A journalistic masterpiece. John Hersey transports us back to the streets of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 - the day the city was destroyed by the first atomic bomb. Told through the memories of six survivors, Hiroshima is a timeless, powerful classic that will awaken your heart and your compassion. In this new edition, Hersey returns to Hiroshima to find the survivors - and to tell their fates in an eloquent and moving final chapter.
©1985 John Hersey (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
Hiroshima, theAn easy read about a most shameful era in the history of mankind.
Can you imagine walking into work one morning thinking about your children safely deposited at the local school and your spouse at home. Perhaps she will be making your favorite meal tonight. You are happily planning your day and looking forward to crossing things off your 'To Do' list.
All of a sudden there is a massive bright light all encompassing ahead of you. Explosive, no 'implosive' noises that make you feel as if your ear drums will turn inside out. Everything comes to a halt. Hundreds, no, perhaps thousands of people just stop in their tracks. Seeing a mushroom shaped light you stare up at the brightest clod that you have ever beheld. Of course at that time no one in the general public has ever heard of an Atom bomb. What do you do? Everywhere you look there are the dead and dying. You are a part of a culture that is highly compliant when it comes to the rule makers in the government. However there are no rules for this. Indeed how could there be?
This book puts faces, names and breaths life into this story. This is a living history.
This is one history that I pray we never repeat.
It's the story of 6 survivors of the A-bomb at Hiroshima. It reflects on the atrocity of a "total war" strategy but also in the surprising paradigm of the Japanese. I was supposed to read it in middle school but I did not.
The book itself is pretty simple; a narrative that groups each subject "bomb affected person" in somewhat-defined chaptered spans of time. The descriptions are concise and laregly unembellished. Simply one fact or event to the next. The culmination of these pictures provides a dynamic portrait of the Japanese population both at the time of the attack and later in life.
I don't like to say I "like" books where the subject matter is so terrible, particularly a book of non-fiction, but it is interesting and I hope, for a variety of reasons, it stays on required reading lists.
Considering I've only read one other audio book thus far, this is ranked at number one.
I didn't really have a favorite character because they are real people, and all of them were interesting, but I fuess I looked forward to listening to what happened to Miss Sasaki after the explosion the most. "What happened to that poor, lonely girl with the leg?" But I have to say, I really thought the German father--Father Kleinsorge was the most inspiring and kind.
He paused at all the right moments. It was kind of a funny combination because although I really found his voice to be pleasing and matter of factly, I kept thinking that he would be great as narrator for Charlotte's Web or Stuart Little.
There were a few parts that felt like I might could cry, but there is such a distance kept between the reader and the people in the book, that it was a little difficult to get too close.
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
I have never read Hersey's classic and after listening to the entire thing in one sitting I am baffled as to how I overlooked it. The book is phenomenal. It tells the story in a simple, fluid and seamless way. Hersey wrote with compassion and understanding without any hint of being a traitor to his home country which could not have been an easy line to cross in 1946. Today's world is so politically divisive and nobody escapes it -- journalists almost always show their colors in their writing and are deemed too liberal or too conservative. In the time that Hersey wrote this journalistic piece showing any empathy toward the Japanese was considered wrong and he could easily have been treated as a traitor. I am so impressed with his ability to show the right level of respect and warmth for the victims of the bomb and to do all of it without coming out of it sounding preachy.
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It was interesting to learn more about Hiroshima from the point of view of the survivors; I learned a few new things.
I would have liked more information about the immediate aftermath and less of the “where are they now” follow-ups, but overall it was a very informative book.
I am retired and I love having more time for audio books. I also enjoy hiking, birding, gardening, and genealogy.
I never knew about this book til I saw it on sale recently. I knew I needed to listen to the story, partially because I have a friend whose grandmother was burned in the bombing and survived. I also think we all need to know about these terrible events in history so hopefully, we don't ever repeat them.
John Hersey's book focuses on 6 survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, describing what it was like for them during the bomb explosion and how they fared afterwards. It was originally meant to be a four part article in the New Yorker magazine but a few months after the first one appeared, the entire four part series was published as a book.
My first reaction was anger--that SO many innocent civilians were so horribly killed or maimed. The very first part of the book was difficult for me to listen to, very difficult. The subsequent parts following of the six survivors was very compelling. Human beings are so resilient. That is what I came away from this story feeling, among the various other emotions and thoughts I was left with.
This is a very well written book with an excellent narration by George Guidall, not surprisingly. I do highly recommend this book.
I could wile away the hours...
This audiobook rises to the top. The bombing of Hiroshima and its immediate, mid-range, and long-term impact on the modern world cannot be overstated.
The author. Before John McPhee could perfect the art of nonfiction, bringing reality to life, he stood on the shoulder of a giant. That titan was John Hersey.
It's understated, matter of fact, and because of the horrific nature of some of the material, that's a relief.
It made me realize that people suffer and endure, and create new lives, even after remarkable stress, loss, and devastation.
Recommended without reservations.
The book follows the lives of six people who survived the dropping of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. The detail presented of the event itself, plus the aftermath, plus the recovery is very compelling. As one might imagine, parts of the book are very hard to take (descriptions of what literally happened to the bodies of those who survived and perished). Let's hope something like this never happens again.
Everyone should absorb the message of Hersey's superb account of the first atomic bombing and its consequences. A must listen.
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