Chronicling the United States Marine Corps’ actions in the Pacific theater of operations, Voices of the Pacific presents the true stories of heroism and honor as told by such World War II veterans as Sid Phillips, R. V. Burgin, and Chuck Tatum - whose exploits were featured in the HBO miniseries The Pacific - and their marine buddies from the legendary First Marine Division.
Following 15 marines from the Pearl Harbor attack and intense boot camp training through battles with the Japanese on Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa to their return home after V-J Day, Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton have compiled an oral history of the Pacific War in the words of the men who fought on the front lines. With unflinching honesty, these marines reveal harrowing accounts of combat with an implacable enemy, the friendships and camaraderie they found - and lost - and the aftermath of the war’s impact on their lives.
With unprecedented access to the veterans and unpublished memoirs, Makos and Brotherton have forged Voices of the Pacific into an incredible historic record of American bravery and sacrifice.
©2013 Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“These are the true - and terrifying - stories of combat marines struggling against a fanatical enemy on the far-flung islands of the Pacific. A powerful new book.” (Dale Dye, military advisor for Band of Brothers and The Pacific)
“A fantastic, deeply moving collection of stories told by the men who were actually there.” (Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author)
“Imagine a last conversation with your father or grandfather who fought in World War II, only this time he tells you the stories he always held back. That’s Voices of the Pacific.” (Larry Alexander, New York Times best-selling author)
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I'm a fan of the "Lost Voices" series of audiobooks, which intermixes the stories of a dozen or so people into a single narrative. Except those books use the original source material - recordings of the actual people telling their stories.
This book uses a narrator who makes up voices for the Marines. And many of them are similar to one another. This started out as extremely annoying, but faded to only mildly so halfway through the book, as the stories of these Marines took center stage. Honestly, the narrator could have read the book as Daffy Duck and I wouldn't have cared!
These stories were gathered recently - after the Pacific miniseries aired, but you'll see many of the same people and personalities from a different point of view. Personal stories of Lekie (Helmet for my Pillow), Sledge (With the Old Breed), Haldane, Chesty Puller, and John Basilonge. The book really adds depth to these famous personalities. Makes them more human. More complex.
Most of these types of books have a phrase or story that sticks with me for a long time. The one from this book will be this: When Medal of Honor recipient John Basiglone was married in 1944, he had 4 other sergeants act as groomsmen at his wedding. Of the 5 guys, 3 would be killed on Iwo Jima, and the other two wounded, one losing an arm.
Anyway, I recommend this book, especially if you've watched the Pacific, and/or read the other books mentioned above.
If you've seen HBO's 2010 miniseries "The Pacific", you'll encounter many of the same stories of heroism, hardship and tragedy in this terrific book. My only misgiving (and it's a minor one) is that it's difficult to tell (for me at least) who's relating what particular anecdote, something I don't think would have been an issue in the print edition. Highly recommended!!
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