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Blue-Eyed Boy by Robert Timberg
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Blue-Eyed Boy

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Blue-Eyed Boy by Robert Timberg
Jul 24, 2014 | ISBN 9781101631409

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  • Jul 24, 2014 | ISBN 9781101631409

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The Washington Post:
“In a crisp, unsentimental style, Timberg … traces his long postwar journey from the hospital ward to the newsroom—or, as he puts it, ‘Remember[ing] how I decided not to die….’ Wisdom resonates throughout Blue-Eyed Boy, a fierce and enthralling memoir….‘I suspect there’s something essentially human about what I fought my way through,’ he writes in the book’s prologue. That only begins to hint at the fullness of his life’s journey. This is vital reading.”

U.S. News & World Report:
“In a clear confiding voice, [Timberg’s] autobiography Blue-Eyed Boy speaks to you like an American Proust, straight from the start: ‘Falling asleep is never a problem for me. Waking up always is.’ As he approached age 70, he at last let himself look back at the jagged scenery of his life….There’s a hardwon beauty in those crevices…. Timberg’s memoir is a searing loss of innocence tale, one that may address a wider swath of college baby boomers in the 1960s than he thought. Whatever side you were on when it came to the Vietnam War, it ended badly. Nobody won. America suffered a shattering loss of innocence over that war, starting in 1967, the year Timberg—who goes by ‘Bob’—lost the man in the mirror. Then comes the best part of his journey: a mordant tale told of adult resurrection.”

The American Conservative:
Blue-Eyed Boy, the just-released memoir by wounded veteran and journalist Robert Timberg, excels with limpid writing and gripping personal travail and triumph, never once hinting at or lamenting what-might-have-been, even as it admirably meets all the requisites of an exemplary memoir….Forcing the reader to seriously ponder obligations and responsibilities to one’s country and society, Blue-Eyed Boy is a welcome tonic, an elixir of life delivered with hard-hitting flesh-and-blood reality. Refreshingly honest in depicting less than admirable personal behavior, Timberg is equally blunt in recounting the arduously difficult and tortuously slow road to mental, psychological, and physical recovery. In spite of numerous setbacks and indignities in the struggle to cope and ‘come back,’ Timberg thrives as much in his writing as he has in life.”

“A fascinating look at how tragedy that would make most men crumble instead drove the author to survive, and on many levels to succeed….[A] fast moving, crisply written memoir.”

Kirkus Reviews:
“An empathetic and extremely candid memoir from a man who decided ‘to remember how I decided not to die…not let my future die.'”

“This thoroughly absorbing autobiography really begins with the author’s life-altering experience of being badly wounded (and severely and permanently disfigured) as a marine officer in Vietnam….. Timberg will strike many readers as demonstrating the truth of the notion that ‘genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains’—although, in Timberg’s case, he first had to demonstrate a large capacity for enduring pain.”

Curled Up with a Good Book:
“This is an extraordinary tale of a remarkable boy with more courage and determination than any ten normal men. It will make you cry and make your own petty problems disappear completely.”

Jim Lehrer:
“If you only have time to read one memoir right now, make it Blue-Eyed Boy. Bob Timberg lived through what an exploding land mine did to him as a young Marine lieutenant in Vietnam. It changed forever most everything about him, including the way he looked. The story he tells superbly and honestly is one of pain and suffering, resilience and recovery that I promise will also stay forever with and within you. I hereby salute this stunning piece of work and invite you to do the same.”

Mark Shields, syndicated columnist, PBS NewsHour:
“If, as the proverb teaches, an honest man fears neither the light nor the dark, Bob Timberg, the author of this unsparingly honest memoir, must be fearless. This is his compelling story of suffering and redemption, of passion and courage, the story of one flawed and fallible, but ultimately admirable man who sustained grievous wounds in combat but managed to rebuild his life and make it matter. This is a gripping and honest book written by an honored journalist who is an honest man. Blue-Eyed Boy, I can almost guarantee, will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think.”
Mark Bowden, New York Times bestselling author of Black Hawk Down:
“To say that war scars a man for life is a cliché, but for Bob Timberg it is a cliché that came excruciatingly true. In one searing moment on a well-traveled trail in Vietnam, a land mine exploded beneath his vehicle and left him hideously scarred. Timberg has lived with that long ago war every day since. His fight to rebuild his face, and to carve out a normal life and admirable career is as real and courageous a war story as you will ever read.”

Nathaniel Fick, New York Times bestselling author of One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer:
“Bob Timberg’s Blue-Eyed Boy is a homecoming story in the tradition of The Odyssey. The road back after combat is long, and Timberg brings his fortunate readers on a deeply personal journey that is also the journey of a generation. It’s a special book by a special man, and I am glad to have read it.”
John S. Carroll, former editor of the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun:
Blue-Eyed Boy is Robert Timberg’s candid and compelling memoir of courage on the battlefield and sustained heroism over the decades to follow. Terribly wounded as a young Marine officer in Vietnam, he reclaims his life in faltering steps. Eventually finding a calling as an author, he illuminates the deep rift in American public life between those who served and those who did not.”

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