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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller 

“Gripping…this yarn has it all.” (USA Today

“A wonderful book.” (Christian Science Monitor

“Enthralling.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

“A must-read.” (Booklist, starred review) 

A human drama unlike any other - the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history. 

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the Philippine Sea when she is sunk by two Japanese torpedoes. For the next five nights and four days, almost 300 miles from the nearest land, nearly 900 men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive. 

For the first time Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own in “a wonderful book…that features grievous mistakes, extraordinary courage, unimaginable horror, and a cover-up…as complete an account of this tragic tale as we are likely to have” (The Christian Science Monitor). It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and continues through World War II, when the ship embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima. 

“Simply outstanding…Indianapolis is a must-read…a tour de force of true human drama” (Booklist, starred review) that goes beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle the survivors’ 50-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. 

“Enthralling.... A gripping study of the greatest sea disaster in the history of the US Navy and its aftermath” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative - and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life.  

“Vincent and Vladic have delivered an account that stands out through its crisp writing and superb research…Indianapolis is sure to hold its own for a long time”. (USA Today)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Lynn Vincent, Sara Vladic (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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What listeners say about Indianapolis

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  • Overall
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As good as In Harm's Way but different

Doug Stanton's history of the USS Indianapolis, In Harm's Way, is one of my favorite Audible reads.

So I was wondering if I should buy Sara Vladic and Lynn Vincent's Indianapolis. What else could there be to tell? And who could tell it better than Stanton?

This book is just as good as Stanton's but different. Whereas Stanton's has a tight focus on the sinking of the Indianapolis and the ordeal the surviving men suffered at the mercy of the ocean, the sun, thirst, injuries, sharks and each other, this new book takes a longer view of the ship's history, from Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Top Secret mission and disaster to the 2005 Senate hearing to exonerate Captain McVay and the 2017 discovery of the wreckage by Paul Allen.

Because this new book covers so much territory and so many players, including the Japanese sub commander who gave the order to sink the cruiser, the story moves more slowly than Stanton's. But it's an absorbing experience. It almost felt like three books wrapped into one.

There's the story of the USS Indianapolis as Germany fails and the Pacific War heats up. The ship played roles at Iwo and Okinawa, where it suffered damage.

Then there's the Top Secret mission to deliver a mysterious crate to Tinian. It's after this delivery that the cruiser is torpedoed and the men are flung into a midnight ocean thick with expelled ship oil. They get separated into far-flung groups that are for the most part unaware of each other because of the ten-foot waves that wall off their view. Then they linger in the ocean for four days without water and little to no food--and sharks.

The last story is a court drama as a victorious Navy, riding high after the fall of Japan, tries to cover up the greatest disaster in its history by laying the full blame on Captain McVay. The story picks up again decades later as the survivors try to clear their captain's name with the help of an adolescent boy.

I really loved the appendix where author Sara Vladic talks about how she got interested in the ship and then spent 17 years getting to know the survivors and interviewing them and writing their story.

The narrator John Bedford Lloyd does a fine job but I increased the playback speed to 1.5 and occasionally to 2 because he spoke too slowly for me.

59 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

This is a great account of the story on the USS Indianapolis from beginning to end and even covers the discovery of the wreck site. Having previously read “In Harms Way” this volume was just as great but felt like a different book. It’s definitely worth reading both books. The Narration was very well done and kept me entertained.

12 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal !!!

I've known many of the survivors. Thankful to hear their story printed with accurate details.

11 people found this helpful

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The Story of Finding Truth

I found this story fascinating and very honest. I was appalled at the Navy for trying to cover up the mistakes that occurred with this disaster. To lay the blame on one Captain seemed crazy to me and the higher ups were attempting to protect themselves from the errors that were committed under their watch. Shame on them!!
This was a great book to listen to and hear the stories of the survivors of such a tragedy. I hope that something was learned from this book that all men and women are accountable no matter what their rank.
To the authors - thanks for your research and persevering to the end. I hope this becomes a movie.

BCF

10 people found this helpful

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More stars!

5 stars just ain’t enough!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
My thanks to the writers of this powerful story!

David Sherman
Proud Great Nephew
Jack Rosebery S1
USS Indianapolis CA 35
Still On Patrol

17 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

Amazing book. God bless these men , and the ones how have told their story.

5 people found this helpful

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A MONUMENTAL STORY OF SURVIVAL AND HOPE

This was one of the best 'military' books that I have ever read. The story of how the US Military, and US Government screwed up and essentially LOST these crewmen - FORGOT about them - thereby creating a situation where the crew had to survive in shark-filled waters - is absolutely believable. You become attached to the crew, the Captain, and the individuals who survived at 100 to 1 odds, having lost 60% of the crew to injury, exhaustion, dehydration...and the ever circling sharks. Then, also BELIEVABLY - the government tries to cover their _____ - and has the gall to courts martial the Captain for his gallant efforts to keep his crew alive. I was so intrigued that I searched for a documentary that was made about this book - written by the book's authors - and highly recommend that you follow up this read with the documentary. It took 10 years to research and bring to print - and is a story that needed to be finally told. Very highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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Bravo Zulu

As a sailor, this story touched me deeply. A tragedy on multiple levels. Must read.

4 people found this helpful

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So much more!

The contents, story and story telling far surpass anything I could expect! I even watched the old movie again, and want to demand a remake. This story needs to be told again with these facts!

Buy, you will not be disappointed!

3 people found this helpful

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One of the Best Audiobooks of All Time!

I got Indianapolis during a sale on Audible a few months back. It was the first non fiction book I had both bought and listented to on Audible. I have since recommended it to several people, family, and friends.
I was into it pretty fast both due to the writing and the narration. I did not think I knew anything about the Indianapolis. Turns out I did, just not by name. I learned SO MUCH more and in amazing detail.
What I also loved is that it talks about WWII, but there is also more recenet events tied to the Indianapolis that you also get to hear about.
It was a quick listen even at 18-19 hours. It felt much quicker.
There are things I heard that were hard to hear but I think they are important for younger people to hear.
I have always loved history and non fiction books but this book and narration enticed me to listen to much more of it (which means I will get to a lot more non fiction titles.)
What I love most about non fiction is I learn something new everytime. You feel like you are having this amazing detailed history lesson that you wish you could get into school.
I highly recommend this listen. As of now it is tied for first place, this year, for my favourite listen.

2 people found this helpful