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The Ambassador's Son (Josh Thurlow #2)

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  254 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
It is 1943, and the struggle against Japan rages across the steaming, jungle-choked Solomon Islands. As the fate of the South Pacific hangs precariously in the balance, Lieutenant David Armistead--a Marine Corps hero and cousin of President Franklin Roosevelt--is rumored to have deserted, perhaps to the enemy. For Coast Guard Commander Josh Thurlow, the news is particularl
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published March 1st 2005)
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Mar 26, 2008 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: World War II Pacific theater fans
Homer Hickam can spin a great yarn. This is a man's book, but I have always enjoyed the "man's" books about WW II. It is about life in the Solomon Islands after the Battle at Guadalcanal from an American's point of view (Coast Guard stationed in the Solomons), and the job he was given to carry out. Relates a picture of life in a war zone in a way one would never imagine....everything from British colonists to fictionalized accounts of real people....WOW! A great tale indeed!!
Ann Amadori
Aug 29, 2009 Ann Amadori rated it really liked it
Shades of "South Pacific"! And lo and behold, James Michener is one if the minor characters. I like how Homer Hickam inserts real life historical people in his novels. Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy also play minor and major (respectively) roles. Interesting story line here. I missed Dosie from Kilakeet though. I wonder what is next in The Far Reaches.
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Hickam is a great story teller, and he seems to get better as he goes. This is the second in the "Son" series, pulling together famous Sons Jack Kennedy and David Roosevelt Armistead (along with "Nick" Nixon and Jim Michener) in the continuation of his ongoing saga of his Outer Banks corp of misfits.

The story rockets along, as characters fly and boat around the Solomon Islands battling "Jap", bugs, weather, cannibals, and each other. While Hickam provides two brief historical notes at the beginn
Feb 19, 2016 Edward rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, world-war-ii
My local library had wrapped up some books for Valentine's Day and encouraged people to pick a "Blind Date Book." I thought it was a fun idea so I grabbed this one and gave it a go. I didn't make it past page 8 when I read that USMC captain in WW II said, "Commander, please accept my apologies. This place does strange things to a man's head. I completely regret my overly aggressive posture... I'm sorry I didn't greet you until now. I was required first to accomplish my official duty." Ugh!
Apr 10, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it
Great historical fiction story. I loved the author's dry humor. After I finished reading it, I had to Google "megapode" to see if the actual bird looked like what I imaged, and it did.

This was the second Homer Hickam book that I've read. I have a third Hickam book on my bookshelf waiting to be read. I plan to dive right in.
Aug 12, 2015 Rebekkila rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-m-over-it
This book was the sequel to The Ambassador's Son. The strange thing about the book was it had Jfk and Nixon in it playing in a high stakes card game. JFK featured heavily in the story and it is evident the author did not think much of him. Also, it was set during WWII in the Pacific. Having just read Flags of our Fathers it was hard to take this work of fiction very seriously.
Nov 01, 2014 Doug rated it liked it
Slow going and some times it bogged down. Good read though
Dec 19, 2013 Thom rated it it was amazing
Maybe it was the mood I was in after a lot of non-fiction, and still being in the mood for non-fiction, but this book was a big treat as a fictional story set in a non-fictional context. I haven't enjoyed a book like this one for a long time. Now I want to get the first in the series - the "Josh Thurlow" series. It takes place in the South Pacific during WWII and includes JFK as a character during an interval when we really don't know what was going on the JFK right after his rescue after losing ...more
Feb 24, 2009 Alan rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 19, 2012 Susan rated it it was ok
After the Keeper's Son, this couldn't even compare. Use of James Michener, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon was interesting. I think Homer Hickam's idea of an attractive male main character is probably from a male perspective. I didn't find Josh Thurlow particularly interesting in the first book and down right flat and unattractive in this one. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a character I particularly liked in this book. Certainly none were memorable. Just glad it's over.
Mar 10, 2011 Rcw70 rated it did not like it
An awful book - simply silly - It purports to be set in world war II south pacific but it bears no relation to any thing real. A comic cast of characters that have nothing going for them but The famous names of Nixon and Kennedy. The most realistic member of the cast was a magic bird that made the broken motor run and allowed the hero to gaze into its eyes and and there to see both his pregnant black lover and his home town true love.AGrhhhh! A total waste of time.
Kelly Crigger
Feb 23, 2013 Kelly Crigger rated it it was amazing
This is the only book my wife asked me to put down. Once I started I couldn't stop. Hickam has an amazing ability to pull the audience into a time period and journey through a situation you can't (and don't want to) pull away from. The story, the characters, and the dialogue is enthralling. The hooks he spills throughout the story (like the true identity of the Ambassador's son) gives it that WOW factor that makes it an incredibly good read.
May 10, 2008 Nomanisan rated it really liked it
Fascinating story BECAUSE it takes events and people with which/whom we are all familiar and weaves around them a very credible explanation for things which have no recorded, historical explanation. If this seems circuitous, I apologize--I just don't want to give away any of the wonderful twists you'll experience if you read this book. Oh, and Homer Hickam (author of October Sky) is an expert writer; I love reading him.
Jan 27, 2010 Chris rated it did not like it
Preposterous characters, situations and resolutions. I agree with the Amazon or BN review who said the only thing missing was Elvis. I don't remember The Keeper's Son being this ridiculous but it's been several years since I read it. I may have learned some about WW2 in the Solomon's but don't trust the author. At least the map was accurate.
Dec 27, 2010 Jami rated it liked it
Out of the Josh Thurlow series this was my least favorite and probably the slowest. JFK and Nixon make appearances in some "what if" scenarios. It is irritating that the hero can't control himself enough to not cheat on his fiancee as soon as pretty girl smiles at him.
Jeff Dickison
Apr 24, 2012 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it
Good historical fiction by Hickam. Takes place during WWII in the Solomon Islands. Historical figures (JFK and Tricky Dicky) are interwoven into a fictional story that is quite interesting and carries a feel for the times. Recommended for fans of WWII fiction.
Aug 08, 2009 Elaine rated it did not like it
I really could not get into this book. Personally, I found it ridiculous and unbelievable. I don't think an author should take famous people (JFK and Nixon) and create a fictionalized story about them in a time period as important as WWII. JMO
Sep 02, 2010 Billie rated it it was amazing
audio book on a car trip. We got this one first and really enjoyed the story and reading. The reader was great! Lots of detailed pacific WWII adventure, comedy, historical. Found more and listened to them later.
Mar 05, 2009 Kerri rated it really liked it
I haven't been able to dive right in like all of Homer's other books but when I do read I am enjoying this one. It's a WWII South Pacific war novel so far, but I like Josh Thurlow's character enough to keep on reading!
Gregory Saunders
Jun 01, 2012 Gregory Saunders rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have read all year. Though in all fairness, I listened to it on CD. Mr. Hickam wrote a great book and Steve Hoye's presentation of it was exceptional. I highly recommend it.
Jul 19, 2010 Cindy rated it it was ok
It was interesting in the fact that both JFK and Nixon were characters in the Historical fiction. And interesting view into WWII and the events of the Solomon islands.
But weird.
Jun 26, 2008 Lauren rated it liked it
Another novel by Homer Hickam, with characters from "The Keeper's Son." Takes place during WWII and incorporates fictionalized meetings with WWII soldiers John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
Michelle Ule
Jan 26, 2013 Michelle Ule rated it really liked it
This was really interesting--a variation of Tales of the South Pacific featuring famous people who were out there like James Michener and JFK. I enjoyed it very much.
Lynn Garver
Interesting account of the South Pacific during WWII. Characters in the book include JFK, James Michener and RIchard Nixon.
Jun 23, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing
Loved this fiction - but with very cool historical circumstances. Loved the characters and the story.
Oct 09, 2007 Kimber rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a cool twist on the history of a few of our country's leaders. I found it fun and interesting.
Jessica Brayton
It's that historical fiction thing again. There are 3 books in this series...waiting for the 4th!
May 28, 2011 Julieb rated it really liked it
Love Hickman's writing. WWII in the South Pacific with a touch of JFK...
Mar 11, 2013 Doug rated it it was ok
Fun for a while, preposterous, then just dumb
Jan 13, 2011 Peggy rated it it was amazing
Great fun read. Historical what-if fiction.
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Homer Hickam (also known as Homer H. Hickam, Jr.) is the author of many best-sellers including his latest, Carrying Albert Home. An eclectic writer, he wrote the "Coalwood Series," which includes the # 1 New York Times best-selling memoir Rocket Boys, the popular World War II-era "Josh Thurlow" series, the juvenile sci-fi "Crater" series, the adult thriller The Dinosaur Hunter, the romantic Red He ...more
More about Homer Hickam...

Other Books in the Series

Josh Thurlow (3 books)
  • The Keeper's Son
  • The Far Reaches

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“The morning sun was a grinning, red-toothed warrior, come to slay the night. Bloody and quick, it tore through the night-riding clouds sitting on the purplish, rolling sea and flung a silver-white spear across Melagi, abruptly turning the great volcano that dominated the island from gray shadow to the color of bright jade. The night-wet air convulsed in the sudden heat. Steam boiled from the winding jungle hollows like hot smoke, and the feathery leaves of orchids, sitting in the crooks of giant, sodden trees, shook as if in the hands of malevolent spirits.” 0 likes
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