Neptune's Inferno by James D. Hornfischer
The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

70%

6 Critic Reviews

James Hornfischer's "Neptune's Inferno" contributes a great deal toward balancing the picture. The Japanese and American troops on the island could only be re-supplied, reinforced or evacuated by sea, and the peculiar geography of the southern Solomons ensured that the opposing naval forces met early and often.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in stunning cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who opposed the Japanese in America’s hour of need. The first major work on this subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It tells the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives.

 

About James D. Hornfischer

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James D. Hornfischer is a writer, literary agent, and former book editor. He is the author of The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Ship of Ghosts, both widely acclaimed accounts of the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific.
 
Published January 25, 2011 by Bantam. 516 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 13 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Neptune's Inferno
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Below average
on Sep 14 2010

Unfortunately, the author often stretches and provides too many descriptors, intruding on a story that is riveting in its own right. Sure to please military and WWII buffs, but may leave others unsatisfied.

Read Full Review of Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. N... | See more reviews from Kirkus

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Ronald Spector on Jan 22 2011

James Hornfischer's "Neptune's Inferno" contributes a great deal toward balancing the picture. The Japanese and American troops on the island could only be re-supplied, reinforced or evacuated by sea, and the peculiar geography of the southern Solomons ensured that the opposing naval forces met early and often.

Read Full Review of Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. N... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Dallas News

Good
Reviewed by Si Dunn on Jan 28 2011

Neptune’s Inferno is well written, packed with scene-setting details and clearly the product of extensive research, including interviews with some of the battle’s now-aged survivors.

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HistoryNet

Good
Reviewed by Robert Guttman on Jul 08 2011

Like his previous works on the Navy’s travails in the Pacific—Ship of Ghosts and Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors—Neptune’s Inferno is a highly readable account of a desperate episode in American military history. It evinces the author’s excellent knowledge of how warships and the military establishment function.

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HistoryNet

Good
Reviewed by RICHARD B. FRANK on Mar 30 2011

...readers will undoubtedly disagree with some judgments here, which is to be expected from an account of such a complex campaign. Nevertheless, Neptune’s Inferno overtakes Hornfischer’s acclaimed The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors to become the masterwork on the long-neglected topic...

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HistoryNet

Above average
Reviewed by JEFFREY G. BARLOW on Feb 08 2011

...the discussion of the Battle of Tassafaronga at the end of November 1942 is surprisingly sketchy. Still, the entertaining Neptune’s Inferno has much to interest the general reader, with plenty of the rich detail you’d expect from Hornfischer.

Read Full Review of Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. N...

Reader Rating for Neptune's Inferno
91%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 473 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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