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Extended Audio Sample No Ordinary Joes: The Extraordinary True Story of Four Submariners in War and Love and Life, by Larry Colton Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (73 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Larry Colton Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Their names were Bob Palmer, Gordy Cox, Tim McCoy, and Chuck Vervalin, and in 1941, when they joined the Navy, they were not trying to prove their patriotism—they were just looking for a job that would provide “three hots and a cot.”

But on April 22, 1943, the war took a terrible turn for them. While on patrol deep in enemy waters, their submarine, the USS Grenadier, was torpedoed and sent crashing to the ocean floor. Listed as lost in action and given up for dead, all four had in fact miraculously escaped the ship, only to be captured by the Japanese. The four men spent the next two and a half years as POWs, enduring barbaric torture and starvation, unable to communicate with their wives and families. When they were freed, they were forced to find a new kind of resilience as they struggled to resume their lives in a world that seemed to have forgotten them. In Bob’s case, it would be more than thirty years before he was reunited with the love of his life—the wife who had left him for a well-bred naval officer after he came back from the war.

By turns panoramic and intimate, No Ordinary Joes shows us, through the lives of four “ordinary” men who endured extraordinary circumstances, the tragedy of war and its aftermath and the restorative power of love.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dona | 9/25/2013

    " Can not say enough good things about this book. What a wonderful insight into some true heros. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Maryann | 6/20/2013

    " Gripping story about 4 submariners in WWII. Graphically written, it takes the reader into the American POW camps in Japan, illustrating what some sailors endured, and how they coped later in life. A fascinating historical account of this one part of WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Rick | 2/13/2013

    " Excellent book in every way! Somewhat similar in theme to "Unbroken" by Laura HIllenbrand. If you liked that one, you'll love this one. Check it out. It's really good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Eric Dolen | 10/8/2012

    " Excellent book giving insight to life as a POW during WWII in Japan. Also, interesting story of the inpact upon their lives as it pertained to both the lives they left in the states and Australia and the reality they return to..... "

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About the Author

Larry Colton, since his days as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, taught high school, worked for Nike, and has written three books. Between 1976 and 2000, his articles appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, Ladies’ Home Journal, Esquire, and other publications. He is the author of Goat Brothers and Counting Coup, which won the Frankfurt eBook Award for Nonfiction.