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Battle Cry

Author: Leon Uris
Year: 1953
Pages: 694. Sounds frightening but goes quickly. Took me about a week to read.
Rating: 82/100 - It does the job but by no means a must read.
Amazon:Buy Battle Cry

Battle Cry is a historical fiction tale of the "Pogey Bait" 6th Marine Regiment during World War II. It follows a group of All-American lads; gives the back-story on why they enlisted in the marines, follows them through boot camp and training, and climaxes with the battles against the Japanese in the Pacific.

Every Leon Uris book contains a tremendous story, a suspenseful plot and well-developed and likable characters. Uris' historical fiction is part Kubrick, part Coppola in a literary form. The story is riveting, ultra-dramatic, and has great build up. Battle Cry was the first novel written by Uris, and probably a notch below Exodus and Mila 18. Uris was a former marine, and intimately details the experiences, emotions and torment of a marine in war. If you like Full Metal Jacket, Jarhead, or Saving Private Ryan then you will be able to appreciate this story.

Litty's Thoughts

Battle Cry is one of those books that make you realize the craziness of war. Not the politics, or the newspaper articles - but rather the incredible experiences of individuals way younger than myself. Impressionable boys step out of society and turn into Marines. War removes Marines from the organized structure of the military and turns them into killers that must rely on their most primal instincts. This is all done, in theory, to protect the society for which they removed themselves from when they enlisted. It's so intense and radical that it is hard for me to fathom how I would react and perform under these circumstances.

This book takes place over fifty years ago, but is as relevant today as when it was first published. Right now, we are in a war that sends thousands of young adults half way around the world. Personally, I do not know anybody who has served in Iraq (a fascinating socio-economic issue I'm not going to get into). When I lived in San Diego, I used to often see Marines and soldiers out on the town. I never really got them and always kept my distance - they were meatheads, jarheads, and seemed to live by a different set of standards than "civilians". The fact that the closest I might ever get to understanding them is from a book like this (which is fiction nevertheless) makes me wonder how we all really live in the same world.


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