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Michael Herr (born 1940, in Syracuse, New York) is a writer and former war correspondent, best known as the author of Dispatches (1977), a memoir of his time as a correspondent for Esquire magazine (1967–1969) during the Vietnam War. The book was called the best "to have been written about the Vietnam War" by the The New York Times Book Review; novelist John le Carré called it "the best book I have ever read on men and war in our time." Herr later became credited with pioneering the literary genre of the nonfiction novel, along with authors such as Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and Tom Wolfe.

From 1971 to 1975 he produced no publications.

Herr co-wrote the screenplay for Full Metal Jacket with his close friend director Stanley Kubrick and author Gustav Hasford. The film was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers and the screenplay was nominated for an Academy award. He also contributed to the narration for Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. He collaborated with Richard Stanley in writing the original screenplay for the 1996 adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau. However, Stanley claims the subsequent rewrites cost Herr his writing credit, omitting most of the material created by the two writers. The omission probably worked to his favor, however, since the movie was panned by critics and earned credited writers Stanley and Ron Hutchinson a Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay of 1997.

Herr wrote a pair of articles for Vanity Fair about Stanley Kubrick, which were later incorporated into the small book Kubrick, a very personal biography of the director. He declined to edit Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut.

Michael Herr is said to be retired and living in Delhi, NY. He wrote an early screenplay of On the Road, based on the book by Jack Kerouac, which was never produced. Sources indicate the film version of Kerouac's book will be made from another writer's script. [1]

Publications

  • Dispatches (1977) ISBN 0-679-73525-9
  • The Big Room: Forty-Eight Portraits from the Golden Age (1987) (with Guy Peellaert) ISBN 0-671-63028-8 (stories about Hollywood personalities including Judy Garland, Howard Hughes, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Walter Winchell)
  • Walter Winchell: A Novel (1990) ISBN 0-679-73393-0 (biographical novel about the newsman Walter Winchell)
  • Kubrick (Grove, 2001) ISBN 0-8021-3818-7 (based on essay for Vanity Fair)

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Michael Herr (born 1940) is a writer and former war correspondent, best known as the author of Dispatches (1977), a memoir of his time as a correspondent for Esquire magazine (1967–1969) during the Vietnam War.

Sourced

Dispatches (1977)

  • There was such a dense concentration of energy there [Vietnam], American and essentially adolescent, if that energy could have been channeled into anything more than noise, waste and pain it would have lighted up Indochina for a thousand years.
  • I think that Vietnam is what we had instead of happy childhoods.
  • Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam, we've all been there.

External links

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