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Hold Back the Night [Paperback]

Pat Frank
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; S3975 edition (April 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552039756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552039758
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,427,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

WW2, Bantam paperback, vg In stock shipped from our UK warehouse

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hold Back The Night 26 July 2003
Format:Paperback
An excellent account of a company of U.S.Marines in the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in Korea late 1950 . The characters of the men , and the savage nature of the fighting are all bought to life .
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Look at the Early Days of the Korean War 5 Jan 2004
By Dr. Hypersonic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a classic book that deserves to be reprinted. HOLD BACK THE NIGHT is an excellent account of the withdrawal from the Korean reservoirs during the very worst days of the Korean War. It is compellingly and believably written, and tells a wonderful story of courage and dedication under fire, and the interactions and bonds that form in a small unit under continuous threat of attack. The writing is crisp, taut, and believable. I rate this book right up there with James Michener's THE BRIDGES OF TOKO-RI and James Salter's THE HUNTERS as the finest of all Korean war fiction. Not to be missed!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Story 11 Jun 2005
By Molly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I agree completely with "Dr. Hypersonic". I just finished reading this book yesterday; it's one of the best I've read in a very long time.

It's the story of a Marine Company near the US withdrawal of troops from Korea. It taught me things about the Korean War I never knew, but more than that, it was a story about honor, almost forgotten in modern society, under extremely difficult circumstances. At the end of the book when an exhausted Sergeant Ekland said, "These are not stragglers, sir. This is Dog Company," I cried.

If you read only one book in 2005, you can't go wrong with this one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the few novels of the Korean War 29 Jun 2005
By Gary Hatch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A group of soldiers tries to protect itself and a lucky bottle of scotch during the retreat from Chosin reservoir in the Korean war. Frank was a public information officer during the war, so although he wasn't at Chosin, he was in country. In 1956, this novel was made into a movie (not on video) with Chuck Conners and Peter Graves. If you liked the more famous Bridges at Toko-Ri, you'll probably like Hold Back the Night.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold War classic 13 Mar 2012
By Jeffrey L. Cordell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The first novel I ever read by Pat Frank was "Alas, Babylon". His most famous novel and still in print. "Hold Back The Night" is one of his earlier works and not as well known. The novel is about a United States Marine Corp Rifle Company during the retreat from Changjin Reservoir in November/December 1950 after the Chinese launched a massive offensive against the U.N. forces.

By the standards of today the story has numerous stereotypes and covers ground that seems pretty ho-hum to an audience reared on the ultra-violent and very gritty war movies of the past twenty-five years such as "Platoon", "Full-Metal Jacket", "Saving Private Ryan" and "Blackhawk Down".

But those films and recent novels (such as "The 13th Valley") owe much to the early war novels that were published in the late forties and throughout the fifties. Instead of supercharged, made of steel heroes these novels made an effort to portray the men in uniform as all too human with both weaknesses and strengths. You might not necessarily like all of them, but at least you can respect what they have to do to survive and still do their duty.

Pat Frank served as a war correspondent during World War II and had come to understand the people in uniform and their experiences. He made an effort with "Hold Back The Night" to convey to readers what the world of war is like.

Yes some of that characters are stereotypes in 2011. There are a few times when the action comes to a halt for speeches and the enemy tends to be rather faceless. But the characters seem believable. Several of the characters are veterans of World War II (which ended just five years before Korea began) and they still have something of the idealism and motivation that got them through the previous war - even if they are somewhat more battered and cynical.

The reader comes away with an understanding about the generation that had to deal with the Depression, World War II and then the Cold War. They were doing their best. They didn't want to see the world destroyed, but they weren't going to just lay down either. Not necessarily "The Greatest Generation", but an interesting one and in some ways admirable. Of course Pat Frank had no way of knowing that he was writing a book that would be looked at in such a way.

Oh don't misunderstand this book. It isn't just a study of men in combat. This novel has some political points to make and it has some mild propaganda throughout. The Korean War was still going when it was published.

It's a warning about an enemy that might become even greater than the Soviet Union. In the early 1950's the Gigantic Chinese Communist Hoard was a very real threat to Americans. And that fear is in the novel. Actually the fear of the Gigantic Chinese Economic Hoard has replaced the old one. So perhaps the more things change the more they stay the same.

Nevertheless I like the older novels. They are a fascinating look into a America that no longer exists and they can bring the hopes and fears of the time alive to the modern reader. One just has to be able to get past one's own pre-conceived ideas.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, realistic historic fiction at its best! 12 May 2010
By Neal W. Simpson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a Marine infantry company commander, I read this book with a critical eye for relevant, historical perspective and was rewarded for my efforts. Frank's language and matter-of-fact style combined with a good appreciation for the struggles faced by infantry leaders then and now made Hold Back the Night a humbling read. If you find history interesting but historical books boring, give this novel a try--you'll be glad you did!
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