In this companion to the HBO miniseries - executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman - Hugh Ambrose reveals the intertwined odysseys of four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy carrier pilot during World War II.
Between America's retreat from China in late November 1941 and the moment General MacArthur's airplane touched down on the Japanese mainland in August of 1945, five men connected by happenstance fought the key battles of the war against Japan. From the debacle in Bataan, to the miracle at Midway and the relentless vortex of Guadalcanal, their solemn oaths to their country later led one to the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot and the others to the coral strongholds of Peleliu, the black terraces of Iwo Jima, and the killing fields of Okinawa, until at last the survivors enjoyed a triumphant, yet uneasy, return home.
In The Pacific, Hugh Ambrose focuses on the real-life stories of the five men who put their lives on the line for our country. To deepen the story revealed in the miniseries and go beyond it, the book dares to chart a great ocean of enmity known as The Pacific and the brave men who fought. Some considered war a profession, others enlisted as citizen soldiers. Each man served in a different part of the war, but their respective duties required every ounce of their courage and their strength to defeat an enemy who preferred suicide to surrender. The medals for valor that were pinned on three of them came at a shocking price - a price paid in full by all.
©2010 Hugh Ambrose (P)2010 Penguin Audio
I have 59 Audiobooks in my library, many of which
dealing with the Marines and battles in this book. Having finished listening to it yesterday, "The Pacific" is without a doubt the most confusing and poorly narrated of all.
The narration of this book misses on many counts. The reader's monotone voice hides the emotion that should be the center of this tale. There is no clear organization of the telling, chapters flow together like a runon sentence.
I believe another reader would make this story come alive.
Regular guy from the midwest. Love my kids and the outdoors. 15 years of commuting in D.C. has helped to put a few titles in my library.
I'm not quite halfway through but not sure I'll ever finish as I can't take much more. The stories of five or six men serving in WWII are told here and while each story is important and worth telling, this book ruins the stories in three ways. First, the reader is mediocre at best. Second, each story is chopped into little pieces and then intertwined with the others but often there is nothing to indicate to the listener that the story just switched from one man's story to another; they just run right into each other. It's very confusing. Finally, often the story will elude to some strange twist that's about to occur but it never does. Or some strange detail will be revealed and you're waiting for an explanation for the strange detail but it never comes. It's very unsatisfying.
The material is very good, but I find myself looking forward to the end because of the narration. There is no emotion, inflection, and it seems he's only reading, not living the story.
I had high hopes as well as others had I'm sure, but I find myself fighting to stay awake during the narration of this book. I've listened to quite a few audiobooks, "Helmet for my Pillow", who is one of the soldiers in this book, and would have liked this to have had some of that emotion. I have to have the strongest cup of coffee to even stay awake during this. I believe I'll just settle for reading the book when I get a chance and watching the series on television, which is a shame.
In a nutshell - I enjoyed it.
I happened to hear about this book when I was looking for something to put on my ipod touch. I had not seen the miniseries yet.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the narration. Yes it was long, but since I got in in 35 minute commute sessions, I found myself looking forward to the commute.
It took me a month to listen to it, but I feel it was well worth the time and effort.
If I read the reviews, I might not have listened. I am glad I did.
I'm about two-thirds through with this lengthy work, and am becoming impressed how well the individual stories integrate. I watched the first episode of the HBO series, and found that the book substantially enhanced my enjoyment of the installment, which would otherwise already been quite high!
I enjoyed the book very much, learning a great deal about WWII, the Marines involvement and basically the zeitgeist of the times. Narration is involving and emotional without being overbearing. I like the format of following 5 different people through the war and their personal experiences.
Without knowing the background of the book, other than its being adjunct to the HBO series, I did not know exactly what I was in for. This book does not give a complete history of the war, but personal accounts that tie stories of the war together. It also leans heavily on the writing of E.B. Sledge and his experiences as a Marine in some horrific battles. 360 degree view of the war is not delivered and some stories depended on what happened in previous battles, encouraging/forcing me to look them up in Wikipedia to understand how they affected the current story (which was enjoyable, mostly). What is gives the listener a very personal feel of the war, the times and what these people overcame (and some did not).
Overall I enjoyed this greatly.
People who know me would think I would eat up a historical retelling of Medal of Honor recipients. Truth be told I was at times bored listening to this book. I mean the subject matter was Epic but between the mono-tone and seemingly disinterested orator, and the dry, text book like cadence of the story telling, it was difficult to get into the narrative. The biggest hindrance to following the several stories happening simultaneously was a lack of auditory queues before switching from talking about the guys in the jungle to the guys on the carrier deck. It would have been nice to have those music queues to prepare the mind for a thousand mile jump.I wanted to care, I wanted to get into this story. It had its moments of brilliance, however, the book seems to focus more on academic clarity as opposed to rich story telling.
Only if a friend recommended a particular performance.
Ambrose has always been a favorite author of mine. This book is another excellent portrayal of military history. The reading was well done and the story is captivating. Another excellent book by a fantastic author.
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