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4.4 out of 5 stars112
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2011
Having enjoyed the 'Pacific' series on tv I bought Bob Leckie's book. He is a fine writer (it was his profession after all) and the audio book is the perfect compliment to the written version. I occasionally have to drive fairly long distances, usually alone, and particularly enjoy audio books whilst I drive and this one did not disappoint. The reader brings the characters alive, he's clearly an accomplished actor and his pacing keeps the narrative fairly rolling along. Highly recommended.
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on 18 April 2011
Like most of the Amazon reviewers here I came to this book having seen the HBO series "The Pacific". The TV series is rather disjointed, based as it is on several books and experiences throughout an oft-forgotten theatre of war in WWII.

I decided reading the books themselves and treating each as a standalone piece of work might make for a rather more cohesive experience. "Helment for my Pillow" did not disappoint.

Leckie's book is unusual and interesting. He can clearly write in a manner appealing to most people - perhaps a legacy of his background as a sports writer. He can deal with detail and the daily frustrations of Marine life. The vast majority of a soldier's experience does not involve combat - and so Leckie write of the periods in between encountering Japanese opposition. In other words, he's being honest and accurate.

I did lose interest a little during his description of many months in Australia, noting too the degree to which the TV series had insisted on writing a love story in that time, something Leckie doesn't pretend to have had. Like other reviewers I felt the description of the campagin in New Britain flagged rather, but somehow I also felt that happened with the TV series too.

Anyway - this was a Kindle purchase, and I am very glad I bought it.
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on 5 July 2010
An eye opening account of life on the front line during WW2. This book, unlike other WW2 books, provides the reader with a clear and unequivacal insight into life and death on the battle field from the veterans view point. This is a recommended book.
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on 12 November 2012
I found Bob Leckie's auto to be erudite in the extreme, which was a surprise as he's aiming the work at other Marines mainly. I was really surprised to find he used the word 'egregious'- the 21st. Century's "new word"!!

He used a lot of adjectives and adverbs, which I found irritating, but that's my prejudice I suppose, whereby I feel that the use of superlatives is often used as padding - the 21st Century's affliction - particularly in speech. Padding was unnecessary in this work, as the story is stark and clear. A murderous environment where young men had to control, and then overcome their fear - which most of them did. Compared to Eugene Sledge's work (With the Old Breed) it is not so good. Sledge talks of others more than himself, and does so without too many superlatives. To me, this made it a better and more gripping read.

This last point is not a criticism, as Sledge's book is just truly outstanding, and without equal. Leckie's work is also very good, and I'd recommend it without hesitation ........ but read Sledge's first.

Brian Mac. UK. 11/2012.
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on 14 July 2011
good account of one mans war in the pacific - at the sharp end of war. not heroic, just surviving. war is hell and its not improved by jungle and japs.

- quite different in the detail than portrayed in the books and film Pacific.

other books worth reading in this vein are
With the old bread
goodbye darkness.
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on 11 September 2012
Helmet for my pillow is the second book which I have read on the pacific war first one being E.B.Sledge with the old bread at Peleliu and Okinawa.both books are very graphic in the horrors of the war in the pacific and day to day survival of being under fire constantly.my honest review I found helmet for my pillow very good read I found the author Robert Leckie who later in life became a writer and reporter made the book more of a professional author using words to describe the things he went through which the average marine on the front line would not use where E.B.Sledge in his book used words in lay men's terms and for me with the old bread I would give 11 out of 10 helmet for my pillow although a good read I would give 8.
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on 9 September 2010
This book is an excellent insight into the US Marine Corps actions in the Pacific War.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who saw the TV Series "The Pacific"
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on 19 October 2013
When leckey wrote this book there was no pattern to follow - his book set the mark for those following down the years such as Sledge. We must also remember that Leckey was more exposed thanSledge in that he was a machine gunner while Sledge was further back with the morton. This difference is reflected in leckeys more battle orientated attitude. His ability to name characterers in the inferno of battle is outstanding. He is also able to abstract his battle circumstances to higher levels. Everything else must have seemed rather meaningless after these crucible experiences.
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on 4 March 2013
This author's account of his traumatic combat experience in the Pacific theatre of WW2 forms much of the successful TV series
"The Pacific". There is no doubt that his decision to write about those terrible times were a form of catharsis and helped
him and those who shared his experiences to come to terms with the results to mind and body It deserves to be read by
generations to come...along with "With The Old Breed" by E.B. Sledge. Both are classics of their kind and salutary
reminders of the sheer awfulness of all out war.
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on 22 June 2010
An engaging and harrowing first hand account of an often ignored campaign. In my opinion, best read in conjunction with EB Sledge's book 'With The Old Breed'.
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