Customer Reviews for

The Pacific

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Hugh Ambrose has produced a book worthy of his father's legacy

I received an early release of Hugh Ambrose' "The Pacific," which is an intriguing addition to the literature of the Pacific Theater in World War II. Human elements added to the battle narrative personalize the war, and Hugh Ambrose brings out aspects to the war's fam...
I received an early release of Hugh Ambrose' "The Pacific," which is an intriguing addition to the literature of the Pacific Theater in World War II. Human elements added to the battle narrative personalize the war, and Hugh Ambrose brings out aspects to the war's familiar history that I either had forgotten or learned for the first time.

I think this is Hugh Ambrose' first work on his own, and I was suspect that he might be trading too much on his father's legacy--somewhat as the younger Shaara (whose works are good, but not truly great)--or too commercialized alongside the forthcoming HBO series. However, Hugh Ambrose has produced a book worthy of his father's legacy. It's a solid narrative, which seems consistent with Steven Ambrose' "Band of Brothers," "Citizen Soldiers," "D-Day," and "The Wild Blue" -- perhaps to be expected as Hugh Ambrose was a close collaborator on his father's projects.

The book purports to go beyond the forthcoming HBO series of the same title, which I expect will also be outstanding. It's just too bad that so many of the Marines who served in the Pacific Theater won't be able to experience this tribute, having already slipped from this world to join their friends lost 70 years ago.

If you enjoy history with strong narratives, such as the works of Steven Ambrose, Shelby Foote, David Hackett Fischer, or David McCullough; you are sure to find this book irresistible.

posted by Fabriano on February 28, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

The Pacific theater of WWII is a topic far larger than the somehwhat misnamed book by Hugh Ambrose. Ambrose's book, however, is an excellent summary of the violence which distinguished service in that theater from Europe.

Readers seeking an exciting narrative will find (as in Band of Brothers, to which it has been compared)an engaging summary of the personal experiences of its characters. However, unlike BoB which had the structural assistance of a story told about protagonists and even...
Readers seeking an exciting narrative will find (as in Band of Brothers, to which it has been compared)an engaging summary of the personal experiences of its characters. However, unlike BoB which had the structural assistance of a story told about protagonists and events within a single group of men interacting over an extended period of time, those written about here served in different branches of the services, in different units within the branches, and were involved in different battles during different years of the war. Most did not know one another or share the same events.

Standing alone, the individual narratives do provide some fascinating insights not widely written about elsewhere. Two examples from many: (1)the differences in performance of the various naval dive bomber aircraft placed in the context of life and death of their crews, and (2)the weather and logistics challenges which were often determinant in whether or not the initial US assaults on Japanese held islands were successful.

Given this structure, it is perhaps inevitable that even clever fitting-together does not prevent occasional fragmentation and a lack of continuity of time, place and the characters. Readers with a solid understanding of the historic events will have less trouble understanding the big picture within which the individual stories take place.

posted by HISTORIANJV on April 10, 2010

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose

    The book The Pacific was recomended to me by the wonderful people at Barns And Noble. On the basis that I am interested in World War II topics and have injoyed the Band of Brothers book and show. In my oppinion it was very readable even for me because i hardly ever read books and I am not the best of readers but it was well wrighten and very understandable.
    The style is historical with a little bits of facts mixed in. A good compareson would be Band of Brothers or Fly Boys. The book is about 5 different guys in different parts of the military and there adventures in the pacific front. I would highly recomend this book to any one that wants to learn about the pacific front on a first hand basis and like to learn about World War II.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Understanding the war inthe Pacific

    I really liked the way the book was written like fiction and told their stories, but stayed with historical facts.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    This book was a gift from my wife.

    I have not finish the book but so far it has been excellent. I am an avid reader of World War II books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010

    Would recommend the book.

    The book kept me intrigued and waiting for the next event. The book details the lives and events of each of the characters and there is a lot of detail in the book. The Movie on HBO is closely following the book as well. Would recommend the book to anyone who enjoyed Band of Brothers. Lots of detail in the book, my wife read it as well and is watching the series with me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    SEMPER FI

    BEING A RETIRED U.S. MARINE, WHO MISSED WORLD WAR ii BY A FEW YEARS, I ENJOYED THIS BOOK VERY MUCH AND HOW IT POINTED OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WAR IN EUROPE, WHICH WAS MUCH MORE HUMANE AND THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC. THE JAPANESE ARMY DID NOT CARE HOW MANY OF THEIR SOLDIERS DIED, AS ALONG AS THEY COULD KILL AS MANY MARINES AS POSSIBLE. I HOPE THE HBO SERIES IS A GOOD AS THE BOOK.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

    A good read but

    All in all a good read, but like the ground war in the Pacific in WWII, it grinds on through the island battles providing little differentiation from one battle to another. The book also omits major elements of the war in the Pacific, including the crucial role played by the Navy's submarine service; and loses focus on major elements when key characters are rotated out of the Pacific theater.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Pokemon nerd twelve o clock

    Pretty gruesome

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    WW II - leaves nothing to the imagination

    Being an avid WW II reader I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book about the 3 greatest U.S. Marine island invasions. The book lets you live it all in the safety of your living room.

    If you are a big fan of WW II books you must read this one. It won't let you down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2011

    yikes!

    highly recomended

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    Cool Book !!!!!

    This is a great book mostly because it tells through eyes of the young and old a great book for history bluffs specific world war II pacific future marines.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great read of the WWII Pacific Campaign

    This was a great book and followed the lifes of five different heroes who were all fighting for the same cause with different reasons. This book is well worth reading. The only issue that I had with the book (very small issue) was that it jumped from only character to another so quickly at times that I had to re-read parts to make sure I knew who I was reading about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Does the Tradition Continue?

    With the death of Stephen E. Ambrose in 2002, his son Hugh Ambrose picks up the pieces and completes THE PACIFIC - an incredible historical account of the pacific front during World War II. While at times the text can be somewhat dry & plain, the accounts of the events that transpired are fascinating in and of themselves. As Hugh Ambrose continues his father's traditions of preserving the history of an era gone by, his account through the eyes of these five men is captivating for every World War II historian.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    Good Book

    This book takes you to the Pacific Theater of WW2 with several individuals. The value in this book is that, although in the third person, you jump from one individual's narrative to another. You see the Fall of Bataan, a Japanese POW camp, escape and revenge; you see the captures of Iwo Jima and other small islands that you may never have heard of, but where brutal battles were fought, nonetheless. Patriotism and introspection are witnessed, as well as the true conditions American soldiers fought from a bleak Hell. Great for historical perspective of what it actually means to fight a large scale war with everything you have, unlike current wars where the people are not united, therefore the war abroad becomes untenable.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    I enjoy a realistic look at history.

    While this book is not about just the "cast members", it succeeds in drawing you into the personal stories while telling so much about a brutal war. I personally lost a family member in the war in the Pacific-someone I never got to meet. This book taught me more than I ever learned in history class.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book for anyone wanting a "ground level" understanding of the personal impact of the US battles in the Pacific during WWII.

    The book follows the lives of several men in various branchs of the military as the fight in WWII in the Pacific. The interweaving of the personal stories and the military operations takes the reader far beyond the strategies and tactics. The stories illustrate the struggles to stay alive as well as to deal with the frustration, anger, and feelings of helplessness while still doing what was asked of the individuals in the face of overwhelming odds, lack of leadership, and inadequate supplies.

    My dad served as part of the 1st Marines on Peleliu. He rarely spoke of his experiences. Reading this book, along with others specifically on that battle, gave me a better understanding of what he went through and perhaps why he had certain odd behaviors throughout his life -- from strange names for some things to the position in which he always slept.

    This book will be in my permanent library...and will be read many times.

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    Posted June 13, 2011

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