• Rising Sun, Falling Skies

  • The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II
  • By: Jeffrey Cox
  • Narrated by: Theodore O'Brien
  • Length: 22 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Few events have ever shaken a country in the way that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor affected the United States. After the devastating attack, Japanese forces continued to overwhelm the Allies, attacking Malaya with its fortress of Singapore, and taking resource-rich islands in the Pacific - Borneo, Sumatra, and Java - in their own blitzkrieg offensive. Allied losses in these early months after America's entry into the war were great, and among the most devastating were those suffered during the Java Sea Campaign, where a small group of Americans, British, Dutch, and Australians were isolated in the Far East - and directly in the path of the Japanese onslaught. It was to be the first major sea battle of World War II in the Pacific.

©2015 Jeffrey Cox (P)2021 Upfront Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Rising Sun, Falling Skies

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a must-read for military historians

an excellent history of a lesser-known theater of World war 2 . the author gives a fair account

1 person found this helpful

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An excellent book with suboptimal narration.

The content of the book is excellent. It's well written, easy to follow, and quite detailed. The only issue is that the narrator mispronounces most non-english names, which can make it difficult at times to know exactly what he's talking about for a few moments. However, it's not that big of an issue and the book is still well worth it.

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Excellent First Volume

Jeffrey Cox adds his name to an incredible list of historians who have undertaken the facets of the Pacific War. Cox starts at the very beginning, long before Pearl Harbor. This volume covers a very compact period of time, as the Java Sea Campaign occurred within a few weeks of the start of the conflict, save the horrors that occurred in China years before Pearl Harbor. The detail is very precise, and unlike many works, there is a lot of focus on the Allies, especially Admiral Doorman and the Dutch Navy. To say the campaign was disastrous is an unbelievable understatement. But as everyone knows, the Allies regrouped. Cox does have a distinction in focusing on one single campaign, which is the perfect lead in to the Guadalcanal-Solomons campaign.

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Poor performance, fair story

The book itself is OK. It’s a reasonably well-told narrative, and it’s straightforward if not pathbreaking or revelatory. It’s a shade hagiographic.

The narrator’s incompetence in pronouncing places, people, and military terminology is almost impressively comprehensive. It’s a poor effort, and it’s distracting.


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Great History, Atrocious Narration

Please, please, please, narrators, prepare yourselves with a little bit of study and use a pronunciation guide!! The content is outstanding. It is well researched and presented in a fascinating, engaging way. I knew little about the early stages of the war, except for the Malay/Singapore and Philippines campaigns. This filled in the history outside of those campaigns. Documented and oral histories are skillfully interwoven brining an immediacy to the drama that unfolded in those terrible times. The narration, however, was so poor as to detract from the quality of the work, for me. While the narrator has a good voice and well modulated pace, his pronunciation was terrible. He butchered Japanese names and even missed English words. Living in Japan and being an amateur Pacific War historian, I, perhaps, am a bit over sensitive to such pronunciation foibles. It is not difficult to do a little research to determine how to use the English alphabet to pronounce Japanese words. The system is easy and practically fool proof. If such pronunciation doesn’t bother you, you will enjoy this audio book. If it does, beware.

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Great information

I have search for a book about the Java sea campaign for a long time. This was exactly what I was looking for. I learned so much about ABDACOM. Narration was very good. Kept my attention.

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Battle for Java Sea

Excellent book on a part of WW2 we rarely read about . This book is very well written and narrated , I enjoyed this from cover to cover! Kudos

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  • Antoine Vanner
  • 11-14-21

Great Book but let down by pronunciation s

This is a superb, moving and inspirational book that tells a complex story very well. The emotional impact of many of the descriptions of action is very powerful. The narration is in the main excellent but is let down by the ludicrous pronunciation of Dutch names of people, ships and places. This is so bad in some cases that this Dutch-speaking listener was sometimes unable to understand what or who was being referred to until the context clarified it. The narrator is effective and talented but for future audio-books should seek advice on pronunciation from native speakers of languages he is not familiar with..

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  • James G.
  • 09-07-21

easy voice on the ears. compelling story

I'm no expert on early WW2 Pacific Theatre. But have fairly good knowledge generally on WW2. this audio book unravelled all the Allied early defeats very well..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-01-21

Pronunciation of place names

This is a fine book but the reading is painfully flawed. It’s not just the Japanese names which are mispronounced, but just about all the South-east Asia geographical names are so mangled as to be almost unrecognisable.

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  • Steve
  • 05-27-21

Overall good

This is a very good book, but unfortunately the narrator has a tendency of butchering some of the Japanese words. I definitely still recommend it though.