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 would recommend this book only to a fellow veteran , they would really understand and feel the pain those Marines had to endure
The characters we intresting.
It was hard to follow the change from one character to the other sometimes. You have trouble locating where you are in the story, because of it.
It was intresting to understand the character's reaction to the situations they were in.
Perhaps if there was a greater pause in the transition of the characters it would have helped understanding the change.
It was worth a listen, but I probably wouldn't listen twice.
I really enjoy the books I read and hear!
Great story, but not completely factual. It was a great listen and would recommend to listen.
In the forward the author makes it clear that this book has a different approach from other approaches to narrating history. This is not a comprehensive book about the war in the Pacific in its entirety. Nor is it a detailed account of a particular battle. It’s not the experience of one person. Instead it is the intertwined story of five men – collectively they experienced many of the war’s vast trials.
I found the narration to be clear and straightforward. It does not need a great deal of inflection – the writing is so vivid it stands on its own. In part one I found myself breathing hard as I listened to what it was like to be a dive bomber pilot rolling into a seventy degree dive raining down on a Japanese carrier at the battle of Midway. I felt revolted at the recount of enduring a Japanese POW camp on The Philippians. When I heard the detailed incredible struggle of John Basalone’s machine gun battle on Guadalcanal I was speechless. It just keeps going on and on – I was amazed.
A few warnings will make sure you enjoy this book. First, I did initially find it confusing when the narrator switches from story to story. I relaxed and told myself the confusion was part of my own vicarious experience. About one third of the way through I was familiar enough with the stories to make that issue go away. Second, the stories all start out with very great detail about some of the things you might not consider essential, but can be fascinating. Examples include: How do carrier pilots find their way back to the carrier? When firing a Browning water-cooled machine gun, fire in bursts, not a stream – the barrel will overheat. If you listen carefully, you really have a good grasp on what happens later.
I’ve read (listened) to a lot of books about history and conflict.
The approach taken in this book is fresh and enjoyable. The stories are important. The stories of these men need to be recounted and from many different angles. We ought never forget.
This story tells us, on so many levels, of the efforts and daily struggles our fellow Americans faced in a unselfish commitment to a nation which was made great by their actions in WWII. We are the benefactors of their glory and sacrifice. This story should make us all proud to be called Americans due solely to the courage of our youth during one of our finest hours.
I have worked for the USMC as a civilian for almost five years, and have always had an appreciation for the men and women I serve, but I cannot say enough about those who fought in the war in the Pacific. The enemy was clear and decisive, yet the stories of the main characters are gripping, and you feel like you know these men by the time you reach the last few hours of the book. I HIGHLY recommend this book!
The reader talks in a monotone and it is hard to keep awake. The story is hard to follow because the events are stuck together in such a way that you get confused about who is who and where. The facts of the conflict are presented in a manner lacking veracity. There are better books on the Pacific War that give a less tainted version. This might have been good for TV but for reading ( listening ) it leaves a lot to be desired
This is a book that needed to be written. What is enjoyable about this book is the personal insights that the author provides about the day to day life that our marines endured.
I have a much more clearer understanding of the war in the pacific from the individual men who fought in the war and realizing what they experienced. Accounts of the individual battles and the mistakes and triumphs are very enlightening. Mike chamberlain keeps you interested in wanting to know what happens next in the story. The book is a great companion to the HBO miniseries.
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