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Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.

Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Post Number:#1 by rssllue
» 09 Mar 2017, 05:49

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Lost Bastards" by L. Todd Wood.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by rssllue
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Upon being given the opportunity to read a story about the Korean War, I jumped at the chance to read Lost Bastards:A Story of Honor, Courage, and Redemption written by L. Todd Wood. My own knowledge of the war had been limited to old episodes of M.A.S.H. and knowing that the 38th parallel was a pretty big deal between North and South Korea. I found myself suddenly hungry to learn more about this conflict and Mr. Wood’s book definitely satisfied my desire.

The book starts out in Germany where our main protagonist, Corporal Richard Carpenter finds himself presently stationed. It is 1952, and we find Russian and Americans troops living in a shaky cohabitation of Germany at the very beginnings of the Cold War. The book starts here because this is where Corporal Carpenter soon meets his wife and quickly begins a family with her. It is a tough beginning for the couple as neither the United States military nor Germany will recognize their union. Through various methods, Carpenter provides for his family, finding a way to get the money they need to cover the expenses that military benefits usually would be providing for them. He is always looking for a way to make a buck and to get ahead while still doing his regular duty. But his life takes a drastic turn when he gets picked to be trained on a new technology which will land him smack dab on the front lines in Korea.

Their mission is classified top secret and very few individuals know that they are even in Korea at all. They are stationed on Hill 433 where they are complimented by a unit of the Republic of Korea (ROK) troops who will be assisting them on their mission. As they are testing out their equipment, the fighting around them begins to go badly for the other ROK and American troops near them which eventually leads to them being cut off and surrounded by the encroaching Chinese. In radio contact, they are told to hold their position at all costs and to be prepared to destroy their equipment if they are overrun so that it does not fall into the hands of the enemy. As the men around him start to die, Corporal Carpenter finds himself thinking of his family and his great desire to live and see them again, while yet acknowledging his duty and the likely possibility of his death. This truly pulls the reader right into the middle of the bloody business of war and helps us to see what true courage under fire looks like.

This was a superbly written book about an amazing group of men who stood back to back (even literally at one point) and fought against the evils of emerging communism in the world. Mr. Wood, himself a former Air Force pilot, crafted a great story based mainly upon Richard Carpenter’s memoirs and remembrances by his children of the stories he told them about his life and military career. I loved how he expertly patched any gaps in the real-life story with his reasoning of what likely was said and done in any given situation. The seams were completely unnoticeable between the confirmed and the envisioned events. It is a wonderfully crafted retelling of such an incredible part of the Korean War.

Only two things bothered me with the book. The first is there was a lot of swearing throughout the story. This can quite be expected, since it is a story about men put in extremely stressful and life threating situations which often make it difficult to speak cordially. The second reason is that the formatting of the story at times cut off the bottom portion of some letters throughout the book, which was kind of irritating. I cannot explicitly know if this is true for the book itself, or just was a problem that I couldn’t fix with my display in iBooks on my tablet.

Overall, I have to rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars. It gives such an incredible insight into the life of a soldier, especially in the midst of battle. Anyone who is a history buff, loves war stories, or enjoys gaining insight through watching others persevere through tough times would heartily enjoy reading this story. I recommend it as highly as I can.

******
Lost Bastards
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Re: Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 14 Mar 2017, 07:24

Like you, my knowledge of the Korean war is limited to M.A.S.H. episodes. This sounds like a really good book. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Post Number:#3 by rssllue
» 14 Mar 2017, 14:16

The author definitely took the story of this particular part of the Korean War and did an excellent job of breathing a vibrant life into it.

Thank you for your feedback! :tiphat:
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Re: Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Post Number:#4 by kimmyschemy06
» 15 Mar 2017, 10:14

Sounds like a great war book. Unlike you, I have no knowledge of the Korean War at all :) and this sounds like a really good book. I can imagine the amount of swearing in the book. The title alone gives me an idea. Great job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Post Number:#5 by rssllue
» 15 Mar 2017, 11:01

The title does indeed seem to indicate that, though it actually does mean that word used in the proper context. And it is without a doubt an excellent book about the lives of those caught up in the war.

Thanks for your great feedback! :D
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Re: Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Post Number:#6 by Gravy
» 16 Mar 2017, 01:48

Sounds interesting, but not really my kind of read.
However...
rssllue wrote: The second reason is that the formatting of the story at times cut off the bottom portion of some letters throughout the book, which was kind of irritating. I cannot explicitly know if this is true for the book itself, or just was a problem that I couldn’t fix with my display in iBooks on my tablet.


Another argument for paper books! :shifty:
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Re: Official Review: Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood

Post Number:#7 by rssllue
» 16 Mar 2017, 07:52

Too bad, because it is very well written. :) And you do have a valid point about print books.

Thanks for the feedback!
~ occupare fati suffocavit

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. ~ Psalms 4:8
rssllue's Latest Review: "Lost Bastards" by L. Todd Wood
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