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

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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: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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

The Official Companion Book to the new HBO miniseries from the producers of BAND OF BROTHERS --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 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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5 of 5 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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41 of 45 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. I. Ogilvie on 14 April 2011
Format: Paperback
At the time of writing this review, the amazon review rating was 3 and a half stars: Where there is a healthy number of reviews on a product I have more often than not found the amazon review rating to be pretty accurate: I would rate this book as 3 stars.

To qualify this review, I would describe myself as a relatively light, occasional reader of military history. I rate Stephen Ambrose's writing highly and thoroughly enjoyed HBO's Band of Brother mini series. The Pacific theatre has been an area of interest to me since stumbling across Hampton Sides' 'Ghost Soldiers' about 5-6 years ago - an utterly harrowing and gripping account of the fall of the Phillipines, Bataan death march and treatment of US POWs by the Japanese. I have since struggled to find equivalent subject matter on the war in the Pacific written to a comparable standard. I have read this book a couple of weeks after watching the HBO mini series "The Pacific". And would usually classify myself as an "I enjoy the book more than the film/TV adaptation" sort of person. The Pacific may be an exception to this rule.

As other reviewers have pointed out there is not a driect match between the characters in the book vs the main characters in the series. So would-be readers should be aware that the quirky Robert Leckie is not covered by the book, but the account of the air and naval battles of the Pacific is dug into in more detail in these pages. The book and film do not directly overlap: be warned.
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