• Retribution

  • The Battle for Japan, 1944 - 45
  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 27 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 09-16-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (268 ratings)

Regular price: $45.50

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Publisher's Summary

By the summer of 1944 it was clear that Japan's defeat was inevitable, but how the drive to victory would be achieved remained unclear. The ensuing drama - that ended in Japan's utter devastation - was acted out across the vast theater of Asia in massive clashes between army, air, and naval forces. In recounting these extraordinary events, Max Hastings draws incisive portraits of MacArthur, Mao, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and other key figures of the war in the East. But he is equally adept in his portrayals of the ordinary soldiers and sailors caught in the bloodiest of campaigns. With its piercing and convincing analysis, Retribution is a brilliant telling of an epic conflict from a master military historian at the height of his powers.
©2007 Max Hastings (P)2008 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Easton Reader on 12-22-16

A superb study by one of the world's finest histor

Where does Retribution rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the top 5

What was one of the most memorable moments of Retribution?

Discussion of Japanese behavior in China and Philippines

Which scene was your favorite?

Battle for Manila

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators. His clear diction, pacing, and intonation convey the author's intentions perfectly. Like many English speakers, however, his pronunciation of Japanese proper names is sometimes incorrect. For example, the name "Yamashita" is not pronounced as "Ya-ma-she-ta" it is pronounced as "Ya-ma-sh'ta;" "Yoshiko" is not "Yo-she-ko" it is "Yo-sh'ko;" and the two famous cities. Tokyo and Kyoto are pronounced as two syllables, not three: not "To-key-oh" but "To-quo" and not "Key-oh-to" but "Quo-to."

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Patrick Lovell on 07-25-16

A Must Read!

If you could sum up Retribution in three words, what would they be?

Illuminating, Clear, Inspiring

What other book might you compare Retribution to and why?

As we go further away from the Pacific War - now about 70 plus years - new works are coming out all the time. Because of that, it is hard to find comparisons to this work.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

None really stand out in my mind although, when I first heard Mr Vance go into character, I was both surprised and delighted.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Chapter 19 and its crystal clear summary of the events that lead to the dropping of the atomic bomb. There are so many wild and whacky revisions swirling around the decision to drop the bombs and Mr Hastings’ work confidently deals with these theories with his use of historical records and facts and puts emotional opinions aside. He does what good historians do, and that is getting inside the heads of the decision makers of the period bases on primary sources. I recommend his whole work, but if you can only read one chapter, that chapter should not be missed.

Any additional comments?

Mr Vance’s Japanese pronunciation was not perfect and at times it was irritating but overall was better then some of the other readers I have come across.
I recommend this book to everyone who wants to have a ride into and through the period and the huge events that still echo in the country I have called home for over forty years… Japan!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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