Picks and Pans Review: Goodbye, Darkness
The author, son of a World War I Marine, was a leatherneck sergeant himself in World War II and was twice wounded in the Pacific. The second time, an exploding shell left him with critical head and back injuries, and the war was over for him except for his lingering nightmares. Three decades later Manchester, the author of The Death of a President and American Caesar (the biography of Gen. Douglas MacArthur), returned to the Pacific, and in this book, he episodically recounts the whole war in that theater. He also includes his own experiences, notably in the fearful fighting on Okinawa. "The gravest Marine cases, of which I was one," he writes, "were sent to Saipan by ship and then flown in stages to San Diego...For me the worst part of the day was the doctors' prodding and poking for the shrapnel. They gave me a piece of wood to bite while the long steel instruments probed around. I think I screamed just twice." Manchester has a heavy hand when it comes to ironies, but then, his war wasn't subtle. His memoir is powerful, painful and sometimes sentimental in its portrait of male camaraderie in combat. It is also a very moving account of America's war in the Pacific. (Little, Brown, $14.95)
On Newsstands Now
- Kim's Delivery Room Drama!
- Katie: A Year After Split
- Princess Kate: Palace's Baby Plan Revealed
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine