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I made this selection because it was recommended for those who enjoyed "Unbroken", and it was an excellent recommendation. The stories are similar in time period and setting (Pacific theater, WWII) and both deal with a tragic air crash with survivors in need of rescue. But this is not a copy of the earlier story and is compelling in its own way. The narrative follows the events up to and subsequent to the crash, but but also puts into context the backgrounds of the players, allowing us to know them as more than vague historical characters who experienced a unique event. He also puts historical context to the exploration of New Guinea which deepens the understanding of the hardships caused by the nearly impenetrable terrain. I especially appreciated Zuckoff's research into the culture of the native New Guinea people. By explaining their point of view we get a facinating picture of cultural exchanges that are sometimes comical, sometimes touching and sometimes unfortunate. Also appreciated was the attention given to the passengers who did not survive the crash. I found it respectful to acknowledge their presence and who they were as individuals. Interviews with survivors, recuers and natives, or family members of those (decades later of course), and the use of diaries kept by several of the main characters adds authenticity to the story.
As another reviewer has stated, the reading by the author was excellent, and added to the enjoyment of the book. Highly recommended.
36 of 37 people found this review helpful
Very good story. I enjoyed hearing the viewpoints of the New Guinea natives some 60 years after the event. Don't let the fact that the auithor narrates the book scare you away - he does an excellant job.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful