This book covers the Vietnam War from the Australian and New Zealand point of view. Not scared of the controversial issues, it covers the background to the war, the stories of the diggers themselves, and looks at the aftermath. It benefits enormously from having an Australian narrator, and Peter Byrne does a fantastic job. The description of the terrifying battle at Long Tan is worth the cost on its own and once finished, left me with enormous respect for the ANZACs and their approach to soldiering. Highly recommended.
Do look past the title, because it doesn't really do the book justice. "Bonnie Sue" was the call sign of Marine helicopter squadron HMM-265. This book actually covers quite a bit of the US Marines' involvement in Vietnam, from the viewpoint of the helicopter crews who flew them into battle. Very comprehensive and truly edge-of-the-seat stuff in places, the only reason it didn't get 5 stars from me is my slight annoyance with the narrator who had to repeat details and over-emphasise certain names and places (although this is probably a fault of the original book). Otherwise, a great listen.
This is a comprehensive account of the war based on primary sources, with lots of detail. The personalities shine through in the coverage, which is primarily concerned with military affairs and battles (although the socio-political backdrop is addressed more than some critics have said). I have given 5 stars overall for these three volumes that make up the whole. But only four for performance, as the narrator is often dreary and jaded and has a clipped accent like the character Hannibal Lector in the Silence of the Lambs. I must admit that I would be jaded after reading this amount of text aloud, so maybe the producers should have broken it up with alternating readers, one with a north-east Yankee accent and one with a southern accent. Or someone who sounds like Shelby Foote did, the author now deceased, who had a mild educated southern lilt (interviews with him are on You Tube). But overall, this book is magnificent and well balanced and accessible. And the audio version is fair, and well worth the effort. I came to some new conclusions about Lincoln, the South, and the United States. A note on the medium: It is hard to take it all in unless you concentrate, but often you don't do that when listening to a book. So you have to re-play parts over and over again if something takes your attention away (like a 13 year old daughter asking for a lift or a wife coming home while you are preparing supper - both of whom complained, fairly, about the narrator's drone). Or you can only listen while painting a room or at the gym or in the car on your own. Or you can buy the books, which, if they include maps, would also prevent you having to look out relevant maps on the internet - but must weigh a ton!