Customer Review

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The hurt ones were quiet; no one wept, much less screamed in pain...", September 16, 2006
This review is from: Hiroshima (Mass Market Paperback)
When the atomic bomb dropped at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was a thriving city of two hundred forty-five thousand people. By 8:20, one hundred thousand of those people were dead. Combining the broad perspective of the absolute devastation of the city with the tiniest details of six individual lives, John Hersey provides a powerful closeup of a few survivors of the atomic attack on Hiroshima, giving the carnage a human perspective.

Focusing on Mr. Tanimoto, a Methodist pastor; Mrs. Nakamura, the widow of a tailor, and her three children; Dr. Masakazu Fujii, a physician in a private clinic; Fr. Wilhelm Kleinsorge, S. J, a priest in a Catholic mission; Dr. Terufumi Sasaki, a young surgeon at the Red Cross Hospital; and Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in a tin works, as they survive the initial attack, the author follows their daily movements, their subsequent illnesses, their fears, and the eventual outcomes of their lives. The victims become human, and their concerns become universal, as Hersey shows them digging themselves out and helping their neighbors, filled with an "elated community spirit" in the days and weeks after the bombing.

Details of the fires following the bombing, the unexpected radiation sickness, the mysteries surrounding the kind of bomb this was (some Japanese believed that the allies had sprinkled powdered magnesium over the city and then ignited it), the devastating rains that followed, and the monumental scale of the damage are presented in straightforward, factual style, the horrors of the reality so overwhelming that Hersey had no need to try to control his narrative by selecting details or ordering them for effect.

Published in the New Yorker in August, 1946, this anniversary remembrance had immediate and dramatic repercussions, perhaps because the focus on "ordinary" Japanese citizens, much like the Americans who read the article, as opposed to "the enemy," resonated with his readers. Thousands listened to four days of its reading on ABC radio, and many others bought the New Yorker to read his account. By raising also the question of the ethics of dropping such a bomb (which some of the Japanese agree was acceptable as a normal part of the war), he also forces his readers to consider the long-term implications of atomic warfare. Dramatic, powerful, and very personal, this account of six lives, changed forever, is a monument to the human spirit in the face of incredible adversity. n Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 30, 2007 9:40:24 PM PDT
Hello, Mary. You wrote a great review. I read this book in the 8th grade, and just recently read it again. My daughter just spent 3 weeks in Japan [she's only 12] and visited Hiroshima. You have a great way with describing and explaining things in your reviews. Once again, great review. Ernest.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2007 3:31:38 AM PDT
Mary Whipple says:
Thanks, Ernest, and it's great to hear from you! How exciting that your daughter was able to go to Japan! One of ours was a great traveler, too--still is--and he always managed to find fascinating programs. He ended up spending a summer in Peru on a dig, a year in Japan at Waseda University (living with two different families), and a semester in Beijing at the Foreign Language Institute. Lots of opportunities for travel and learning these days which you and I didn't have! Will send you an e-mail. Best, Mary
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.2 out of 5 stars (357 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (183)
4 star:
 (94)
3 star:
 (50)
2 star:
 (12)
1 star:
 (18)
 
 
 
$7.95
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Mary Whipple
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: New England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 209