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Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Acclaimed journalist Robert Timberg’s extraordinary, long-awaited memoir of his struggle to reclaim his life and find his calling after being severely burned as a young Marine lieutenant in Vietnam

In January 1967, Robert Timberg was a short-timer, counting down the days until his combat tour ended. He had thirteen days to go before he got to go back home to his wife in Sou
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 24th 2014 by Penguin Press
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Steven Z.
As most are aware the Vietnam War has left many scars on those who fought the war and the American people in general. With 58,000 men dead and roughly 270,000 wounded, many like the author, Robert Timberg suffered life changing injuries that affect them psychologically and physically to this day. Mr. Timberg, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and a Marine Corps officer suffered second and third degree burns to his face and parts of his body on January 18, 1967 when his armored vehic ...more
Washington Post
“Blue-Eyed Boy” is a fierce and enthralling memoir by Vietnam veteran and career journalist Robert Timberg. It recounts his recovery from severe injuries, sustained when his truck hit a Viet Cong land mine. Third-degree burns covered much of his face, and “what remained looked like steak before you throw it on the grill,” he writes.

At its core “Blue-Eyed Boy” is the story of a man who fought, fought like hell — first for survival, then for a life.

Read our review here:
Chris
I enjoyed Timberg's book, "The Nightengale's Song," and this memoir doesn't disappoint either. I have some things in common with him: USNA graduate and Marine officer and perhaps a desire to be journalistic-like. But that's where it ends. He was only 13 days away from completing his tour in Vietnam when on a simple admin errand to pay the troops his vehicle struck a mine and his life was forever changed. This is candid and confessional up to a point. Timberg sounds like a difficult man to live w ...more
Ed
Memoirs are somewhat of a diversion for me but Robert Timberg occupies a special author category for me. Lt. Robert Timberg, a 23 year old Annapolis graduate and Marine officer, was 13 days away from concluding his 13th month tour in Viet Nam when the Am Trac he was riding on hit a VC land mine. He survived but suffered hideously disfiguring burns. This book is the story of the courage and determination he endured both physically and physiologically to just survive and the people in his life tha ...more
Nancy Kennedy
Robert Timberg, a Marine and Naval Academy graduate, was 13 days from finishing his year-long tour in Vietnam and returning home to his bride. On a day when he was supposed to be on R&R shopping for souvenirs, he instead took the place of a fellow Marine in a convoy bringing paychecks to a company deep in the boonies. On the way, the Amtrac he was riding in rolled over a land mine and exploded in a fireball that charred Mr. Timberg's face, neck and arms.

Mr. Timberg was scarred in a horrible
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Tony Taylor

Bob Timberg is just one of those writers who never misses... whatever he writes about is captivating and superbly written. For anyone who knows his name, he will always be remembered for his first book, a masterpiece: "The Nightingale's Song," a nationally acclaimed story of the Iran-Contra scandal that happened during his tenure as the White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun during the Reagan years. I have the privilege of knowing Bob as a Naval Academy classmate... we often shared clas
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Jeanette
Good read. The honest tale of his wartime service and his years of surgeries to repair his face from his Vietnam burn was 4 star. And I appreciate all the details of his journalistic and D.C. gigs. He loses a star in his ego rants (although coming from that exact era myself and a military spouse at that once upon a time) which set the second half of the book off toward a tenser angle than it needed to take. But that's a jarhead- just like my brother. And he does seem honest about the temperament ...more
Su
The first half of this memoir details the life of Robert Timberg, when he was serving as a U.S. marine in Vietnam. With his countdown to going home down to a meager 13 days, he suffers horrendous injuries from a land mine. The story of the pain and suffering and multiple surgeries he endured almost brought me to tears. But, in the second half of the book, it seems his ego took over and ran wild. He was a man of contradictions. He despises young men of his generation who avoided the draft by any ...more
Linda Robertson
The beginning of the book is excellent, but the last quarter is anything but. I heard Timberg being interviewed on NPR and wanted to read the book. He sounded very interesting.

The Viet Nam portion and his recovery were gut wrenching. But later he comes across as rather self involved. His excuses for MacFarlane, North and others involved in the Iran Contra, because they were ex Marines, made me doubt what sort of people the service academies are turning out. They were adult men and he expects oth
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Judy
The first three-fourths of this book is excellent -- well-written with a fast pace. Timberg builds an air of suspense as we anticipate his severe injury and wonder how well he will recover. His struggle to create a new life has a strong emotional impact and the successes he achieves are very impressive. Towards the end of the book, his focus waivers and he emphasizes the politics of the Vietnam War, especially his anger towards those who opposed the war, rather than his personal experiences. Sti ...more
Robin
In this book, Timberg chronicles his life post Vietnam War; he's an Annapolis grad Marine who, just days from his going-home date, gets horrifically burned when the vehicle he's on explodes a mine.

This story is at its best when Timberg is describing the procedures he endured and the people and experiences that motivated him to return to life, despite being physically disfigured. His bravery and intelligence, and those of his first wife, are pretty incredible. There's a lot to think about -- How
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Georgia
Like many others stated before me, I was totally enmeshed in the story for the first half of the book. Bob's Vietnam experiences, terrible injuries, and developing angst over what the war in Vietnam really meant to those young people serving and those 'others' who avoided service was riveting. Then he began telling his 'work' story, which started out strong but finally ended up being an 'I did this, and I did that' saga over and over and over again. By the end of the book, I mostly didn't care w ...more
Mike Clay
A top journalist from the Baltimore Sun (and Evening Sun) writes an autobiographical account of his experience in Vietnam, his marriage and recovery, his experience as a journalist and with the Washington press corp covering Iran Contra and other events. An uplifting book and well recommended.
Lynn
This is a gripping account of how a badly injured combat vet worked to find his way in the civilian world. He doesn't pull any punches and he provides a lot of food for thought regarding society and the place of combat in the world.
Beth Hines
An amazing memoir of a man who overcame great injury in Vietnam and became a distinguished journalist. This story is told with honesty and integrity, horror and humor.
Kim
Really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book but then it went downhill.
harpsicle
It talks about a career oriented guy!!Very interesting!!Thumbs up !!
lo6
Oct 10, 2014 lo6 marked it as to-read
one of the good one's
auro
Very good book
Stephan
Inspirational.
Jerome
All in all I found this memoir of a bad wounded Marine and his comeback from a terrible ordeal very interesting and well written.
Semper Fi, Timberg.
Jeff
Maybe my favorite book of the year: a true-life tale of both military and journalistic heroism.
Diana Manley
Diana Manley marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2015
Nevie
Nevie marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2015
Zacarias Rivera, Jr.
Zacarias Rivera, Jr. marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2015
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