Your audiobook is waiting…

Islands of the Damned

A Marine at War in the Pacific
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (350 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

This is an eyewitness - and eye-opening - account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman.

R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of 20 and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did - from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.

An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

©2010 R.V. Burgin and William Marvel (P)2010 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    266
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    227
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    236
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sledge's Squad Leader

If you appreciated "With the Old Breed" by E.B.Sledge, this Book is an essential read to flesh out the same story from a related perspective. This is the understated story of a Marine mortar man fighting through a Pacific hell that we today can only dimly imagine. Well Done!

6 people found this helpful

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

Fantastic!

I loved reading this book as I have read Sledge and Robert Leckie's books as well, the three based upon the Pacific series. I believe he gives a descriptive account of what went on and the emotions that were felt during that time. God Bless you Mr. Burgin.

2 people found this helpful

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

The Best

I have listened to many books about the war in the south pacific and the marines who fought those battles. This is the very best of the best. I have nothing short of pure admiration for Mr. Burgin. I can't imagine how a man can go through what he did then come home and work as a mailman the rest of his life. Maybe he just need a quiet life. He sure deserved it. Thank you Mr. Burgin and the men like you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Jerry

I am sooo disappointed with this book. I have great respect for all of the troops that have served and will serve. But Burgin seems to have a very self-centered and high opinion of himself. He spends a lot of time telling the listener how great he was. Burgin seems to have a deep seated dislike for Sledge due to the number of negative comments he makes about Sledge.

14 people found this helpful

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

Remembering my Dad

It was like listening to my Dad tell some of his war stories. He fought with the 1st Marine. He couldn't talk about the war until just before his death in 1997 I miss him every day. Thank you for this book. I wanted him to put his experiences, In a book but he died before we could.

2 people found this helpful

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

island of the damned. the untild story

great first hand experience. goes along with history books. RV Burgin is an exampke for all Marines.

2 people found this helpful

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

Great Book

Riveted story, hung on every word. One of the best book on combat. RV Burgin is a real hero.

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

Great Book!

Great book by a great Marine. Great narration. Very easy to listen to. Just the right length for me.

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

I think this is the best Pacific memoir there is.

I wasn’t a fan of Leckies books. Thought Sledges was very good. However, this one takes the cake. You really get a sense of the separating wall that Burgin put up in his mind while listening to this. He was a text book Sgt and leader and was a lot more of a professional than Sledge came off as. You can tell that they had different upbringings when comparing the two. If you haven’t read “With the Old Breed” absolutely check it out. But this is my favorite by far. I appreciate the simple no nonsense approach of Burgin. He was a Marine’s Marine.

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

Reality of war, little known battle, understated.

My father was a 1st MARDIV , 1st AMTRAC BN, Amtrac driver, TecSgt at Peleliu and he confirms the facts of the conditions and state of the Island during the landings and battles. R.V. Burgin humbly and respectfully understates the conditions he endured.... Semper fidelis

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephen
  • Stephen
  • 10-14-10

Compelling reading

'Islands of The Dammed' offers an account of three of the Pacific wars most hard fought battles from a U.S Marine who was there. The Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns are described as seen through the eyes of R.V Burgin, a U.S Marine from the same K35 unit as Eugene Sledge was.

This book complements the excellent 'With The Old Breed' written by the aforementioned E.B.Sledge. It is particularly interesting to read accounts of the same incidents mentioned in both books and compare the slightly different perspectives shared by two men who fought alongside one another during the Peleliu and Okinawa battles. There are incidents mentioned in one account and not in the other which allow the readers of both books to build a more complete version of events as seen through the eyes of two men. Given this, I would urge anyone who has not read 'With The Old Breed' to also consider reading this too and vice-versa.

It is interesting to note that Burgin mentions on more than one occasion within his book how he had differing opinions on certain views held by Sledge in his account.

'Islands of the Dammed' covers more of Burgin's pre and post war life than Sledge's own account does of his, but it must be said that Sledge's writings go into generally far more detail and as such fill his book primarily with his experiences of war.

Nevertheless, I would recommend 'Islands of The Dammed' to anyone interested in the Pacific battles of world war two and the personal experiences of a man who lived through them.

As a footnote, I would also like to add that the narration of this title is excellent throughout and makes you feel as if Burgin himself was the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James
  • James
  • 04-02-15

Buy this book

Moving and very descriptive, a must for those interested in the Pacific theatre. I'm very glad I bought this book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shannen Twine
  • Shannen Twine
  • 09-12-19

Outstanding

I loved this detailed account of horror & bravery in the furnaces of the pacific. Brilliant, enthralling, terrifying & fascinating.