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The Big War Paperback – Bargain Price, December 4, 2001

21 customer reviews

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About the Author

Right after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Anton Myrer enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served for three years in the Pacific. Wounded on Guam, he returned to Harvard, graduated, and began an illustrious literary career in which he wrote such memorable novels as The Big War, The Last Convertible, and A Green Desire. He died in 1996.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (December 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060934735
  • ASIN: B000GG4G30
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,163,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ken on May 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
In 1942 Anton Myrer went from being a Harvard college kid to a marine in the Pacific. He served for four years, was wounded on Guam, and occupied the Mariannas. Set in both the "home front" and the Pacific, "The Big War" vividly depicts the hopes, frustrations, and horror experienced by those who served. It does not glamorize war, but does show the valor of the every-day enlisted man, and the sacrifices that they (and their families) made. The writing is outstanding: In one scene, you will find yourself ready to put the book down, locate, and punch out a petty character who "has it in" for Danny Kantaylis. Myrer captures the feel of the United States at the time and concludes by attempting to express the emotions that motivated the veterans who returned. If you want a depiction of war by someone who lived it, then this is fiction that reaches beyond entertainment and gives us a window into the times. "Critical Reviews" (missing from the Amazon site) based on the original publication are inserted as a "comment" to this review for your further reference.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Like all Myrer's books, an excellent literary adventure. But, be sure to have a dictionary near by, as nearly every page a new, unfamiliar word pops up! If you like war stories and interesting characters, as well as good writing, you'll like this book.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Myrer's "Big War" is a true-color picture of the cruelty and sorrow which can be brought only by war. Perfectly written, very impressive and worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beauregard on October 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Big War is a beautifully written novel full of language you don't hear or read anymore. This is because Mr. Myrer wrote it in the early 50s, shortly after serving in WWII. So not only do you get the vernacular of a different generation, but you benefit from the author having experienced the events first-hand that he writes about.

It is set in 3 main parts: basic training where the soldiers' relationships are cemented. The long boat ride over to Japan. And then the war itself. I tell you, the prose Myrer uses describing the soldiers thoughts right before they disembark from their boat to plunge into the surf amid heavy fire is some of the most intense and dramatic writing I've come across.

The book gives you an inside view into a soldier's pysche and my conclusion is that despite Mr. Myrer giving us glimpses or heroism and success, this is essentially an anti-war novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wild Turkey Hunter on June 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I finished re-reading Once an Eagle and took on The Big War because "Eagle" was such a superior piece of work. I was dissappointed by Myrer's lack of focus and his propensity to go deeply into the early lives of the characters. He boringly floated into conversations and activities to an extent that the main theme of the book was lost in minutia. Mr. Myrer tried hard to make it work but didn't reach the quality of character definition in "Eagle." Perhaps I expected too much since I credited him so highly for Once An Eagle. For a superub account of the big war, I suggest Rick Atkinson's Guns at Last Light.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Big War tells the story of three U.S. Marines as they train, go off to war in the Pacific, and meet their fates: one is an adventure seeking rich kid, another a married veteran of previous battles, and the last is a working class tough looking to start a new life. The story line is intriguing but drags at times. The novel was made into a movie starring Jeffery Hunter as the grizzled vet and Robert Wagner as the tough guy.

The book was well packaged, arrived in a timely manner, and was in the condition promised. I am totally satisfied with the service and the product.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as good as other Myrer books.. Sequence of events a little hard to follow as he jumps settings a little more than is necessary without transitions and clarity. Good story about a very transformative time in history.
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By Odyseus on March 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was like wading through mud. Blah blah blah so much verbiage. I can only recommend this book as a sleep aid.
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