Book Briefly Noted, Title The Pacific, Author Hugh Ambrose, Rating 2.5, Too pacific
I picked this book up on whim, to fill the hours of a long plane ride, mostly because of my admiration of the The Band of Brothers HBO series. I had read that the new HBO Spielberg-Hanks production The Pacific was also excellent, but I do not have access to HBO and was waiting for the series to be published in blue-ray. So I thought, the book The Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose, upon which the HBO series was based, was very good, so why not just read the Pacific in anticipation of that TV series?
Why not indeed. The book was average; it was reasonably detailed, and written after the style of Stephen Ambrose (Hugh’s father), but lacked of the immediacy and dramatic punch that the situations often called for. If you have never read any accounts of the U.S. conflict in the Pacific, then don’t start here. A better account might be Guadalcanal Diary or Strong Men Armed.
All in all, it generally doesn’t pay to read a book based on a movie, as this one was; it usually works the other way around (as with The Band of Brothers.) I had hoped that the movie, or more precisely, the HBO TV series The Pacific would be a stronger effort, but, alas, it proved to be as disorganized as the book. Oh well.