Customer Reviews for

Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Great great great book

I liked it

posted by 11443468 on January 3, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

not my favorite

Left For Dead book review


I chose a book called Left For Dead by the author Pete Nelson. It includes
unique personality and style. However, it is a terrible read in my opinion.
The main characters don't really ...
Left For Dead book review


I chose a book called Left For Dead by the author Pete Nelson. It includes
unique personality and style. However, it is a terrible read in my opinion.
The main characters don't really appear until the latest part in the book. Senator bob smith, rep Scarborough, Kimo Mcvay, Capt. Mcvay, the survivors (McCoy, twimble, kuryla, mcguiggan, miner), admiral Donald Pilling (the antagonist) and Hunter Scott make up the list of important figures. The first few chapters are composed of monotonic facts and primarily useless information. They describe the outline of the war and the current situation of the "U.S.S. Indianapolis" as it travels from one place to another in the Pacific Ocean. The only part that I mildly enjoyed came about in chapter 6 when the sinking of the ship is described. The days following are told from survivors' stories, and are slightly interesting, but made
boring after a while.
The fun ends at chapter 9 as Pete Nelson looks into why the Indianapolis wasn't properly prepared and why Captain Charles B. Mcvay (ship commander) was blamed and court marshaled. Here is when the main conflict is truly introduced. The captain of the U.S.S. Indianapolis was wrongfully accused of neglecting his duties and causing the vessel to be torpedoed and sunk. The conflict is resolved by the navy clearing the name of captain Mcvay.

All of the survivors play large roles in testimonies and personal accounts for the court marshal of captain Mcvay. Essentially, they are motivated, inspired, and determined. Sen. Bob Smith acted as the main force behind the effort to redeem the captain. Words to describe him would be vigorous, intelligent, insightful, and compelling. Captain Mcvay himself is the one who inspired the crusade to clear him after his suicide in 1968. Hunter Scott is an ambitious 11-year old who brought the subject of the court marshal back into light. Throughout the story, he changes from a curious little boy to a teenager. Kimo Mcvay is the son of cap. Charles Mcvay and supports Hunter Scott on his way to Washington D.C. He is energetic yet serious. Representative Scarborough is a long time Mcvay supporter who aided Hunter Scott in his crusade. Finally, admiral Don Pilling, vice director of the U.S. navy is the man who opposes all of the protagonists that I have mentioned. He is described as calculating and adamant.

Compared to the book Hatchet, everything in Left For Dead is very different. The style is factual and the characters are plainly described. The plot in Left For Dead is the classic story-rising actions-climax-resolution, whereas Hatchet builds and builds until the resolution in the end.

My opinion on this book should have been very recognizable in the paragraphs above. Reading it was a pain and a chore, and I dislike it very much. I didn't actually enjoy anything except the recreation of the sinking, for everything else was unappealing, unexciting, and useless. What makes this book unique is its abundance of information. A good majority of the sentences have at least one fact or date in them. My advice to the author - don't leave out the story when writing. Without any entertainment, the reader could literally fall asleep while reading your book. I know this from experience. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone else. In fact, I would advise against it.

posted by doingthisforschool on February 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    Great book!

    In Left for Dead, author Pete Nelson shows the reader in great detail everything Captain McVay and the men of the USS Indianapolis went through, from their missions in the Pacific Ocean, to the sinking and survival in the ocean for five days, to the court martial and later clearing of the captain¿s name. The stories about the men¿s experiences in the water were all vivid and captivating. It inspired me that a kid my own age can change history in a way grown men had been trying to do for fifty years in just five years. This book is graphic for young readers but is perfect for young adults that are interested in World War II history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2005

    Amazing!

    Left for Dead is an excellent story about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. I was very surprised when I read about how fast the ship sunk. After the ship sunk; only about 350 men made it alive (although most were badly injured) off the ship. The author did an excellent job in describing the hell the surviving sailors had to go through while waiting for the Navy to send for help. It took the Navy 5 days until they accidentally found the sailors. A pilot was checking his antennae and glanced down to look at it out of his window when he spotted the survivors in the water. Many people blamed the captain for the sinking. The survivors, on the other hand, think otherwise.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    A TRUE Story that MUST be Read!!!!

    This is TRUTH not Fiction! Which makes it even more horrible this occured. The Captain asked for help over and over BEFORE the incident, knowing it could happen. Then his good name was ruined. Many men died terrible deaths..... If not for the courage and determination of a young boy years later would this wrong not have been corrected for history's sake for the Captain. It is a book that is hard to put down once you get involved in the story.... and one you WON'T forget!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2005

    Wonderful book

    This book gives light to a situation which could have been avoided, but also on the following trial. I have a new view of the navy. Their treatment of Captain McVay was very wrong. I believe that every American from middle school on should read this book. It gives insperation for people to stand up for what is right, even in the face of the military.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    Outstanding Retelling

    Peter Nelson is a marvelous author. By taking the story of how the USS Indianapolis had sunk and emphasizing the details, Nelson not only makes us listen to the story but envision it as well. He uses the heart and soul of a young activist Scott Hunter. After watching Jaws with his father, Scott wanted to know more about the USS Indianapolis. His further research had struck a nerve with everyone that had come in contact with Scott. Research is not only recognized in this book; it is the reason for this book. The true stories in this are a whole world of images and sequences. The memories make us as the reader relive the event. The compounding details as well as the voice of this piece are not only satisfactory; they are compelling as well. The strict details obligated me to feel for the actual survivors and victims. Peter Nelson has done everyone a great deed, by making the voices and the acknowledgement of the survivors inevitable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    A true story

    Left for Dead is a very well written book, one of the better ones done by Pete Nelson. This book takes place around the time of Pearl Harbor and tells how it came to be. The Indianapolis is the main ship and on a secret mission. After being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, several hundred sailors survive the attack as sharks pick them off one by one. After not finding the ship for at least a week, the U.S. Navy needed to blame someone. They choose Capt. McVay of the Indianapolis. The crew knows it¿s not his fault, so they must clear his name. This book was based on true events. Pete Nelson does a great job in making it feel like you¿re actually there. Will McVay¿s crew clear his name? If you want to find out what happens read the book for yourself and hear about the significant memories of the crew and Hunter Scott.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 15, 2013

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    Posted October 31, 2008

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    Posted May 10, 2011

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    Posted February 28, 2011

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    Posted March 23, 2014

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