I was engrossed in this book from the beginning. It isn't written like a reference or documentary. It is a very sensual book. You can feel the hunger, the heat, and the boredom of the captured soldiers in the Japanese concentration camp in the Phillipines. It's been a couple of years since I read this book. It was so good I'm putting it back on my list to read again.
I do not ever read war stories or historical non fiction, but what a great book. Well written, not dry, good number of characters and all true. I learned immesely while enjoying it.
Before reading this book, I had expected a chronologed, step-by-step documentary. Which in itself would be informative.
However, what I read was a well researched, documented and well thought out "story" of such proportions that the act or reading this book invoked every emotion I have inside of me.
It is obvious that Hampton Sides interviewed as many survivors of this historical event as was humanly possible for him to do. He uses quotes from the survivors in a way that drew me into the book, as though I was there in the heat of battle and within the prison walls with the books characters.
I have to be honest here, after reading the Prolouge I was unsure that I wanted to read the rest of the book at all. (Frankly, it scared the hell out of me!!). However, I am pleased that I charged forward and read the entire book. Mr Sides words pulled me into the book to a point where I did NOT want to put it down.
If you have read, and liked, other books about the exploits of war and the men and women who were involved, you will like this book.
By the way, as scary as the Prolouge, the Epiloughe is 180 degrees different. I was uplifted by those words at the end of the book.
Get it, read it, and enjoy it.
In a word amazing! Gives you what it was really like on the Batan Death March.
Very compelling narrative. Even if you think you already know the story of the Bataan Death March during WWII, you have never experienced it like Hampton Sides takes you. It's actually 2 stories: the American POWs who survived the Death March and the Japanese Prison Camp on Luzon Island in the Philippines, and the story of the 121 men of the U.S. Army's 6th Ranger Battalion who were sent 30 miles behind enemy lines to rescue the last survivors. A daring raid in which they were assisted by villagers and Filipino guerillas. More than an account of their bravery, sacrifice and suffering, the author's descriptions and narration pull you into this amazing true story.