4 out of 4 stars
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Many things are left unsaid about what a country's soldiers go through, especially in war times. They are the ones that swore to protect and defend the country. On-the-Wall Gang is Matt Zullo's way of narrating part of this ordeal.
The book was based on a group of radio operators (150 from the U.S. Navy and 26 from the U.S. Marine Corps) trained and deployed to copy Japanese katakana telegraphic code, intercept, and analyze radio messages from the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). The sacrifices they made and the challenges with discharging their duties were detailed in Matt Zullo's narrative.
The author clearly and accurately recorded the different names of vessels, the dates (day, month, and year), and the places the events happened. He seemed to have researched before putting together this writing.
The book is unique. It offers more than a historical account; it also offers a taste of fiction. The book's structure and how the storyline progresses make it look so much like a fictional story. However, the clear and well-documented facts and dates depict history. I love how the author fuses the two — using fiction to complement the grey areas of history.
The author was very clear and detailed, both in the description and in the narration. He described the gunshots, sounds of airplanes, fire outbreaks, etc., to the tiniest detail. He narrated the U.S. Navy's ordeal during the war — their pains, joys, sufferings, and so on. He did an impressive job.
The author's use of photographs and maps further proved the authenticity of the information that he provided in the book.
The author is a good writer. He employs different writing styles to make the read worth the while. Although there is no noticeable suspense in the book, the author still finds a way to keep his readers' attention. This is my favorite aspect, as many historical books can be tiring to read.
The book reignited a faded passion I had for military-related books, especially when the author described the processes of running a submarine. Some of the actions in the book brought back memories of some movies I had watched. I particularly enjoyed the deep and clear description of how the sonar controlled the submarine coupled with the quartermaster's reports — they created a nostalgic feeling for me.
The editors of the book should be commended for the amazing work they did. I did not find a single error in the book. I couldn't find anything to dislike about this book. Therefore, I'd rate it four out of four stars. I would recommend it to people who love historical events with a touch of fiction.
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