From Shanghai to Wake Island, the Corps was America’s first line of defense as the winds of war exploded into the devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the story of the men of the Marine Corps, their loves and loyalties, an elite fraternity united by courage and honor, as they steel themselves for battle, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice....
©1986 W.E.B. Griffin (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Action-packed...Difficult to put down.” (The Marine Gazette)
I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
There is no doubt in my mind that I first picked up this series when I was way too young, impressionable minds and all. So it shouldn't be surprising that it indeed left a fairly big impression. While I was still first learning about some of the events covered in this series, I was enjoying this colorful take on the men who made up the corps, which played such an instrumental part in the triumphs and tragedies of the Pacific War. The most notable thing I think I took away from the series then, was a more skeptical view of institutional figures like Douglas MacArthur, and a whimsical appreciation for the accidents of fate that come together to create the history we take for granted. Not bad for a series that according to Wikipedia, can't even settle on the given names of some of its recurring characters, right?
The great shame, so many years ago, was that I could never find audio versions, unabridged or otherwise, of the first two books. And now, here they are, and dirt cheap in audiobook terms at least. And read by Dick Hill no less! The great thing about W.E.B. Griffin is that by all accounts, he wrote about things he'd experienced or people he knew well had gone through, so these books have the feel of a good, larger than life war story, the "let me tell you about the time I..." kind, a sort we're not likely to see many more of any time soon.
Reading this book for the first time, I was taken with some of the details; how the US and other allies coexisted with Axis forces in China in 1941, how much of the military establishment remained absolutely convinced of the ineptness of Japanese soldiery, and the brutality and corruption present in the armed forces. You can also get a hint at the strength of the organization which saw a war coming and strove to prepare, reaching into the enlisted ranks and out to the unlikeliest civilian recruits to find officers with the skills necessary to win. It's a lively tale worth revisiting, and certainly a rather painless try at this unbeatable price. I had thought Audible was planning to release the series at a steady pace, but it appears that is not to be, I hope to see the next one out soon.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
My brother in law is a retired US Marine Lt Colonel. I remember his mother, my mother in law, reading this series and loving it. Maybe that is why it took me 20 years to try it! I knew it to be accurate, but never imagined it to be as entertaining and addicting as it is.
The main character is a reluctant hero who has killed in pre-war China out of self defense and self preservation. He is a humble man, barely out of high school, yet with a talent for languages and a raw knack for espionage.
My daughter married a young man who discovered he had a peculiar talent in languages while in seminary. He had gone through college never knowing his ability, so Griffin's hero is not so far fetched after all.
Griffin introduces us to the Corps through men and women most of us can identify with. There is intrigue, romance, action and a realism that comes from his own experiences and is still historically accurate.
Dick Hill is masterful. I have not always been happy with his narration, but in this book he is fantastic.
I am really glad i purchased this book!
keep wanting more
the development of key characters through an entire generation; a perfect blend of military history, politics, and the inner workings of what the US Military once was
the right guy for the right book
On the rifle qualification when Captain Stecker dropped next to McCoy and there was a understood respect between two professional.
To read/listen to only this book in the series is just wrong, I have read this series so many times I can't remember, each time is as fresh as the first. Now that my eyes are not so good, listening has just made it better. Please record the remaining series in this and the Brotherhood of Arms, both great perspectives on a lost generation of the military professionals and a well developed story line.
This is one of W E B Griffin's best. I immediately downloaded Book 2 in the series and requested that Audible get Books 3 thru 6 ASAP. Griffin weaves fictional characters with historical figures and events to tell a great story.
Some of Griffin's other books on the OAS.
Dick Hill does a great job with these books. It makes me think that he may have been in the Corps at one time. I've listened to the John Rain series by Barry Eisler and the Reacher series by Lee Child.
This performance is 5 stars start to finish.
Get the full series on Audible ASAP.
I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener.
