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The Marines of Autumn

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  287 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
War has been the inspiration of such great novels as The Red Badge of Courage and A Farewell to Arms, and daring feats of courage and tragic mistakes have been the foundation for such classic works. Now, for the first time ever, the Korean War has a novel that captures that courage and sacrifice.

When Captain Thomas Verity, USMC, is called back to action, he must leave his
Paperback, 274 pages
Published May 15th 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2000)
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Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I had a high school English teacher that survived both Chosin and the POW experience in Korea, and this man was one of the big mentors I needed as a young man (in the 1980s) and one of the islands in the archipelago of experiences that make up this review. While I never personally heard him speak of it, I was reacquainted with this focal moment in American military history around the time he passed on (during that blissful historical moment between Y2K and 9/11) via the best non ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one is hard to put down. It’s an eye-opening introduction to the Korean War – often referred to as the Forgotten War – and an accurate treatment of the disastrous Chosin Reservoir campaign in North Korea in the fall and early winter of 1950. Brady does a great job describing the brutality of fighting dozens of Chinese divisions during a severe winter and how Americans were unprepared to do so. If you always wondered why Gen. Douglas MacArthur was relieved of command by President Truman, “Th ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been a Marine for 46 years. I have heard the stories of the Chosin reservoir my entire adult life. This book and The Frozen Hours have brought the honor, courage and sacrifice of these men to life. It has cemented my admiration and profound respect for Chesty Puller and all the other Marines who served there. Goodnight Chesty, wherever you are.
Laura Edwards
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Okay. An easy read. I think James Brady's writing style is more conducive to non-fiction. And I do have a book of non-fiction by him on my shelf which I plan on reading in the future. Don't know if I'll try anymore fiction by him though.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Haunting. Not all heroes are victorious. These unsung heroes illustrate the courage and commitment that keeps us free. Thanks to the Marines of Autumn!
ACS Librarian
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: war-stories
One retreat. 270 pages to fall back from Point A to Point B. And my biggest complaint is that the brief pauses for contextual character development get in the way of the backward motion. It 19s just enough of a complaint to make this novel very good instead of great.

The setting is the Chosin Resevoir area, during the Korean War. The setup and flashbacks help to explain why our hero, Tom Verity, is there, and why he wishes he wasn 19t. But that doesn 19t make up for the fact that civilian Tom ha
Int'l librarian
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
One retreat. 270 pages to fall back from Point A to Point B. And my biggest complaint is that the brief pauses for contextual character development get in the way of the backward motion. It’s just enough of a complaint to make this novel very good instead of great.

The setting is the Chosin Resevoir area, during the Korean War. The setup and flashbacks help to explain why our hero, Tom Verity, is there, and why he wishes he wasn’t. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that civilian Tom has the
Brent Bergman
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Marines of Autumn was a novel that portrayed this period of military history much further than anything else written about it. This book shows you even if the toughest times fight harder and you will prosper. The soldiers throughout this story line were always outnumbered due to their enemy being such a large country. Reading this book wouldn't be a disappointment but that's none of my business. I had high hopes for reading this because its based upon the Chosin Reservoir, in which my grandfathe ...more
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Author James Brady does a spectacular job of illustrating the hardships and struggles both physically and emotionally of the often forgotten Korean War. He puts the reader into a first person perspective of the Korean War through the eyes of Captain Tom Verity. Marines of Autumn evokes the emotional side of the reader through Captain Verity’s deep connection with the Chinese culture and also his constant heartaches of his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Kate. Tim Verity is a marine reservist who ...more
Jennifer Collins
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-korean-war
Brady's work has a ringing of truth to it, from start to finish. Very nearly reading as if it's a piece of nonfiction, but for its strict focus on the story and the characters at hand, the work brings to life moments of humor, love, and misery, and does so with such attention to setting and attitude that the reader becomes something of a fly on the wall of Captain Verity's journey... and is just so horrified by it as they are thankful for Brady's crafting of such a narrative.

It took me some time
Matt Howard
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
There are few books on the Korean war, and even fewer fiction books on the subject. This novel did it's job in being an entertaining read for the most part. It did well in giving the reader the sense of desperation that must have been felt on the march out of the Chosin Reservoir.

