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It's the story of 6 survivors of the A-bomb at Hiroshima. It reflects on the atrocity of a "total war" strategy but also in the surprising paradigm of the Japanese. I was supposed to read it in middle school but I did not.
The book itself is pretty simple; a narrative that groups each subject "bomb affected person" in somewhat-defined chaptered spans of time. The descriptions are concise and laregly unembellished. Simply one fact or event to the next. The culmination of these pictures provides a dynamic portrait of the Japanese population both at the time of the attack and later in life.
I don't like to say I "like" books where the subject matter is so terrible, particularly a book of non-fiction, but it is interesting and I hope, for a variety of reasons, it stays on required reading lists.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
I have never read Hersey's classic and after listening to the entire thing in one sitting I am baffled as to how I overlooked it. The book is phenomenal. It tells the story in a simple, fluid and seamless way. Hersey wrote with compassion and understanding without any hint of being a traitor to his home country which could not have been an easy line to cross in 1946. Today's world is so politically divisive and nobody escapes it -- journalists almost always show their colors in their writing and are deemed too liberal or too conservative. In the time that Hersey wrote this journalistic piece showing any empathy toward the Japanese was considered wrong and he could easily have been treated as a traitor. I am so impressed with his ability to show the right level of respect and warmth for the victims of the bomb and to do all of it without coming out of it sounding preachy.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful