Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
WW II Submarine Patrols Come to Life in Calvert's Book
on 3 May 1999
This was the first book of this genre that I have ever read and I had trouble putting it down. It has everything- harrowing encounters with Japanese convoys; the incredible bravery of submariners who were nearly doomed in the early part of the war by defective torpedoes and engines; powerfully drawn pictures of men in the direst cirumstances. I was brought to tears as Calvert told of the demise of the US Submarine Harder whose daring exploits had earned her the admiration of every submariner in the Pacific. Calvert very deftly prepares the reader for forthcoming terror as he painted the picture of her crew going out to sea for their final, fateful voyage. As I read this passage I felt a knot in my stomach as my mind visualised those bright-faced, confident warriors waving cheerfully and unkowingly to their admiring comrades. Calvert tells a touching love story in the midst of the of this taut thriller. However, what leaps out of these pages is his steadfast character and unwillingness to take the easy way out. I give credit for Calvert for the simplicity and forthrightness of his prose. He lets the events themselves rivet the reader to each page. In addition to the touching love story, there is the telling account of the skipper who selflessly comes to grips with his inability to take the pressure of commanding a submarine in wartime. There is the tragic death of the chief petty officer who is the very incarnation of the spirit of the Jack. We tend to forget that courage is not necessarily over-arching drama played out by over-sized heroes. More often than not its men who quietly weigh the odds, act on their best instincts, and somehow "stolidly and unimaginatively", as Calvert says,not only accomplish their mission but also survive through an unfathomable mix of skill and chance. Read this book.