Official Review: &lifegoeson by major thomas

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
CommMayo
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1511
Joined: 22 Oct 2017, 14:19
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 110
2017 Reading Goal: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 183
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-commmayo.html
Latest Review: The Bull Rider's Second Chance by Leah Vale
Reading Device: B00G2Y4WNY

Official Review: &lifegoeson by major thomas

Post by CommMayo » 20 Aug 2019, 18:06

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "&lifegoeson" by major thomas.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Many of Major Thomas’ earliest memories are of a childhood in the shadow of the lean times of World War II. Victory gardens, gas rationing, and oleo are at the forefront of his mind as he starts readers on an autobiographical journey in & Life Goes On… Thomas’ most formative years were spent in the Midwest in the 1940s. He did his chores on the farm, rabble-roused on his bicycle with friends, and grew up with a sense of duty to his country. It is no surprise to the reader when he enlists in the Navy shortly after graduating high school and finds himself on his way to the Korean War.

While it is sometimes referred to as the Forgotten War, the antidotes and stories told by the author about his service manning the engine room on USS LST 1122 brought the Korean War to life in a way no textbook could attempt. He recalls absurd sake-soaked shenanigans and colorfully details the life of Navy seamen at sea as well as in port. His stories have you laughing; however, he also spares nothing when addresses the very real and devastating aspects of being at war. Like all of the men and women of the armed forces, his life did not stop after being discharged. He details many of the triumphs and struggles that come with life after serving your country.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Much of the information is presented in a conversational, almost journal-like tone. Thomas does not overly sugarcoat much of what he experienced as a child or as an adult. He does not shy away from addressing issues about medical care at the VA, PTSD, or depression, and he bares his emotions as all true men should: openly and honestly. He had me laughing and then crying throughout the novel. I even learned about the amazing and lost tradition of a chivaree after a wedding.

In its current state, this is a wonderful piece for his relatives to have as documentation of family history and the amazing life of the author. I wish I had something similar from my grandparents or my father before their passing. This autobiography could greatly benefit from some time with a professional editor as there were a fair number of grammar and formatting issues. Thomas included a lot of interesting pictures and images throughout the book; unfortunately, many of them were not at a high enough resolution to easily decipher. The highlight of the book was the discussion about his time in the Navy; meanwhile, some portions of the autobiography had the feel of a disorganized daily journal.

My only knowledge of the Korean War came from a high school history class I had that was taught by the football coach. He was supposedly a really good coach, but traditional classroom teaching wasn’t exactly his thing; however, I will never forget the first-person accounts he shared about transporting wounded aboard his ship and watching their cigarette smoke leak through their bandages. We are swiftly losing the opportunity to hear these stories directly from the great men and women who experienced it. As I read & Life Goes On…, I kept thinking about how lucky Thomas’ family is to have this record of his life. I recommend this book to readers who are interested in naval history, the Korean War, or early American coming of age stories. While I am constrained to awarding 3 out of 4 stars, I cannot overstate the respect and gratitude I have for Major Thomas, not only for his service to our country but also for honestly sharing his experiences of coming home but never leaving the war behind.

******
&lifegoeson
View: on Bookshelves

User avatar
Michelle Fred
Posts: 316
Joined: 19 Mar 2019, 05:19
Favorite Book: Sugar & Spice
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 31
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-michelle-fred.html
Latest Review: Lost and Love: Thailand (Book One of the Lost and Love Series) by Stella Knights

Post by Michelle Fred » 23 Aug 2019, 05:20

The book seems so heartfelt. I had no knowledge of the Korean War, I'm glad the author thought his experience worth sharing.

kdstrack
Posts: 3520
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 86
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: The Last Bush Pilots
Bookshelf Size: 269
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: The mechanism by Alan Whitworth

Post by kdstrack » 23 Aug 2019, 10:01

These memoirs are truly historic for all readers. They hold a special appeal for family members, but we all benefit from these stories and experiences. Thanks for a fantastic review!

User avatar
esp1975
Posts: 1451
Joined: 21 May 2019, 17:00
Favorite Book: Among Others
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 72
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-esp1975.html
Latest Review: Spellbound by Julia Goldhirsh

Post by esp1975 » 23 Aug 2019, 13:32

My grandfather served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I know my father, aunt, and uncle tried really hard to get him to write down as much as possible, but I don't think it was much. And I doubt my father will ever write much about his experience in Vietnam, though I wish he would. You are write, books like these are treasures for the families of those who wrote them, but also for families of those who did not, to get an understanding of what those we loved went through.

User avatar
CommMayo
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1511
Joined: 22 Oct 2017, 14:19
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 110
2017 Reading Goal: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 183
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-commmayo.html
Latest Review: The Bull Rider's Second Chance by Leah Vale
Reading Device: B00G2Y4WNY

Post by CommMayo » 24 Aug 2019, 10:42

OuKoyoo wrote: ↑
24 Aug 2019, 10:06
A great book; I am glad that the author presents much of his message in a conversational, almost journal-like tone. Another interesting aspect of this boom is that the author does not overly sugarcoat his experiences in his childhood years as well as during his adulthood.
Thank you for your comment. For the record, what you just wrote is 100% textbook plagiarism. If you do it in a review, you will be permanently banned from the Review Team.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3225
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 259
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: Pine: Seasonal Lessons That Sprout in the Forest by R. E. Polston

Post by Cecilia_L » 24 Aug 2019, 13:48

You make an excellent point about the author documenting family history. I've often had similar thoughts when I've read memoirs, wishing I had more details of my family's history. Thanks for the insightful review.

User avatar
LinaMueller
Posts: 442
Joined: 09 Jun 2019, 13:22
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 84
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 55
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-linamueller.html
Latest Review: Benjamin Street by Rick J Barrett

Post by LinaMueller » 27 Aug 2019, 06:16

I was a little skeptical on whether I should read this book or not but your review has convinced me to. Amazing review, CommMayo. Well done.
Heart! We will forget him!
You an I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging.
I may remember him!

Emily Dickinson

User avatar
Laila_Hashem
Posts: 210
Joined: 17 Jun 2019, 00:39
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 122
Currently Reading: Marbles
Bookshelf Size: 221
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laila-hashem.html
Latest Review: The Neighbour At Number 18 (Reload) by Hawa Crickmore

Post by Laila_Hashem » 03 Sep 2019, 14:36

The idea behind this book seems quite unique, and it explores a topic I am not very knowledgable about, which makes me more willing to read it. Great review!

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”