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The Pacific (The Official HBO/Sky TV Tie-in) Paperback – 2 Jun 2011


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The Pacific (The Official HBO/Sky TV Tie-in) + Helmet for my Pillow: The World War Two Pacific Classic + Band of Brothers
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Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; Media tie-in edition (2 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857860097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857860095
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A brutal account ... for those who want more of the nightmare of those foxholes after ten hours of The Pacific, this book is for you.' --The Times

'It's a fascinating, meticulous book full of facts that make you sit up.' --Sunday Herald

'A compelling book which affords Pacific veterans the testament they deserve.' --Sunday Business Post

Book Description

<b>The Official Companion Book to the HBO miniseries from the producers of <i>Band of Brothers</i></b> --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By E. Sharman on 20 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
Like a lot of my fellow reviewers I am a big fan of Stephen Ambrose, who brought history to life with his slightly off-beat, entertaining yet moving style of writing. I guess also like many of you, I bought those books based on the excellent Band of Brothers mini-series.

So I had high hopes not only of the new mini-series 'Pacific' (it is HBO, after all!) and the book by Hugh Ambrose.

There's something slightly self-indulgent about the mini-series, and there's something VERY self-indulgent about the book. Let me explain what is so very wrong with it...

It's the style of writing. It's difficult to explain, but I've narrowed it down to the following problems:

- The 'bullet-point compendium' problem: it's like Mr Ambrose was doing masses and masses of research, and listed thousands of bullet points of things to include. Then it's as though he just compiled all the bullet points into the main text, with no real attempt to weave it all together. Many sentences are ridiculously short, and there's often a whole string of them just kind of thrown together. It gets very irritating and tedious, almost like a barrage of 'sound-bites'. That leads to the second point...

- The picture postcard style: think of when you send a postcard to your family - you throw a lot of facts down in a small space to cover as much ground as possible. Mr Ambrose does this repeatedly. So we get not only the 'bullet point' style, but a mystifying and confusing overload of detail - detail that's often not really relevant to the topic at hand. I found myself repeatedly thinking "What? - Why on earth is that in there?" What do I mean by this? Well an example might be if someone were describing a really important event in some detail, listing the characters, the situation etc.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By father2 on 21 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Stephen Ambrose for many years and enjoyed especially his books "Band of Brothers", "Pegasus Bridge" and "D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II". What I loved was Stephen Ambrose's eye for detail and how his books were always well produced. So I was looking forward to reading a book by his son Hugh Ambrose, who worked with his father before Stephen Ambrose sadly died.

"The Pacific" by Huge Ambrose is a collection of experiences by soldiers and airmen involved in the Pacific campaign against Imperial Japan during World War II. I have appreciated reading about these brave men: marines, airmen and even POWs. This book is a complement of the HBO/Sky series by the same name and is not simply relating the same material. You will find some characters in the book which are not featured in the TV series and some characters from the TV series are hardly covered by the book.

The Imperial Japanese Navy attack upon Pearl Harbour was supposed to produce a short war where the United States would leave Imperial Japan to rule their empire unopposed, but it caused the American nation, the "sleeping giant" to rise up in hatred and fury against the "sneaky attack" that Japan had inflicted upon Pearl Harbour.

Be warned, some of the material is horrific and disturbing, but that was the nature of this conflict where brutal Japanese soldiers, airmen and sailors took no notice of the rules of warfare and simply did what they wanted. They used bayonets on defenceless prisoners and thought nothing of massacring women and children. If POWs attempted to escape they were savagely beaten and then executed. Beatings by Japanese soldiers were very common and they regarded Chinese people especially as subhuman, treating them accordingly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Martin on 18 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's been said that war is 90% boredom and 10% terror. This book captures this pretty well. By halfway you will most likely find yourself skipping from section to section looking for something to happen. Needs some serious editing to get rid of the chaff.

Sadly the 10% that should be interesting isn't. The Battle of Midway, one of the pivotal points of the war is largely told through the eyes of one pilot and reads like just another day at the office. No doubt this says much for the pilot's bravery and professionalism however it would have benefited from a wider perspective and a few more pages, at the expense of some of the many others e.g those that list the travels of the contributors from training base to training base.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By pumps100 on 4 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
Hugh Ambrose may be an able historian but, in my opinion, he is certainly not a good writer. There has been a total lack of supervision of the author by the publisher and they should be ashamed at letting this book go to print as it is. What a great pity indeed.

The previous poster has said it all about the writers style of writing - which gets most irritating after only a few pages. The repeating staccato sentences;the lack of proper punctuation and grammar; out of sync chronology; illogical sentence construction - honestly I would expect much better from students at elementary school. I cannot understand why the book was not subject to rigorous editing before publication.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Nick Harris on 1 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
There has been so much hype about TV series of the Pacific ($200 million dollar production + Spielburg + Hanks + Band of Brothers + HBO + Sky Movies - blah, blah, blah) I decided to read this book in an effort to be as well informed as possible before the series kicks off. I always try to read the book behind the latest film or TV show that I'm interested in. It's not always possible and in this case it has been a race against time. This official companion history is a massive, five hundred page door-stopper. I've been up late all week, but I loved every page of it. The book definitely has a filmic quality to it, which makes it a really enjoyable read (it's also easy to understand why Spielburg used it as the basis for the TV show). LIke a film director, Hugh Ambrose cuts between the stories of five very different soldiers who fought in the key battles of the war in the Pacific. The pace of the action is relentless. The descriptions of the dive bombing sorties (try to imagine a pilot deliberately idling his engine and sliding in to a 8,000 free fall drop straight in to anti-aircraft gunfire...) is worth the cover price alone. And the desperate conditions of the POW camps are told in grim but compelling detail too. But what really works is reading the authentic voices of the soldiers. Ambrose explains in the foreword that the book is based on thousands of first-hand interviews plus original diaries and other written accounts. And it was worth this painstakign research - because it is hearing these voices that brings the story of the war alive.Read more ›
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