Sunday, November 9th, 2014

I’ve spent the past two-three, maybe four – okay, it might be five weeks now that I’ve been reading Ian Toll’s Pacific Crucible: War At Sea In The Pacific, 1941-1942. In my defense, it’s a thick book. Also, I can’t stop myself from paging back to re-read parts of it. It’s possibly the most engaging history of the Pacific war ever put to paper.

I got it as a birthday gift from my Mom several years ago and I read it in a mad rush almost right after she gave it to me. Then it went into a bookcase with all my other books about the Pacific war and stayed there until about two months ago, when I was browsing the shelves of Paul’s Book Store on State Street and found a copy of Edwin Hoyt’s How They Won The War In The Pacific: Nimitz And His Admirals, a book thick enough to hold up a corner of a three-legged sofa, and to tell the truth I still haven’t finished it. I got as far as page 490, just 14 pages short of the end, and maybe next week I’ll knock out the last of it one night before bedtime.

Hoyt’s book was excellent and goes a long way in describing the character of people like Nimitz, King, Halsey, and Spruance, people who have become icons in the decades since the war, but for me, Toll describes the same people in ways that makes them feel more human. I couldn’t stop myself from going back to Toll and reading whole chapters that described the same action that Hoyt had gone over in clinical detail. I’m not sure how he would take to being called sentimental, but Toll often seems to write as if he were recalling a memory of a relative who had been in the war. I don’t know exactly how he did it; I wish I did, so I could write characters as vividly as he does. Hoyt wrote an excellent chronicle of some of the most prominent players of the war, but Toll brought them to life as personalities.

reading frenzy | 5:19 pm CDT
Category: books, entertainment | Tags: ,
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