I read this true story of the crash and survival of eight aviators at the recommendation of my father, who thought I might enjoy it after we gushed over the book “Unbroken.” Although he warned me the story was even more gruesome than Louis Zamperini’s story, I had no idea what was in store.
The book recounts how the Japanese army practiced cannibalism toward American POWs to gain some supernatural power by eating their flesh. I found this immeasurable mistreatment of our POWs utterly disturbing. Although the only way to learn the truth of the POWs fate was through the accounts of former Japanese soldiers, I was simply too disgusted to want to hear their stories and listen to their voices.
The author went to immense lengths to fully research and develop the book, which resulted in too much background early on. I skimmed almost 80 pages of the history of Japan, flight, and world conflict, just to get to the story of the Flyboys. When I finally arrived at the Flyboys’ story, it was constantly interrupted with historical background. It was then I realized that the story of the Flyboys was not substantial enough to fill an entire, book. While the book represents itself to be a biography, it really is a history with a few biographical details. As a result, I was a bit disappointed since I don’t usually read historical books.
I wouldn’t recommend the book because of the disturbing content and because I thought there was too much historical background.