Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir

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 VietnamIn 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 SouAcclaimed 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 VietnamIn 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 Southern California That homecoming would eventually happen, but not in thirteen days, and not as the person he once was The moment his vehicle struck a Vietcong land mine divided his life into before and after.He survived, barely, with third degree burns over his face and much of his body It would have been easy to give up Instead, Robert Timberg began an arduous and uncertain struggle back not just to physical recovery, but to a life of meaning Remarkable as his return to health was he endured thirty five operations, one without anesthesia just as remarkable was his decision to reinvent himself as a journalist and enter one of the most public of professions Blue Eyed Boy is a gripping, occasionally comic account of what it took for an ambitious man, aware of his frightful appearance but hungry for meaning and accomplishment, to master a new craft amid the pitying stares and shocked reactions of many he encountered on a daily basis.By the 1980s, Timberg had moved into the upper ranks of his profession, having secured a prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard and a job as White House correspondent for The Balti Sun Suddenly his work brought his life full circle the Iran Contra scandal broke At its heart were three fellow Naval Academy graduates and Vietnam era veterans, Oliver North, Bud McFarlane, and John Poindexter Timberg s coverage of that story resulted in his first book, The Nightingale s Song, a powerful work of narrative nonfiction that follows these three academy graduates and two others John McCain and Jim Webb from Annapolis through Vietnam and into the Reagan years In Blue Eyed Boy, Timberg relates how he came to know and develop a deep understanding of these five men, and how their stories helped him understand the ways the Vietnam War and the furor that swirled around it continued to haunt him, and the nation as a whole, as they still do even now, nearly four decades after its dismal conclusion.Like others of his generation, Robert Timberg had to travel an unexpectedly hard and at times bitter road In facing his own life with the same tools of wisdom, human empathy, and storytelling grit he has always brought to his journalism, he has produced one of the most moving and important memoirs of our time.
Blue Eyed Boy A Memoir 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 VietnamIn

  • Title: Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir
  • Author: Robert Timberg
  • ISBN: 9781594205668
  • Page: 204
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir”

    1. 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 [...]

    2. “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:

    3. 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 [...]

    4. 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 [...]

    5. 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 classes to [...]

    6. 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 [...]

    7. 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 [...]

    8. Well written -- as anything by Timberg is. But I think it's an example of why David Halberstam said historians should not write autobiographies. I learned too much. One of my lifetime favorite books is The Nightingale's Song by Timberg. I learned that the title (which is also the thesis) was suggested by his second wife. I didn't need to know it wasn't his original thought or that he had a second wife. Still, his has been an extraordinary life, changed suddenly by his disfiguring injury in Vietn [...]

    9. I didn't particularly enjoy this book, but it gripped me for personal reasons. First, I served as a Navy nurse for six years, from 1985 through 1991, after Vietnam, yes, but not so long after that I didn't hear grisly anecdotes from nurses who had served in Nam or treat patients suffering from physical and psychic wounds from their time in-country. Second, I married a Naval Academy grad from the class of 1968 who served twenty-four years active duty and have met some of the men mentioned in this [...]

    10. 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 [...]

    11. 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 [...]

    12. 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 [...]

    13. 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 [...]

    14. Timberg's book begins with his time at the naval academy, then quickly moves to Vietnam, where he suffers incredible injuries two weeks before he's supposed to return home. He provides an unflinching narrative of his recovery, both physical and mental. The book delves into his career trajectory as a reporter and how he ultimately came to be the author of several highly regarded books. In my opinion, the book was a little light on the details of the close, personal relationships that comprise a p [...]

    15. 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 [...]

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

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

    19. As the wife of a wounded Vietnam vet, all I can say is that this book moved me to tears. Those that didn't go to Vietnam should read this for sure.

    20. 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.

    21. 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.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *