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Publisher's Summary

Last Train from Hiroshima offers a "you are there" time capsule, gracefully wrapped in elegant prose. At the narrative's core are accounts, some eyewitness and some to still be substantiated, of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand - both Japanese civilians and American fliers in the air. Thirty people are known to have fled Hiroshima for Nagasaki - where they arrived just in time to survive the second bomb. According to Pellegrino, one of them is the only person who experienced the full effects at ground zero both times. Pellegrino weaves spellbinding stories together within a narrative that challenges the "official report", showing what happened - and providing an explanation into the why.

Recently, there have been questions about the accuracy of some parts of this book. At this time, Audible will continue to make it available to our customers, but we wanted to make you aware of the issues.

A Note from Henry Holt and Company and Macmillan Books:

"It is with deep regret that Henry Holt and Company announces that we will no longer print, correct or ship copies of Charles Pellegrino's The Last Train from Hiroshima due to the discovery of dishonest sources of information for the book. It is easy to understand how even the most diligent author could be duped by a source, but we also understand that this opens that book to very detailed scrutiny. The author of any work of non-fiction must stand behind its content. We must rely on our authors to answer questions that may arise as to the accuracy of their work and reliability of their sources. Unfortunately, Mr. Pellegrino was not able to answer the additional questions that have arisen about his book to our satisfaction."

©2010 Charles Pellegrino (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Enormously painful to [hear], but absolutely essential to do so." (Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • Story

BOMBS AWAY

Charles Pellegrino has written a story of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s bomb survivors. Arthur Morey brings Pellegrino’s words to life. Pellegrino recounts survivor stories; i.e. what they saw, and what happened to them and their families in the aftermath of the world’s first use of a nuclear weapon.

Pellegrino is a wordsmith. He uses words that blow torch images on a listener’s mind. His words capture the horror of nuclear war; the physical and mental effect of a nuclear detonation on human beings.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Hiroshima Uncovered

What made the experience of listening to The Last Train from Hiroshima the most enjoyable?

I usually listen to audiobooks while gardening. I started Last Train to Hiroshima on a day when I had a massive amount to do. This book was so compelling that I got it all done and then some! I could not stop listening. I am a child of the Nuclear age. I worked for a woman who lived through the second blast. She was one of the children how hid in a cave and she was young enough to be so scared she stayed in there for a while after the blast. But I honestly did not comprehend what she walked out of that cave in to until now.Last Train to Hiroshima is well written and well read. It gave me a long needed perspective on the destructive capability of the bombs and the lives of those who were in it.

What other book might you compare The Last Train from Hiroshima to and why?

This book has no comparison. The author's marriage of understanding and compassion with honesty and hindsight is unique. He leaves you to the experience without his opinion making me live more intensely in the moment of their lives. Thus I will never be the same.

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

This book took me aback, stopped my heart in several places. I did not want to cry but could not help myself. It left me with the question which of these people would I most resemble if it happened again?

Any additional comments?

This should be standard reading for all college modern History, International Relations majors and all in the nuclear industry.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Hell brought to Earth

This book tells the horrific story of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through the eyes of those who were there and lived long enough to tell their stories. The eye witness accounts are far more gruesome than King, Craven, Slade or any other horror writer could ever imagine. Chilling to think The bomb over Hiroshima malfunctioned delivering less than one third of its planned devastation and Nagasaki missed a direct hit or the devastation would have been far greater. The point of one of the survivors years later who told an audience it didn't matter who dropped the bomb because we as a world civilization allowed the technology and escalation that lead to it was very thought provoking.

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Mesmerizing

Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Train from Hiroshima to be better than the print version?

This book is so graphic in its portrayal of violence, that I don't think I would have gotten through the print version. The tempo of the reader made it possible to keep going and get through it. One step at a time.

What did you like best about this story?

As a child of the 60's. I grew up fearing "the bomb". Until I listened to this book, I was never really clear of what the effects of "the bomb" were. The book is hard to take at times. Gory, gruesome, and disgusting, it is relentless. At the same time, I couldn't "put it down". It is a triumph of presenting the reactions of normal people to a horrific situation.

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

I was aghast. Many times I had to stop to take a rest. An option not left to characters in the book.

Any additional comments?

My comments might sound negative, but there is a beauty in all of this horror. It is worth getting through this extremely emotional book. Whatever side of the nuclear arms question you are on, it is good to understand what you are siding for.

I thoroughly recommend this book.

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Why 5 Stars? Why not!

Any additional comments?

The disclaimer from the publisher that the author may have been misled or that certain characters may be composite is interesting. It does, however, avoid the larger questions. Such an oversight is in addition to being an after-the-fact admission the publisher never properly vetted the work before selling it to the public. Every non fiction book is the perceptions of the author, editor, etc. who elect to include or exclude material. Certain facts may be featured while others that don't forward the narrative will be neglected. The public has repeatedly proven they have no taste for raw data and they'll be dammed if they'll be made to discern between what's truth and hyperbole. Authors are hired for their ability to condense and make coherent the pure information pouring from an event. That a scribe may not get it 100% right is expected - unless the buyer is truly naive. Anyone wishing to be erudite on a subject understands s/he is well advised to review multiple sources before forming their opinion.This book may contain more or less truth that many others. The listener will draw their own conclusions. The indisputable evidence is the publisher failed to evaluate the material in advance of attempting to profit from it.

  • Overall

Hiroshima Up Close and Personal

Do you remember the first few minutes in Saving Private Ryan, where soldiers are killed and injured in a brutally intense scene? The first chapter is like that in "The Last Train from Hiroshima." This book explains in detail what happened to Hiroshima and then Nagasaki when the bombs went off.

Whew. In the first seconds, tiny particles shot-gun blasted everyone nearby pulverizing and poisoning tissue. For people close to ground zero, intense heat left nothing but their shadows burned into the ground. For people farther away, the color of their clothing determined which parts of their bodies were severely burned or not.

The book tells the stories of people exposed to the blast in various locations from the center of the blast to a few miles away. The last few chapters drag a bit as the author follows some survivors who lived to old age.

Even so, I recommend this book to people who are interested in WWII or just curious about The Bomb.

  • Overall
  • Jonnie
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 05-02-10

Sad

Very interesting stories about the lives of the bomb victims and survivors. It was sad that so many people (Japanese and American) had to die because of their country's militaristic and mis-guided leadership.
The details about the effects of the bomb at various distances from the center were very interesting.

  • Overall

A very extraordinary book

The book starts out telling you that it's not about deciding whether dropping the bomb was right or wrong it's merely telling the story of those who experienced it.

It does a very good job of holding true to that statement.

Some portions of the story are very moving and emotional, and others were just outright fascinating. Well worth the time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Beaumont, TX, United States
  • 03-03-10

Great Read, but We've "Been Had"


From Amazon.com:
Henry Holt and Company has announced that it will no longer print, correct or ship copies of The Last Train from Hiroshima due to the discovery of dishonest sources of information for the book. According to the publisher: "Mr. Pellegrino has a long history in the publishing world, and we have been very proud and honored to publish his history of such an important historical event. But without the confidence that we can stand behind the work in its entirety, we cannot continue to sell this product to our customers."

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Hard to Take

It would not be my goal to criticize this work. It is a story that needs to be told and that we probably haven't heard well enough, having been on the other side. But in the end it is too much for me. At some point the story and informational value add versus the shock and grotesque balance went awry. I had to stop.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful