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The Pacific

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  6,573 ratings  ·  236 reviews
'The Pacific' describes the extraordinary true stories of four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy carrier pilot fighting in the Pacific region during World War II.
Hardcover, 489 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Canongate Books (first published December 1st 2009)
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I have to say that I would like Goodreads to change scoring method, because I would give this book about a 4.2 to 4.3 out of 5. It was an interesting format book. No chapters but 5 acts as it is a companion to the HBO mini-series of same namesake. Secondly, the author is the Son of the Late and famed Stephen Ambrose, one of my if not my favorite Historians. This is his first book solely written by him as he had previously contributed to his Father's research and writing before his unfortunate an ...more
When is a war story not a war story? When it tells the highs and lows of a conflict or battle as lived by and seen through the eyes of those that did the fighting at the lowest levels.

This is not a 'big map and small hands' book with lots of diagrams detailing the chess moves between foes. This makes the book all the better. A slow start in my opinion morphed into an enthralling read that had me almost feeling the emotions of the those involved. That is what this book is about.

The various cent
Hilmi Isa
Tidak seperti buku Band of Brothers,yang ditulis oleh mendiang bapa kepada penulis buku ini,The Pacific sebenarnya merupakan sebuah buku companion kepada siri televisyen mini drama terbitan HBO yang mempunyai tajuk yang sama. Ini bermakna,siri televisyen tersebut bukanlah diadaptasi dari buku ini seperti yang berlaku terhadap siri televisyen HBO,Band of Brothers,beberapa tahun yang lalu. Walau bagaimanapun,format antara kedua-duanya tidak jauh berbeza. Dengan mengikuti pengalaman dari kaca mata ...more
I think that I pretty much auto-five star most World War II-related histories. No exception here. I'm not sure why it jumped into my head to read it now, but there you go.

First thing about this book is it's kind of got a disservice done to it by trying to bill it as a companion to HBO's The Pacific. I guess the book and the miniseries are aiming to do the same thing, but as they are different mediums they can be approached in totally different ways. Where the miniseries only has time to follow L
I bought this as it billed itself as the companion book to the HBO series The Pacific. This has probably coloured my reaction to the book as I do not consider it to be a companion book - the series focuses on the story of three Marines who fought in the Pacific during WWII - Basilone, Leckie and Sledge - and the book tells the story of Basilone, Sledge plus three others, but no Leckie. The additional three stories are welcome as they provide much additional information. The omission of Leckie an ...more
On the cover of "The Pacific" the following appears beneath the title,"Hell Was an Ocean Away." Hell isn't an ocean away when you're reading this book, you're holding it in the palms of your hand. Hugh Ambrose's writing is tortuous, tedious, and disjointed. The book's cover warns the reader that this is a companion to the Spielberg/Hanks television series. The scope of war in the Pacific is too broad a canvas for Ambrose's brush. What may play well on the screen does not work on the page. If you ...more
So far this book is amazing. The pace is good. Ambrose sticks with the narrative. He does not spend page after page talking about the various parts of a tank. He also writes with a good voice; good storyteller. Really really really really good book.
Companion to the HBO miniseries, this is a pretty decent volume, although there aren’t any new insights, because it’s a confluence of other primary sources, but the stories are distilled for the convenience of the casual historian. I listened to this book on CD while driving, and it did a good job of holding my attention, even with stories with which I was very familiar as an historian.
I do have some problems with factual errors, however. For instance, during the description of the Battle of Mid
As Hugh Ambrose is the son of the celebrated writer and historian Stephen Ambrose, comparisons between the two are hard to avoid. Hugh has made a good fist of trying to capture the experiences of five individuals who fought in the Pacific Theatre. He has not done a good job. The book does suffer alot less (if at all) from the pro-American/anti-British tosh which his father used to espouse and which let him down as a historian, as well as marring my enjoyment of his work. What let's Ol Hughie dow ...more
A companion piece to the HBO miniseries of the same name, one really wishes that Stephen Ambrose (Hugh's father and author of many wonderful books about WWII) had lived to oversee the writing. Hugh's prose is rather sodden and he shies away from really getting close to the characters, as I'd hoped. I have read Eugene Sledge's memoir "With the Old Breed," as well as Robert Leckie's book "Helmet for my Pillow," both source books for the miniseries and used liberally in "The Pacific," but none of t ...more
The mistake with this book--which had some very vivid and harrowing accounts of of the Pacific War--was that it was written to be a "companion" to a tv mini-series. Not sure if it was the authors intention or the editor thought it would be a great idea to jump from "character to character" in such a willy-nilly fashion, but I found that reading it that way slowed me down. There were really only 5 chapters in this massive tome--each chapter devoted to roughly one year of the war, give or take. Ot ...more
A must read book. One hard to read and harder to put down. This book covers World War II in the Pacific from the perspective of a few chosen men, some names you'll recognize, some not. One asks is war justified, the conclusion is the starting of a war is not as it is the recognition of a failed diplomacy, but one's defense against an aggressor and the war for freedom is justified. That is what this book brings out, ordinary men in drastic unusual circumstances. They do what they must to survive, ...more
Cody Poinsett
I am currently reading The Pacific. I like it a lot so far. There is a lot of action. The author really tries to express the feelings and all the trouble the soldiers had to deal with during the war in the pacific. I am currently at the part where P.O.W try to escape a jap work camp. This book is probably one of my most favorite book. WWII was a tough war and this book tells how brutal this war was. Back to the Book the group of people who escaped the work camp found these villagers and are bow ...more
Very informative, I learned a lot about the war in the Pacific. I really appreciate the way the author focuses on people who were major influences, but were not at the battles that are normally discussed.

One thing stood out as a bit frustrating though, the descriptions seem to be disjointed as the author takes you from the third person, straight into a quote from someone who was interviewed. This is made even worse since I listened to the audio book, and the third person/first person switch real
David Lewis
Great book about the personal stories of several men who fought the imperal Japanese empire in the pacific theater of World War II. When reading one can't help but lament the scars combat had on people like Eugene Sledge and the feelings of disdain towards the leaders during the Japanese offensive in the Philippines. Heros like Manila john epitomize the american ethos.
Ambrose, in my opinion, succesed in his mission of giving a historical account of the war in the personal stories of the selecte
Ikram Mohd noor
If you already read other memoirs like With The Old Breed and Helmet For My Pillow, you can see clearly that the story in this book is just a circulation of the same flow from other memoirs.
But, this book compiled several other characters of the veterans in WWII.

If you guys love watching The Pacific, this book will be a good one as an additional information and details because in the series, the storytelling is about Robert Leckie, Gene Sledge, and John Basilone. Here in this book, we have sev
Duncan Mandel
EDITORIAL REVIEW: ** In this companion to the HBO(r) miniseries-executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman-Hugh Ambrose reveals the intertwined odysseys of four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy carrier pilot during World War II. ** Between America's retreat from China in late November 1941 and the moment General MacArthur's airplane touched down on the Japanese mainland in August of 1945, five men connected by happenstance fought the key battles of the war against Japan. Fr ...more
Matt Brown
The Pacific, by Hugh Ambrose, is one of the better war memoirs of this day. It follows the stories of three United States Marines, Sergeant "Manila John" Basilone, Private First Class Eugene Sledge, and Private First Class Robert "Lucky" Leckie, in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The book gives a back story to each of these three men, then goes into great detail about their military careers. The author did a great job of retelling the stories, as each man's struggle paints a picture in ...more
I appreciated that the "The Pacific" used a different style of format than most history books: it focused on the journeys of 5 different soldiers who fought in the Pacific theater during World War II, both when in combat and when not. This did make the story vary a bit in how exciting it was, but it was an interesting way to structure the book.
I was most interested in the exploits of pilot Mike Micheel (unsurprisingly considering my grandfather was also a naval bomber), and Marine Sid Phillips,
If you like history and in particular WWII history you will find this very interesting. I found it to be informative as I like any WWII stories, however, it is written from notes and diary notes and reads like reading from them. It took me a while to finish the book because Of the writing style.
This is not an easy read at all but worth the time to really understand the daily lives of the soldiers that fought the battles of the pacific theatre during WWII. as with any ambrose, hugh did impeccable research and used several acknowledged books as sources. terrific job.
I thought thsi was going to be a gripping, heartfelt story of the war in the Pacific, much like Ambrose's father wrote in Band of Brothers. This one was way too techincal, followed obscure characters, and all in all acted as my own personal Ambien. Uck.
Robert Dunlap
I'll be checking this out again. Voluminous and detailed without ever being boring. I also like that he is another author that continues to destroy the trumped-up showboater clown General MacArthur.

The format allows Ambrose to show both small and large views of the war in the Pacific. It provides good reminders of how fierce the Japanese fought and how Asia is no stranger to racism. There are small and large surprises hidden throughout the book that allow you to connect the dots backwards for th
Tom Gorski
Fascinating history and perhaps in a way better than the TV series. The Pacific campaign in WW2 as seen through the eyes of five separate ordinary individuals whose paths at times cross, often indirectly, during that war. Not that they physically encounter one another but they end up at different times engaged in the same battles. The book shows the reality of war...a lot of long periods of training and boredom inter-spaced with shorter periods of terror and battle. It also shows the politics be ...more
I was skeptical of this book. Some of the keys figures like E. B. Sledge have fine books they wrote, which vividly portrayed their time in combat. I didn't find this volume as compelling as With the Old Breed, but it's still a fine work. The title is misleading as it's not a comprehensive telling of the War in the Pacific. It covers a lot of the major events of the war, through the eyes of a number of men in the Navy and Marine Corps. The book does jump around a bit as some of the men overlapped ...more
Pooja Kashyap
I am not an avid reader of WW books and so this happens to be my second book first being War of Nerves by Jonathan B Tucker. The latter was based on chemical warfare from WWI to Al-Qaeda. The Pacific delves into the literature of WWII, starting from Pearl Harbor. Initially, I thought reading a war book won’t be that interesting that watching the movies but Ambrose proved me wrong. Majestically he illuminated the harrowing incidents of war and American history in front of my eyes.
The work is merg
T. Edmund
The number of works both fiction and non- covering WWII are vast. Hugh Ambrose find his niche by taking a magnifying glass to a mere few American soldiers, fighting the Japanese for the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific is more of a history buffs kind of book, while there is focus on specific individuals and often in great depth, the style of writing errs towards the technical, not that there is anything wrong with this – through Ambrose’s prose we see much of the brutality of war, but also come to unde
This was an interesting book. Let it be known first of all that I did not outright hate it, but there are clearly some problems with it. This book starts off on uneven ground to begin with, as it is meant to be a companion to the HBO Miniseries with the same name, and not a stand alone book. This is all well and good, I have both seen the miniseries and read this book (in that order). Strangely though, this companion at times has very little in common with the series, to the point of having many ...more
When I was a kid I was obsessed with WW II, and I eagerly read Guadalcanal Diary, a really gory book about Iwo Jima, the Time-Life photo summary of the war, and whatever else my public library had to offer. Now I'm an adult with military service under my belt, and the war in the Pacific seems just as fascinating, but I can see a whole different dimension to it now. What an incredibly long, arduous, and painful struggle it must have been for combatants on all sides.

The author of this book faced q
Hugh Ambrose's attempt to carry on from his late father, and one of my favourite writer historians, Stephen Ambrose. And, I must say, he pulls it off quite well. The Pacific is a series of stories, following the journey of six individuals of various rank and outfit, and their part in the war. It takes these stories, assisted by the individuals' respective memoirs, and weaves them into the broader canvas that was the Pacific

theater. It is, by no means, a definitive history of the Pacific war, bu
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