Red Blood, Black Sand

Fighting Alongside John Basilone from Boot Camp to Iwo Jima
Narrated by: Norman Dietz
Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (254 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1944, the U.S. Marines were building the 5th Marine Division - also known as “The Spearhead” - in preparation for the invasion of the small, Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima. . .

When Chuck Tatum began Marine boot camp, he was just a smart-aleck teenager eager to serve his country. Little did he know that he would be training under a living legend of the Corps - Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone, who had almost single-handedly fought off a Japanese force of three thousand on Guadalcanal.

It was from Basilone and other sergeants that Tatum would learn how to fight like a Marine and act like a man - skills he would need when he hit the black sand of Iwo Jima with thirty thousand other Marines.

Red Blood, Black Sand is the story of Chuck’s two weeks in hell, where he would watch his hero, Basilone, fall, where the enemy stalked the night, where snipers haunted the day, and where Chuck would see his friends whittled away in an eardrum-shattering, earth-shaking, meat grinder of a battle.

This is the island, the heroes, and the tragedy of Iwo Jima, through the eyes of the battle’s greatest living storyteller, Chuck Tatum.

©2012 Chuck Tatum (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"In my judgment no combat veteran's memoir is better . . . and only a handful are equal." Stephen E. Ambrose

What listeners say about Red Blood, Black Sand

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

not as good as helmet or old breed

it isn't told very well. it is repetitive and not great after listening to helmet or old breed.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not good at all

I felt there was too much corny humor, and useless dialog. author views himself as a witty writer rather than someone who was re-calling his experiences. It took away from what could have been a powerful story.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Long in the tooth, but great story of a US Marine

Would you consider the audio edition of Red Blood, Black Sand to be better than the print version?

As an ex-Marine, I appreciate the detail but was more detail in front and at the end that was needed.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gyst Basilone

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Read.!

Chuck Tatum delivers the emotion of combat. This book is a classic. You don't have to be a vet to feel the emotions in this work. However, for those of us who have been under fire, those who have witnessed the human disease of war, this book will come alive to stir the soul. The narration of Norman Dietz is superb, and really compliments the work put into this book. God bless you Chuck Tatum!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very descriptive of making a marine

Where does Red Blood, Black Sand rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Low. You cannot beat Sledge's With the Old Breed

Who was your favorite character and why?

Favorite? It's all about Tatum. I really wanted to know more about Basilone as the title implies and there's hardly anything about Basilone.

Would you be willing to try another one of Norman Dietz’s performances?

NO

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really-- the book was lost in the tedious performance.

Any additional comments?

I feel that there is more understanding of the situations when they are performed by people of the age of these boys that were sacrificed. This was like patiently listening to gran pa tell a very, very long story. Again, Sledge's book and Helmet for my Pillow brings the real life of what they went through.

1 person found this helpful

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Too much USMC Manual

I really tried to get into this book. My uncle and namesake was there with
john Basalon hr was wounded twice, The story dragged with details and too many chracters' Dont mistake y meaning I love WEB Griffithand Geoff Shaarah

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Great story, fair book, horrible editing

All the respect in the world for Mr Tatum and all of his WWII brothers in arms. What a horrific experience they had on Iwo Jima and other areas of operation.

I have to be honest tho and mention that the editor must have been asleep at the wheel. I lost count of the number of times a “funny quip” or other piece of the story appeared multiple times. It read like a bad cut and paste job. It’s not up to par with the respect that these men deserve.

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This book is a must read for any history patriot!

The storyline gives the most insightful accounts I have ever read! Chills and tears from beginning to end.

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Just One of the Stories That Need Telling

We need books like these, the greatest generation is dying away so quickly, books like these need told and read by every American and freedom loving person.

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Great book!

Couldn’t stop listening, loved it. Especially the end summarizing the fate of his fellow marines, and Tatum’s involvement in the making of The Pacific.