The Far Reaches
By Homer Hickam
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312334758, 320pp.)
Publication Date: June 12, 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The year is 1943 and World War II in the Pacific rages on, with Americans engaged in desperate battles against a cunning enemy. Coast Guard Captain Josh Thurlow is on hand at the invasion of Tarawa, as the U.S. Navy begins the grand strategy of throwing her marines at island after bloody island across the Pacific. But nothing goes as planned as young Americans go up against fanatical defenders, who revel in snipers, big guns, and human wave attacks from which there is no escape save death.
As blood colors the waters around Tarawa, Josh flounders ashore through a floating graveyard of dead men and joins the survivors, determined to somehow wrest victory from disaster. Critically wounded, ,Josh expects to die. Instead, he is spun off on one of his greatest adventures when Sister Mary Kathleen, a young Irish nun, nurses him back to health, then shanghais Josh, sidekick Bosun Ready O'Neal, and three American marines to a group of beautiful tropical islands invaded by a brutal Japanese warlord. Josh and his little band must decide whether to help the Sister fight the battle she demands, return to Tarawa and the "real" war, or settle down in the romantic splendor of the South Seas.
Hickam expertly weaves the adventures of these hot-blooded characters tighter and tighter until the Sister's secrets and sins are finally revealed during a horrific battle in the lair of the warlord. With an incredible eye for historical detail and the talent of a master storyteller, Homer Hickam delivers another tour de force.
HOMER HICKAM is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Rocket Boys, which was made into the acclaimed movie October Sky. A respected amateur historian, he is also the author of the military history best-seller Torpedo Junction, along with the popular historical novels The Keeper’s Son and The Ambassador’s Son. With a totla of nine books to his credit, including the award-winning memoir Sky of Stone, and the techno-thriller best-seller Back to the Moon, Hickam's talents clearly span many writing genres. He is a Vietnam combat veteran, a scuba instructor who has led underwater exploration teams across the world, a retired rocket scientist, and, recently, has become an avid field paleontologist. More than anything else, he loves to write. He is married to Linda Terry Hickam, an artist, who is also his assistant. They share their time with their cats between homes in Alabama and the U. S. Virgin Islands.
Praise for The Far Reaches"Hickam keeps the stakes high and the tension taut in this fast-moving historical." --Publishers Weekly"Excellent." --Kirkus"Entertaining…compelling and historically grounded." --Military.com"Packed with action and pathos…[Hickam's] impressive writing skills chronicle a near-catastrophic battle early in World War II….it is here that Hickam injects his rich and colorful characters into the story." -Bookreporter.com Praise for The Ambassador's Son"A tightly wrapped tale of wartime action." --Publishers Weekly
"Homer Hickam establishes himself as an heir to such greats as James Jones and Herman Wouk." --James Bradley, bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers
"This fast-moving tale of action, intrigue, and romance during World War II is filled with fascinating characters and vivid backgrounds. Hickam is one of the best yarn-spinners in the business." --James Reasoner, author of The Last Good War"A well-written piece of WWII fiction that would be worth reading even without its bonus characters." -Roanoke Times
"Hickam effectively weaves storytelling and exhaustive research on Kennedy into a thrilling tale" -The Denver Post
"A fast-paced adventure novel with sea chases and skin-of-their-teeth rescues…the real strength of the book lies in the characters. The main protagonists are well-drawn and credible…[and] the peripheral characters truly shine." -Richmond Times-Dispatch
"THE AMBASSADOR'S SON is the reason I love to read. It takes you to a place where propellers and tides and bullets decide men's fates and you feel like you're sweating along with the heroes and villains. Homer Hickam is such a good writer that I'd probably read anything that he put out, but this adventure made me feel like a kid again." --Rick Bragg, bestselling author of ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN'
"Homer Hickam is the best natural storyteller I've read in years." -Stephen Coonts