I did have a couple of problems with this book. The foreshadowing that was present from almost the beginning of this book can really give away the story a perceptive reader. The ending of the book didn't fit with the re
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never read a book like this. It was a gut wrenching story of our military and how they had to retreat when the Chinese crossed into North Korea by the thousands. The north Koreans had already been defeated and the Korean war was thought to be nearing the end. It was bitterly cold, 20 below and the weather was killing our men as well as the Chinese. Captain Verity had been drawn into this conflict because his understanding of the Chinese people having spent his childhood in China. This story, w ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: marine-corps
I wanted to like the book more than I did.
This book with respect to the quality of writing
had too many ups and downs with regard to engaging
the reader. I frequently found characters to be rather
stereotypical and from my perspective failed to evoke
much of anything with regard to their particular plights.

However, that said, there are moments in this story where
the particular dilemmas experienced caused this reader to
stop and consider the situation portrayed in this winter
withdrawal from the Chosin
Lori Clark-Erickson
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, marine, war
Historical Topic and Time Period: 1950 19s Korean War\
Lexile: 430
Your Rating: 3
What did you like the best about your book?: I mainly liked the description of the Korean war. I liked this books descriptions of the war because it 19s interesting to learn about war for me.
What did you dislike most about your book?: what I disliked is it was difficult to follow because conversations and settings kept changing.
Briefly summarize your book: This book is about Thomas Verity being called to serve in the
Mar 31, 2009 rated it liked it
This novel written by a man who was there tells the story of the disastrous Chosin Reservoir Campaign in Korea in the autumn and winter of 1950. The book was well written and gave a good grunt’s eye view of the United State’s Army’s blundering first months of the Korean War. In the end, however, I was disappointed by the novel’s heavy-handed tug at the reader’s heartstrings. The author ended the book exactly as I had cynically and pessimistically thought he would while reading the book’s first c ...more
Mike Paul
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My grandfather served in the Korean War and it only now dawns on me why he never liked getting in the pool when it was cold. He would ease into the water and say in response to the cold water "the pain....the pain" We laughed as he made exaggerated faces and we splashed him to encourage his immersion into the neighbors pool in college point NY, some thirty years later. Having survived such an unthinkable cold, I feel he may never have gotten rid of that chill he must have felt deep in his bones.
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've never read anything about the Korean War before, so I definitely learned a lot as I read this book. This book followed Tom Verity, a reservist who was called up to serve because of his knowledge of Chinese. The events Verity experienced as he served were disturbing--truly a sad and terrible time in our nation's past. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in historical fiction or to anyone who wants to learn more about that period of our nation's history.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read Brady's, The Coldest War, and found him to be a very good non-fiction writer. I would tend to agree with the jacket cover that this book has the power of All Quiet on the Western From, although it doesn't have the potential for greatness that Remarke's book had (Remember that Korea is the "forgotten war". I think he provided a lot of insight into a big little war that we have all but forgotten about. Geez, how many people have to die to make a war important to us~!?
Apr 29, 2012 added it
I'm not sure what to think of this book yet. I am grateful for the opportunity to read such an account. My grandfather lived through these experiences, and I am grateful to have a better understanding of who he was, and why he was that way. But it's also horrifying to imagine my grandfather in these circumstances, or anyone for that matter.
Anne Brown
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I'd never read a book about the Korean War and found this one to be pretty good. It's a fictionalized account of one particular part of the war but shows once again how egos and politics blend to send our service people into battles they can't possibly win. Rather depressing at times but that is the nature of war.
Philip Reiter
Excellent introduction to the Korean War. McArthur comes through as the power grubber he was which sadly cost the lives of many american servicemen. Military stupidity, when observed, is the ultimate tragedy of the male, who never gives up the idiocy, sadly.
May 18, 2008 rated it liked it
The book is great, besides being slow a majority of the time. For this reason alone, I gave it 3 stars. However, if I could, I would rate it 3.5, as the story itself is very good, and accurately portrays (to the best of my knowledge) the things soldiers had to endure during the Korean War.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
The BEST Korea novel I've ever read![return][return]Captain Tom Verity is part of one of MacArthur's last forays into the mountains of Korea, where his eyes are opened to the horrors of the Korean War, a historical novel by the author of The Coldest War.
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very good read. One of the few books I have read about the Korean War. It gave me some new insights.
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
My dad fought in Korea and recommended this book (he doesn't ever talk about his experiences in Korea). This about tore my heart out.
Emily Kurland
I did not like the ending at all but it was over all a good book that had a good plot and very complex characters.
Monica Wells
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually into war novels (or movies), but this was very well written.
Jun 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Semper Fi
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to John by: Dan Stewart
It was a bit slow at first but had a moving ending.
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James Winston Brady was an American celebrity columnist who created the Page Six gossip column in the New York Post and authored the In Step With column in Parade for nearly 25 years until his death. He also authored numerous books about his time serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.
More about James Brady...

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