I have listened to the first three books in this series. They are primarily centered around the love lives and political intrigues of Marines at every level of service. While it is true that Griffin is a good story teller, do not expect a lot of the type of human drama associated with operations or battles. The first three books are primarily concerned with the preparations for war in the Pacific Theater, with far too much emphasis on several characters (Marines) that spend most of their time five star hotels drinking expensive booze and cavorting with buxom girls. These are not stories about Marines hitting a beach or taking an enemy-held position, they're about Corps politics. I suggest another venue if you are looking for a deeper understanding of battle, courage and confronting a well-entrenched enemy. However, if you like a good "soap," these books will be enjoyable to you.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
TAKE WHAT YOU CAN WHENEVER YOU CAN GET IT, I ALWAYS SAY.
I am not into military type books, but I always say a good writer can make any subject a good listen. I had never listened to Griffin before, but this had such high ratings. The ratings are well deserved. It is a story that flows smoothly, with a main character you can not help, but love. The story starts in 1941, before Pearl Harbor and tells the story of what the Marines were like back then and the people that were in the Marines. I enjoyed the history on China and Japan. The whole book was entertaining with almost no flat spots.
YOU HAVE A RABBI
There are some elements to the story that I usually don't like in believable fiction, but for some reason did not bother me so much this time. It is bad enough that it could ruin the story for some others. I mention these things for those, whom it might bother too much. First of all we have this common everyday Joe, coming from a dysfunctional family who speaks, Chinese, Japanese and Italian. We are not told what dialect of Chinese he speaks. I always heard there were two main dialects of Chinese along with several minor ones and that often the Chinese people don't understand each other. The main character in this book never has a problem being understood by any and all Chinese. He speaks Italian so well, that he is mistaken for Italian. Every time in the book, that it seems like he is in trouble, he comes out smelling like a rose. Every time. Griffin plays up all of these episodes, trying to convince you that he is for it now and then surprise you with how well he comes out of the situation. The first couple of times you might fall for it, but by the tenth time it gets a little ridiculous. The book is also very predictable. These weaknesses usually will ruin a book for me, but in this book I was able to look past it. You might get fed up with it. This was a strong five star book for me and I am looking forward to continuing the series.
Dick Hill is one of my favorite narrators and he did not disappoint in this. He only does a few voices and all his girls sound the same, but his style and knowledge of what he is saying always makes a book sound better then it would read.
This s an interesting story that flows smoothly. Easy to follow and leaves one wondering what will happen next. It builds the characters personalities well.
The beginning drags a little. It needs more action or controversy. A run-in with the Italian leadership would have been good at this point. My biggest disappointment is how the book wraps up. There is too much missing after McCoy gets to the Philippines. How did he make it out? What about the trip back to the US and DC. What was Ernie doming while waiting/worrying if he had been killed. A post Pearl Harbor chapter about Pickering's activities is needed. It seems like two or three chapters are missing from the end of the book.
McCoy the main character and the most interesting. Pickering seemed much different in this earlier book than in the later ones. Everyone will find Stecker interesting although he is a small part of Semper Fi.
Dick Hill does an excellent job. At a few points, a bit more energy would be nice, but overall it was better than most.
I picked this book up in one of the many sales Audible has during the year mainly because I thoroughly enjoyed the Presidential Agent Series by the same author. I didn’t want to put it down (figuratively, actually I didn’t want to remove the earphones). The next book in the Corps series was being purchased before the one prior ended and I even had to go to the library & actually read the 2 books that were missing from audible (I got absolutely nothing done for 4 days while I was consumed in the pages).
This series inserts several fictional characters in the middle of historical events & people. My dad & his brother participated in the Pacific during WWII and it was fun to hear some of the quotes & sayings/proverbs dad has made throughout the years in this series along with the background as to why that saying or quote originated.
The Corps Series is superb!
I found the main character to be a bit unlikable. Just a bit too arrogant and cocky for me.
Performance was okay. Easy to understand.
I wouldn't recommend the book. The main character was a bit too cocky; too extreme for my tastes. I expected a bit more out of a period piece, as this is one of my favorite eras to read about.
I am a small business owner, writer and frequent traveler. Audio books are my constant companions
W.E.B. Griffin would have you believe that nothing ever happened in the history of the Corps without the inclusion of a good humping. This may be his fantasy of the Corps but it demeans and belittles the men and women who have served with distinction. As a Marine in a family of Marines, I wanted this to be good. The first few chapters killed that hope. The glory of the Corps in WWII will never fade away. This book should and has.
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