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Based on official American and Japanese histories, personal memoirs, and the author's exclusive interviews with key participants, The Castaway's War tells the entirely unique and very personal tale of Navy Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller's fight for survival against both a hostile environment and an implacable human enemy.
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By R. Denton on 10-26-16
Lots of prelude and epilogue, very little meat
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would only recommend to someone who had little or no knowledge of WWII naval history (so they would not be too bored) and didn't mind that only about 1/4 of the book is actually the "Castaway" experience.
Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen Harding again?
Maybe. I would check the print version at the library or book store first to be sure there actually was a pony in there somewhere.
Did Ian Harding do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
NO! Now I know there are several other published versions of this story, most written soon after the experience. This one is a sad failure to Lt. Miller's legacy.
Any additional comments?
This book and the publisher's summary are very long on sizzle with only a tiny bit of steak. I expected that at least half or more of the book would be the detailed history of the 40+ days as a castaway, with survival efforts as well as the attacks and such he made. Instead, the castaway portion of the story is no more than 1/4 of the book, with very little detail. There is more content about the time after his rescue than anything else. The author writes about numerous tellings of the castaway tale in publications of the time and gives the impression that they were very detailed. I can only surmise that the author was not able to get the rights to use any of this material in his book. There are tons of irrelevant detail about the ship and the various experiences after rescue. The author seems to be trying to find a way to fill up a book, but with only a little of the full detail about Lt. Miller and his amazing and clearly heroic efforts after the sinking of his ship.
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