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200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten Audiobook

200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten

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Publisher's Summary

In mid-1943, Snelling Robinson joined the crew of the Fletcher class destroyer USS Cotten as a newly commissioned ensign. The Cotten sailed to Pearl Harbor in time to join the Fifth Fleet. Under the command of Admiral Raymond Spruance, the Fifth Fleet participated in the invasions of Tarawa and Iwo Jima and several naval battles in the Philippine Sea and the Leyte Gulf. Robinson writes from the perspective of a young naval officer and integrates this with the background of the larger conflict, including the politics of command.

©2000 The Kent State University Press (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks

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Performance
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  •  
    Martin 12-27-14
    Martin 12-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding Book and Recording. Five Stars."
    Would you listen to 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten again? Why?

    Already read the print version once. Now listening to the audio book. The first person narration makes it an even more enjoyable experience and I can be doing other things at the same time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author served aboard the Destroyer USS Cotten in WW 2. (Ship named after a Navy Captain, not the plant ) The Cotten was a Fletcher-class destroyer, built in 1943. It’s purpose was to protect America’s new carriers from Japanese aircraft and submarines. This is a well written and fascinating story of his three years aboard the ship. Robinson and the Cotten survived some of the greatest and bloodiest naval battles in history -- the forcible amphibious assault landings at Tarawa, Saipan, and Iwo Jima, and the enormous fleet engagements in the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf. I've read quite a few such books but, in my opinion, this is the best of the lot, written by someone who was actually there. To quote another review of the printed version, “Few authentic veterans have ever done a better job portraying life at sea on a small man-of-war. His narrative is crisp, informative, authoritative.” I heartily agree. I think this book should become required reading for any future naval officer, if it isn't already.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were many of them. The scenes where they were trying to deal with the Kamikaze pilots were especially riveting.


    Who was the most memorable character of 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten and why?

    The author and, of course the Cotten.


    Any additional comments?

    I read the print version some time ago and am now in the middle of the audiobook. I am taking a brief pause to write this review. The narrator is doing an excellent job and, thank goodness, is familiar with Navy terminology. Little things like saying “zero-eight hundred” for the time, instead of the Army way of “Oh-eight hundred hours.” Things like this and the correct pronunciation of the many areas the ship visits, is making it obvious the publisher and the narrator took the time to make an excellent print book into an equally excellent audio book. Highly recommended.

    120 of 122 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 01-07-15
    Philip 01-07-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the Best"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'm a bit of a World War 2 buff and have read many first person accounts. Some are good. Some are mediocre and some poorly written. This one is good – in fact one of the best I've come across.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The book is an honest, personal recollection of the way things were during the author’s tour of duty during the latter part of World War 2. It shows both the good and the bad of being aboard such a Destroyer. In addition to the many battle scenes and tactical descriptions, I liked the way Robinson expressed his opinions honestly, the two biggest examples being his obvious contempt for “higher ups” who were quite lauded at the time, in particular Admiral Halsey and General MacArthur. As he saw it, they both seemed more interested in their own glory than efficiently getting the job done and often put soldiers and sailors in danger when it was not necessary. In hindsight, history now seems to back his opinions.Robinson managed to incorporate history, geopolitics, and strategy into his descriptions of fleet-level movements and battles and all this was well balanced with the more individual-level narrative. Something else I liked about the book was that the quality of the writing is quite good, much better than average for this sort of personal memoir.


    What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration is quite good. The reader takes a “back seat” and lets the story tell itself. It’s read intelligently but without over dramatization. I like this style of narration but some may not. I suggest you listen to the sample.


    Who was the most memorable character of 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten and why?

    The author and...the Cotten


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed the section on the post-war occupation, especially the tales about the visits to geisha houses. This may not have been politically correct but it was certainly honest and refreshing. Robinson was a very young man at the time, but his attitude toward his duty and attitude toward the Japanese during the occupation was very mature. All in all a refreshing and honest first person account. Five stars to both the book and the narration.

    109 of 111 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jen 05-22-15
    jen 05-22-15
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    "Well written and well read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten to be better than the print version?

    Better in the sense I would never have had time to sit down and read it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Battle details and strategy were fascinating.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The occupation of Japan chapter was wonderful. Very different from the rest of the book but a great way to end it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Author realizing that the Japanese people themselves were great. Problem was with their arrogant leaders.


    Any additional comments?

    Narrator did an excellent job.

    61 of 62 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley 05-23-15
    Wesley 05-23-15
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    "Hard to stop listening"
    What did you love best about 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten?

    Loved every bit of it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Author, of course.


    Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have. He's very good. He is one of the reasons I got this book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    A little of both....most of the laughing was done after the war ended when they took part in the occupation.


    Any additional comments?

    Just a very good book and very well read.

    58 of 59 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Love 08-17-15
    Eric Love 08-17-15 Member Since 2016
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    "What a cool book. Just get it. One of the best."

    What a cool book. Excellent authorship. Loved his story of being the first guys into Japan....into Tokyo harbor...amazing....and the people...black market,...most fascinating people he met...way cool. Positive, uplifting, great read.
    Young officer discovering the world. Got the feel of being on that boat...making officer of the deck, exploring the town...all before anyone else. Taking responsibility. Becoming a man. Being himself. Just get it and enjoy.

    28 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garry L. Fenimore Florida, USA 08-14-15
    Garry L. Fenimore Florida, USA 08-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting WWII Perspective"

    Well written account of life on a destroyer, and what it was like to participate in titanic battles.

    28 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norma 03-17-15
    Norma 03-17-15
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    "Great book."
    What made the experience of listening to 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten the most enjoyable?

    To experience what it was like to be on a Destroyer during WW II was an incredible experience. Learned a lot about tactics used, the heroism needed to succeed and...what the common sailors thought of the men in charge.


    What other book might you compare 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten to and why?

    Can't think of any that compares with this.


    What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great pacing. Very clear. Good voice. Helped to bring out the drama when needed but without overdoing it...just let the story tell itself.


    If you could take any character from 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The author, of course.


    Any additional comments?

    These were incredibly brave but also very young men, as was certainly shown by their "antics" during the occupation. Sailors will be sailors, I guess. :)

    86 of 88 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Assonet, MA, USA 08-17-15
    Glenn Assonet, MA, USA 08-17-15
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    "Compelling"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Never would have had the time to read print version. Listened during daily drives.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten?

    Occupation of Japan.


    Which character – as performed by James Killavey – was your favorite?

    The author.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no. Too long.


    Any additional comments?

    Fascinating Real life story. Well read, too.

    26 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eulalie 03-27-15
    eulalie 03-27-15
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    "Fascinating"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten to be better than the print version?

    My vision isn't what it used to be. Audiobooks are the way to go for me know.


    What did you like best about this story?

    My husband was in the Navy during the war but never talked about it much.
    This is a bit like a wonderful look into his past.


    What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

    Very nice job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both...laughter mostly at the end during the occupation. Boys will be boys, I suppose.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book immensely. One of the little perks about getting old is I'll probably forget most of it in a few months, and then can enjoy it again!

    78 of 80 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas 09-11-15
    Nicholas 09-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "An Author's No Frills Autobio of Military Service"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to historians with deep interest in World War II, and the actual mechanics and daily life aboard a Fletcher Class destroyer. 200,000 Miles recounts the three year service period of author C. Snelling Robinson in factual, straightforward detail, virtually devoid of drama or emotion found in similar works. Even when the author broaches subjects such as battle, death, or war time love, he does so in a septic, dry manner; providing the reader with factual details of the incident but little in the way of flowery language or adornment. I found the book fascinating in terms of the great wealth of information Robinson provides about the daily goings-on aboard the Cotten. A book that reads and sounds exactly as if written by a Navy junior grade lieutenant copying his daily events in a log.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending of this book follow the format of the entire book, factual information related in a straightforward manner. You will not find any plots twists, surprise turns or "gotcha" moments.


    What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

    I believe James Killavey conveyed a sense of the austerity, manner, and personality of the author through a monotone reading of the material. Killavey's peformance does little to enhance the language of the book, but I really think the material requires no adornment or enhancing. I don't believe most readers of this book expect a story couched in innuendo or oblique meaning. 200,000 Miles factually recounts Snelling's adventures during WWII and Killavey plays it straight.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The author's factual recount of his history, combined with the narrators monotone performance resulted in a smooth seamless autobiographical narrative that turns even battle scenes into checklists of casualties, equipment losses, and strategic objectives gained or lost. No moment in particular stood out in the narrative; with the exception, maybe, of Snelling's recount of casualties aboard several destroyers caught in a wild Pacific storm. In the end though, even that scene comes across as matter-of-fact. If possible, this book is the very personification of a WWII naval officer, mannerly, dutiful, factual and honest!


    24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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