Morning
  • Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam
  • The Republic of Whores
  • The Centurions
  • The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam
33009
Larry Heinemann (born 1944) is an American novelist born and raised in Chicago. His body of work is primarily concerned with the Vietnam War. Mr. Heinemann served a combat tour in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 with the 25th Infantry Division, and has described himself as the most ordinary of soldiers. Mr. Heinemann's military experience is documented in his most recent work, Black Virgin Mountain (200 ...more
More about Larry Heinemann...
Paco's Story Black Virgin Mountain: A Return to Vietnam Cooler by the Lake Close Quarters Larry Heinemann Reads Paco's Story (Excerpts)

Share This Book