Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Nemesis By Max Hastings
on 9 June 2014
Max Hastings clearly knows his stuff. Anyone who has read any of his books can tell this from the wealth of detail that he reels off and the confidence of his writing. However he has absolutely no idea how to organise and structure a book. Nemesis reads like a rambling conversation with some old professor, he wanders from subject to subject with no sense of purpose or direction.
The chapters of Nemesis seem to vary between general information about the war in the Pacific - such as a chapter on carriers or one on submarines. Then every now and then you get a chapter on the conduct of the war - such as a detailed description of The Battle of Leyte Gulf. One chapter does not necessarily lead to another but just seems to be tagged on as and when Max Hastings thought of a new subject. Even within the individual chapters the author wanders from topic to topic, throwing random quotations in about tactics, the environment or the living conditions. It's almost a stream of conciousness style of writing that is hard to follow and little use as a reference.
If you are prepared to put up with this little trip through Max Hastings brain Nemesis does have a lot of information about the last years of the Pacific War. If he actually understood anything about editing he could have covered the whole Pacific War here but it is a weighty tome as it stands. This is not an easy read but if you are familiar with the subject matter you might find some value in Max Hastings discussion of the war against Japan.