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Book Review of Battle Cry

Battle Cry
Battle Cry
Author: Leon Uris
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 188 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1

A fine, gripping war novel, November 4, 2002
Reviewer: Judy Lind "jlind555" - See all my reviews

"Battle Cry" was Leon Uris's first novel and it's by far his best. Set right after Pearl Harbor, it's the story of the Marines in the Second World War and of one squad of Marines in particular, led by (and narrated by) Mac, a crusty old sergeant who has seen generations of boys pass through his command. The story moves quickly through basic training to combat, and comes to a shattering climax with an all-out battle against the Japanese forces in the Pacific. As much as the story Uris tells so compellingly, we are held by his characters: Danny Forrester, the all-American boy; Andy the Swede, hating women indiscriminately until he meets the woman of his dreams far from home; Levin from Brooklyn, who knew what he had to do, and did it magnificently; Shining Lighttower, the Navajo, who really didn't want to go back to the reservation after all, and Sam Huxley, their colonel, who wanted glory for himself and his boys at any price, even if the price included all their lives. Technically, Uris isn't a very good writer, but he is one helluva storyteller, and one of his greatest strengths is in plain dialogue between his characters, which shows up to much better advantage here than it did in his later books. It's in the dialogue that his characters come vibrantly alive; we understand how a disparate bunch of 18 and 19 year olds, kids like anybody else, can throw their lives away in battle rather than face the possibility of a defeat which would be worse than death. Uris shows us through his characters the men who made the Marines what they are.

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