Conditions on the track were hellish - rain was constant, the terrain close to inhospitable, food and ammunition supplies were practically non-existent, and the men constantly battled malaria and dysentery, as well as the Japanese. Kokoda was a defining battle for Australia - a small force of young, ill-equipped Australians engaged a highly experienced and hitherto unstoppable Japanese force on a narrow, precarious jungle track - and defeated them.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Maj on 22-07-15
Would you listen to Kokoda (by Peter FitzSimons) again? Why?
An incredible tale of human endurance and fortitude
What other book might you compare Kokoda (by Peter FitzSimons) to, and why?
Torbruk was similarly inspiring. This writer rates equal to the other great military history writers such as Ambrose and Hastings
What about Lewis FitzGerald’s performance did you like?
Accent gave credence to the story
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Respect for all those who endured so many hardships and terrors to secure our future
Any additional comments?
Completely captivated listened to this intensely whilst driving on holiday over 2 days.
Absorbed into the moment throughout and left at times as exhausted emotionally as those being spoken about. A great listen.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mark T Ryan on 25-04-11
A Tribute to Fighting Australians
This rendition kept me awake all night, with tears of sorrow and chest pumping pride.
Despite the petty politics of the 'high ups' these few men were there to do a job. Stop the Japs. They did, but at a cost.
This book is about mate-ship and lost mates. It makes you proud to be Australian to learn more of the New Guinea campaign's details and the privations endured by our fathers and grandfathers in support of their families back home.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Ian C Robertson on 26-01-15
It seems appropriate to write a review of this title on Australia Day. FitzSimons tells a familiar historical tale of the misuse of Australian troops by persons far away and without adequate appreciation of the facts as they were at the battleface. Like many stories of former gallantry, there is a sense of the inevitable and of the unnecessary. FitzSimons captures all of this and more. He is unflattering in his condemnation of criminal negligence, whether it was Blamey's or McArthur's. He is patriotic to a fault and respectful of the Digger and the Digger's duty to his mates. He tells the story, often in the first person, relying on interviews with survivors, diaries and other contemporaneous records. It reads like a novel in parts and a documentary in others. At times it choked me up, but it often made me smile. It is a strange thing that one can be proud of some much bloodshed. That said, if the book has a failing, it is that it is a wee bit too empathic for me and, I suspect many Australians, preferring as we do to let the result speak for itself and not boast about it. Of course there are exceptions, and FitzSimons might have found a valid one here.
As for FitzGerald's reading, I thought it an outstanding performance from an accomplished artist. He captured the fervor, the frustration and the brutality, and his nuance was pitched perfectly. I loved the use of the 1940's Australian idiom (now, sadly, dying) but I thought the use of an echo on many of the quotations was an unnecessary dramatic device. I liked the Chapter divides military segue. I note that the new edition of the hardcopy contains an Afterword that is not in this production, but which is short and could be read in the bookshop waiting in line!
I think this is an important read for most Australians. I was heartened to see from the reviews on this site that it struck a chord with many others, too. I would be interested to know how it has been received in a Japanese market because, although critical of Japanese brutality (to themselves and others), it is respectful of those unfortunate men of both sides that gave their lives to hold or take a sod of mud in a jungle far from their homes.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful