The Pacific
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The Pacific

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  5,400 ratings  ·  212 reviews
The "New York Times" bestselling official companion book to the Emmy(r) Award-winning HBO(r) miniseries.

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. From the debacle in Bataan,...more
ebook, 512 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by New American Library (first published December 1st 2009)
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Jon
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
Pdm
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...more
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
Mark
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...more
Reds_reads
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
Mike
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
Josh
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.
Andrew Russell
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
Kenny
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
Brian
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
Jim
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
Ryan
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...more
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
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...more
Dave
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.
Kevin
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.
Amber
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.
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...more
Mike
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
Rob
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...more
Christian
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...more
Dan Walker
After reading this book I really feel like I understand the war from the perspective of the men who fought in it. And that includes the "fog of war" - it's hard to understand the strategic situation while fighting off banzai attacks.



And I came to identify with Sledge, too sensitive and thoughtful for the horrors of war. I suspect I would have reacted as he did. In the end, it was all senseless. But we need to study it to understand how senseless it was, and to try and decipher the clues as to wh...more
Joseph
I am kind of split on the 3 rating and the 4 rating. i will give it a 4 rating, only because this is bettr then some of the 3's I have given in the past.

When reading this it is hard not to think or compare Hugh to his dad Stephen, who was one of my all time favorites. This is his first book and a book that he was encouraged to do when his dad didn't have the time to write before his death. It is a pretty good book being his first and he really did spend a long time researching and writing it. Th...more
Carin
The Pacific (The Official Companion Book to the HBO Miniseries) was written by Hugh Ambrose not to mirror the television series, but to give a more complete view of the war than is told in the TV series. The book focuses chiefly on five men:

--Austin "Shifty" Shofner - A Marine that was captured as a POW in the Phillipines
--Vernon "Mike" Micheel - A Navy pilot that fought in numerous naval battles in the Pacific Ocean
--Sidney C. Phillips - A young Marine that fought in campaigns on Guadalcanal an...more
Andy Nickname
I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit worried having read some reviews. The author had a bit of a battle taking over the mantle from his father, whose Band of Brothers is a highly regarded success.
But "The Pacific" is a different kettle of fish compared to the previous. Where the Band of Brothers was all about following one unit, here the story follows a number of indivuals who had for the most part, different experiences.

Some complained that the story jumps around all over the place, as the...more
Carolyn
This book took me a lot longer to read then I thought! I'm editing my initial rating down to the two star, now that I've started to read other books about the marines written in this book. I give this book two stars since it was confusing to follow, and yet four stars because it is such a great story in our history. Too bad it couldn't be both good and understandable.

The book was hard to get into it at first, because the author threw out a lot of names, battles, and places that I wasn't sure abo...more
Andres
I read and enjoyed this densely detailed book at the same time I watched the HBO miniseries, read the books the miniseries were based on, and while I read other books about the Pacific theater of WW2.

The book follows the paths of five men before, during, and after the war. It weaves together everyone's story in chronological order (for example giving you the date on which one man may be training in the United States while on the same date another is in a Japanese POW camp) which at times gives...more
George Shubin
After having enjoyed the HBO mini-series "Band of Brothers" and the book by Stephen Ambrose on which it is based, I looked forward to reading "The Pacific" and watching the new HBO production.

My viewing of the mini-series started before I started reading the book. I was not as pleased with it as I was with "Band of Brothers". There is an underlying tone in the series that paints the US Marine in a much more negative or distasteful light than was in HBO's "Band of Brothers" about the army infantr...more
Ivan A.
The book, The Pacific, by Hugh Ambrose quickly got my attention. Mainly because it was related to WWII. And i enjoy reading war books or history ones. The usual where a great war happened in history or just warfare altogether. Even the front cover attracted me to it.

The book started from the bombing in Pearl Harbor to the end of the whole WW2 campaing. From the story there are a few characters that are described. Each with their own story and experiences in the war. The book is constantly altern...more
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