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Hiroshima. Hardcover – 1946
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1946 book of eyewitness account of the atomic bomb. The noiseless flash and then the fire
Top customer reviews
John Hersey is masterful in his description and accounts of (6) persons who survived the A-bomb and their memories of the event. The initial story is the day of the bombing, August 6th,1945, and the descriptions, details and accounts of survivors is extremely graphic. The (6) survivors are a Jesuit priest, a surgeon, a desk clerk, a Methodist pastor, a Doctor and a tailor's widow. They were each terrorized by the explosion and mass destruction, but showed exemplary courage to survive, help others and recall the day's tragic timeline. Over 80,000 people died initially from the blast, and 20,000+ died in the days after from radiation sickness and explosive trauma or injuries sustained. The author returned to the city forty years later to interview those same (6) survivors and updates readers on their lives since that fateful day. Each survivor had a tinge of survivor's guilt, but displayed courage and perseverance in moving forward with their lives. The fate of each survivor is described in the final chapter.
It is emotionally moving and terribly heart-wrenching listening to the graphic details of death, destruction and horrible burn/blast injuries sustained by inhabitants of this large, industrial city in southern Japan. George Guidall is the narrator and is magnificent in his rendering of the pages of this fine work. I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who wishes to learn more about the first A-bomb dropped on a major population center, and it's subsequent aftermath. It is detailed, painfully graphic and very touching to hear the survivor's accounts. Notice to listeners: Extremely graphic detail of human burn injuries and blast trauma.
The only other complaint have is that in this book Amazon omitted the "updates" Hersey added on the characters written about after the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Shame on Amazon for letting out such an inferior version of a timeless classic!!
If you are using a Kindle, this Kindle versions lacks the updated chapter added to the original. It also has quite some copy (spelling) mistakes, words missing etc. that are unnecessary but don't impede on the actual reading.
The nature and quality of this type of journalism is very old school compared to what we have today. The author is not trying to influence the reader's thinking.. he's presented a story and lets us fully understand it.