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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781913183295

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 12th November 2020

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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‘An extraordinary story.’ Daily Mail

‘An unforgettable, wild ride from start to finish.’ – John Bruning

‘The astounding true story – from the streets of Manhattan to the jungles of Vietnam.’ – Thomas Kelly


As a result of a rowdy night in his local New York bar, ex-Marine and merchant seaman “Chick” Donohue volunteers for a legendary mission. He will sneak into Vietnam to track down his buddies in combat to bring them a cold beer and supportive messages from home. It’ll be the greatest beer run ever!

Now, decades on from 1968, this is the remarkable true story of how he actually did it.

Armed with Irish luck and a backpack full of alcohol, Chick works his passage to Vietnam, lands in Qui Nhon and begins to carry out his quest, tracking down the disbelieving soldiers one by one.

But things quickly go awry, and as he talks his way through checkpoints and unwittingly into dangerous situations, Chick sees a lot more of the war than he ever planned – spending a terrifying time in the Demilitarized Zone, and getting caught up in Saigon during the Tet Offensive.

With indomitable spirit, Chick survives on his wits, but what he finds in Vietnam comes as a shock. By the end of his epic adventure, battered and exhausted, Chick finds himself questioning why his friends were ever led into the war in the first place.

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John (Chickie) Donohue happens to be one of the best storytellers anywhere. He knows that though life may be funny, it is no joke. In this book you will see through his eyes the absurdity of the human condition. Chickie takes us thousands of miles on a hilarious quest laced with sorrow, but never dull. You will laugh and cry, but you will not be sorry that you read this rollicking story.
Malachy McCourt
Donohue's memoir is a fascinating, vividly narrated recollection of the chaos of the Vietnam war.
Publishers Weekly
The Greatest Beer Run Ever is the astounding true story of a young man's odyssey. On these pages we accompany Chick Donohue as he takes us on a fantastic voyage from the streets of Manhattan via the high seas to the jungles and cities of Vietnam at the height of a war fought mostly by forgotten blue collar kids...This book is both a testament to the fading notions of loyalty and brotherhood and an elegy for the working class enclaves that once formed the backbone of a city and nation.
Thomas Kelly, Author of Payback, The Rackets, and Empire Rising and executive producer, Copper, The Get Down, and Civil
John 'Chick' Donohue is an American legend...He bore witness to some of the most ground-shaking events of the era while somehow managing to honor his friends. This book is an unforgettable, brilliantly written wild ride from start to finish, filled with humor, action, poignancy and wrenching moments. The Greatest Beer Run Ever will remain in your heart and mind long after you've turned the last page.
John Bruning, New York Times bestselling author of Indestructible
The story of a patriotic prankster's freelance incursion into Vietnam, bringing cheer (and beer) to Americans at war... An irreverent yet thoughtful macho adventure reflecting the tumult of a fast-fading era.
Kirkus Reviews