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Publisher's Summary

This celebrated classic gives a soldier's-eye-view of the Guadalcanal battles; crucial to World War II, the war that continues to fascinate us all. Unlike some of those on Guadalcanal in the fall of 1942, Richard Tregaskis volunteered to be there. One of only two on-location news correspondents, he lived alongside the soldiers: sleeping on the ground - only to be awoken by air raids - eating meager rations, and braving some of the most dangerous battlefields of World War II. He more than once narrowly escaped the enemy's fire, and so we have this incisive and exciting inside account of the groundbreaking initial landing of US troops on Guadalcanal. This second edition features a new introduction by Mark Bowden, renowned journalist and author of Black Hawk Down.

©2000 Richard Tregaskis (P)2016 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great first person account of the Marines on Guadalcanal

Until I encountered "Guadalcanal Diary," I had only read books about WWII in Europe. After reading Richard Tregaskis' description of what it was like for himself and for the Marines who lived and fought in the terrible terrain and wretched conditions there, I knew I had to find out more about the theater of operations where WWII began and ended for the US. Years later, it was fascinating to listen to this account of the first months on Guadalcanal in the context of greater knowledge of that aspect of the war. In my opinion, however, a different narrator would have made it even more pleasurable to listen to. Mr. Cross seemed to me to sound both too young and too detached to do justice to the people and events described in this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WOW, GREAT TRUTH FOR THOSE POOR BOY'S

If you could sum up Guadalcanal Diary in three words, what would they be?

WOW!!!

What other book might you compare Guadalcanal Diary to and why?

HELMET FOR MY PILLOW

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

NO BUT IT WAS WONDERFUL

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

CRY!!!

Any additional comments?

I LOVE WWII DOCUMENTARIES. IN HISTORY WE HAD 1 CHAPTER WHICH ONLY COVERED THE EUROPEAN CONFLICT! TERRIBLE, I ONLY HOPE ALL GENERATIONS WILL LEARN FROM THIS & ALL WARS.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Execution a Bit Off

If you could sum up Guadalcanal Diary in three words, what would they be?

Great first-hand account

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I don't think so. The narrator was hard to get used to. He seems to be bored at times, especially in light of the fact that he was retelling battle scenes.

Any additional comments?

This was the first meaningful offensive ground action in the Pacific theater in WWII. I don''t believe that this was ever intended to be a comprehensive account of the campaign. I first encountered this book in the 60s while researching the campaign for a high school paper. Not everything is told in this book, but it does tell the stories of individual Marines in times of stress and distress. What Tregaskis has done is to tell the tale in a realistic, yet uplifting manner. I doubt that, even if he had wanted to, the Defense Department would have allowed the publication in 1943 of a book that shows how the chaotic "Operation Shoestring" developed from inception and the lessons to be learned from those who became expert in the difficult task of amphibious assault actually was.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

What disappointed you about Guadalcanal Diary?

For a famous book, I was expecting a lot more. There are some worthwhile passages but much of the time Tregaskis writes as as if the war were somehow entertainment, a show to be watched from a safe distance. I suspect most of the soldiers actually fighting the war probably had a very different perspective.

Has Guadalcanal Diary turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator pretty much just reads the diary without much inflection. It came across to me as dry and repetitious, not as though the narrator had lived the diarist's experience.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Although it did not meet my expectations, it highlighted the heroism of innumerable soldiers who find themselves--rightly or wrongly--called upon to savagely kill other human beings in the name of defense of their country's beliefs.

Any additional comments?

Ian Toll's "The Pacific Crucible" and "The Conquering Tide," although not specifically about Guadalcanal, are worlds better than "Guadalcanal Diary."