Best Review of Indestructible: One Man's Rescue Mission That Changed The Course Of Wwii:
Most helpful customer reviews 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. Living History of a person, his family, and War in the Pacific By David H. Birley In some ways, military history and genealogy have similarities. When you try to delve into your ancestry, you learn a lot of names, dates, and places, but is that really what you would like to know? What did grandpa have for breakfast? Did grandma do things "by the book", or was she a bit of a rebel. As you learn these things the people become real flesh and blood, breathing family members -- people with whom you can begin to feel a real relationship.In military history, we hear about battles, big and small. We hear about successes and failures, and mostly they are painted with a very broad brush. For example, look up The Battle of the Bulge on Wikipedia, and you will learn that it lasted a mere 41 days from the middle of December, 1944 until late in the following January. You will learn there that "The Germans' initial attack included 406,000 men, 1,214 tanks, tank destroyers, and assault guns, and 4,224 artillery pieces", and "For the Americans, with 610,000 involved in the battle, of whom 89,000 were casualties, including up to 19,000 killed". That is important to understand, but between the two sides that speaks of over a million men, and not even one of them has a face presented.So when you meet a book like "Indestructible", you may not be prepared for it being not just primarily about one man involved in the war with the Japanese, but his family, and his daily life. After a very brief prolog, the book begins with a chapter entitled "The Last Normal Day". That was December 6, 1941, when the story begins with him waking up alongside his wife of 21 years in the Philippines, and continues with the mundane routine of his morning. It indicates that people were a bit edgy in the area, aware that the Japanese were preparing some kind of military excursion that might involve the place where he lived with his family. The Japanese had been actively and brutally involved in horrible things in parts of China, and the probability that something else was likely to follow soon was in the air for all to feel. The next morning started almost as normally, because there was a time difference between Manila and Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands.All very subdued, and "normal". Now at that point, many authors of tales related to Pearl Harbor and its after-effects would be tempted to launch into the "big picture". John R. Bruning, the author who compiled this story for us, held his view (and ours) on the life of a single individual and his family. In a 514 page book that has 27 pages of notes, acknowledgements and bibliography at the end, the story begins its forward motion hour by hour and day by day. This is the "grandpa's breakfast" approach. No matter how much of the "history" you may have heard, or read, or, in my case, experienced -- by long distance as a small child in a boarding school in Western Canada -- you may never have experienced the impact on a person and a family that this book brings to life on every page.If I were a history teacher and specialized in World War II, I would wish for this book to be a textbook so that young students could experience the microcosm of the daily experience of real war in real time. I am truly grateful this book has been written, and will soon be available for all to read. I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, and I never allow the fact I did not pay for something to influence my review. 3 of 4 people found the following review helpful. A well-written and entertaining read about an overlooked chapter in WW2 history By 80 Shades I was incredibly fortunate to get to read an advance copy of "Indestructible" by John Bruning. While the full text on the cover implies that the course of WWII was changed, the extent of that is perhaps a bit debatable, but despite the title the story is fascinating and well-told. I love learning about interesting historical stories that time seems to somewhat forget, and then suddenly a new publication can shed light and really bring some of history's most important moments into the modern conscious. This book achieved that for me. Yes, there are places that obviously there is no recorded exact dialog available, so the author does fill in some gaps with what I consider reasonable assumptions of what occurred and was spoken. I'm fine with a story that is well researched, follows all of the historical facts exactly, and helps fill in a few gaps that paint a more vivid personal story than just a book of dates and actions. This isn't a legal document for a trial; it is a book, which is meant to entertain and inform. If you are interested in historical aviation or WWII, then read this book, because you WILL learn something new and be highly entertained during the process. Well done - recommended! 1 of 2 people found the following review helpful. In the end, it is, for me, a 3 star read. By terpfan1980 This is the kind of book and story that truly frustrates me. I wanted a biographical tale, and almost get one here, but then the author has also filled in some blanks with material that leaves me wondering just when I'm reading actual history versus an embellished version of events, or events that just never actually happened. I realize the author is trying to tell an interesting tale and for those that aren't bothered by fictional elements mixed in with history, it may not be a problem at all, but for me, well, it is the kind of thing that I just can't make myself get past and it ruins the enjoyment for me in what otherwise might have been a good read. I had similar issues with the recently released film "Eddie the Eagle" which would have been a fine film if not for the fact that it was "based upon the true story" but not as closely aligned with the true story of Eddie the Eagle. Knowing the original history left me less satisfied with what otherwise might have been a good film, but then it seems the movie studio, much like the publishers here, may have pushed for what they thought was going to be a more interesting story.The basic facts for this particular book are quite interesting, though not exactly what the tagline on the book cover or the title of the book itself imply. We all know that no man is indestructible, and the subject of this particular story himself later proved himself to not be as indestructible as the title states. During the events that are described throughout the book, yes, the main character was for the most part a very daring individual who did pull off many death-defying feats. His fight to his own family would obviously fuel his fight and his desire to free them at any cost meant he was going to do anything it took to do so.I wanted this book to be more in line with my own initial impressions of the books description and sadly it just misses that mark for me. It could have been an interesting read, and if it was actually just a fictional tale, I may have jumped into it whole heartedly and thoroughly enjoyed it. In the end, it is, for me, a 3 star read. See all 5 customer reviews...
"From the opening pages, Bruning grabs you by the collar and pulls you into the story, not letting go as he masterfully guides you through a part of World War II that is largely unknown. This is the work of a skilled wordsmith who knows how to tell a story."Gregory A. Freeman, author of The Forgotten 500 About the Author John R. Bruning is the author or collaborating writer of a number of nonfiction books, including the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Outlaw Platoon (Morrow) written with Sean Parnell, Shadow of the Sword with Jeremiah Workman (Ballantine), How to Break a Terrorist with Matthew Alexander (Free Press), House to House with David Bellavia (Free Press), The Devil's Sandbox (Zenith), and Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent with Fred Burton (Random House, a New York Times expanded list bestseller). Bruning is well-traveled as an embedded combat correspondent. For his reporting in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense presented him with a prestigious 2010 Thomas Jefferson Award. For his work with the Oregon National Guard, he was inducted into the 162nd Infantry Regiment in September 2011 as an honorary member. John lives in Independence, Oregon, and has two children.
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