Tears in the Darkness

Tears in the Darkness

The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath

Downloadable Audiobook - 2009
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For the first four months of 1942, U.S., Filipino, and Japanese soldiers fought what was America's first major land battle of World War II, the battle for the tiny Philippine peninsula of Bataan. It ended with the surrender of 76,000 Filipinos and Americans, the single largest defeat in American military history.The defeat, though, was only the beginning, as Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman make dramatically clear in this powerfully original book. From then until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, the prisoners of war suffered an ordeal of unparalleled cruelty and savagery: forty-one months of captivity, starvation rations, dehydration, hard labor, deadly disease, and torture-far from the machinations of General Douglas MacArthur.The Normans bring to the story remarkable feats of reportage and literary empathy. Their protagonist, Ben Steele, is a figure out of Hemingway: a young cowboy turned sketch artist from Montana who joined the army to see the world. Juxtaposed against Steele's story and the sobering tale of the Death March and its aftermath is the story of a number of Japanese soldiers.The result is an altogether new and original World War II book: it exposes the myths of military heroism as shallow and inadequate; and it makes clear, with great literary and human power, that war causes suffering for people on all sides.
Publisher: [United States] : Tantor Audio : Made available through hoopla, 2009.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781400191673
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (17hr., 30 min.)) : digital.


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May 09, 2018

This is definitely not my first foray into the subject, for over the years I've read upwards of 30 accounts, so I knew what I was in for. The one issue I've had is the chronology of this telling, I prefer a definite timeline. Even though I'm familiar with events by the time narration arrived at the ending (epilog) description the hair on my neck stood up & my throat ached. I knew of one ship filled with POWs that was torpedoed as they were being transported to another prison in Japan. What suffering.

Highly recommend this accounting.

Jan 21, 2013

When I first considered this audiobook I was hesitant. Anyone slightly familiar with the Bataan Death March knows that it's not exactly a pick me up story. But after reading the reviews I gave it a shot, and I don't regret it one bit. Yes, there are moments in the book that can be graphic and unpleasant, however, the authors do a superb job of transitioning into a positive subject directly afterwards. Which I found helped me b/c no one wants to hear so much of how people suffered to the point where you can't bear to read the book anymore. The authors blend each piece of the story nicely and write descriptions that are detailed, but they withhold it to the point that they know when the reader is saying "Ok, I get it, they suffered." If you liked "Unbroken", then you'll also enjoy this book as well. The narrator does an excellent job and I can say that now I'm a fan of his. Overall: Well written, easy to understand, not too gory, excellent narration, and definitely worth a read.


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