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Extended Audio Sample Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific, by R. V. Burgin, William Marvel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (344 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: R. V. Burgin, William Marvel Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Islands of the Damned is an eyewitness—and eye-opening—account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman. R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of twenty and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad, he saw friends die and enemies killed, and he saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did—from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.

An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sean Runnette uses a voice and rhythm just right for the job. The timing of his phrases fits the prose so aptly that one can easily imagine him to be the Marine recounting the traumatic events still stored in his memory.”


  • A History Book Club Pick

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Wayne | 2/8/2014

    " A decent first person account of the battles on Peleliu and Okinawa. However, it wasn't even close to the quality of writing and feelings you got from reading Eugene Sledge's book about the same battles. If you want to read only one book like this, read Sledge's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Fredrick Danysh | 2/6/2014

    " Sent to the Pacific as a Marine replacement after Guadalcanal, Burgin writes of his experiences as a Marine fighting from New Britian to Okinawa, especially the Battle for Peleliu. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Janine Spendlove | 2/3/2014

    " I picked this book up at the WWII Museum in NOLA, and I extremely glad I did. Really, this thing was a page turner & made me truly in awe of my Marine predecessors. I could never have done what they did. If you want to read pretty much the BEST personal account of a war, this is it. He speaks plainly, doesn't try to airbrush anything at all. Amazing book. Amazing man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by A Smith | 1/25/2014

    " Excellent narration. Honest and real stories, not just admirals. "

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About the Author

R. V. Burgin served as a sergeant in the First Marine Division in World War II. He is a veteran of the campaigns for New Georgia, Peleliu, and Okinawa and was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He was featured in Eugene Sledge’s classic memoir With the Old Breed, and he is portrayed in HBO’s dramatic series The Pacific, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.