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Summary

From the best-selling author of Day of Infamy: In the bloodiest island combat of WWII, one group of men kept watch from behind Japanese lines.   

The Solomon Islands was where the Allied war machine finally broke the Japanese empire. As pilots, marines, and sailors fought for supremacy in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Slot, a lonely group of radio operators occupied the Solomon Islands' highest points. Sometimes encamped in comfort, sometimes exposed to the elements, these coastwatchers kept lookout for squadrons of Japanese bombers headed for Allied positions, holding their own positions even when enemy troops swarmed all around.   

They were Australian-born but Solomon-raised, and adept at survival in the unforgiving jungle environment. Through daring and insight, they stayed one step ahead of the Japanese, often sacrificing themselves to give advance warning of an attack.  

In Lonely Vigil, Walter Lord, the number one New York Times best-selling author of A Night to Remember and The Miracle of Dunkirk, tells of the survivors of the campaign and what they risked to win the war in the Pacific.

©1977 Walter Lord (P)2018 Tantor

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Excellent book; great performance

This book provides a thorough and detailed coverage of the Coastwatchers. It's extrememly well-written and covers the human side of lives of these brave souls, as well as all the factual details of their operational tasks that one could want. This certainly isn't a dry history book. The narration is also good - albeit that the narrator has something of a caricature American drawl. I'd have preferred it if I had the maps to hand, because that would have increased my understanding of the strategies. Absolutey, highly recommended.

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  • Charles N. Ward
  • 25-03-19

Fantastic story, difficult narration.

Not sure if it’s editing or the author himself (really it’s both) but the narration was performed in a monotone voice that was edited so that all the sentences would run on to eachother.

The real saving grace is the content itself. Very interesting story.

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  • Martin See
  • 21-06-21

Interesting Subject

This is the first detailed information I have ever seen about the South Pacific coast watchers of world war two. For that reason it was interesting. But the writing was somewhat disappointing . The prose seemed wanting. The narrator was sub par. I can't see why they couldn't find someone better.
The author is one of those who believe JFK was a great captain. But what can explain a commander letting his fast, powerful, speed boat sit still while it is run over and cut in half by a slowly lumbering enemy ship?

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  • TGower
  • 13-04-21

Great account of well-know mission

This is an excellent account of very brave Allies and native islander participants who made up the coast watcher teams. It was obviously developed from meticulous research and blended with personal accounts from participants. Theirs was a well-know mission but little was publicized details of their exploits. I was impressed with the inclusion of many incidents that only could have been written by input from coast watcher interviews (Mr. Lord passed away in 2002). These brave people were extremely dedicated to their jobs and mission, providing valuable information that ultimately saved many lives by their early warnings to Allied camps, succor to downed aviators and ship survivors. I was unaware of how many different islands these teams were on and how many people were involved in the coast watcher teams, Allies and native islanders. I was impressed at how the coastwatchers were able to enlist the natives, how willing the natives were to risk their lives, and how much help they were to the mission. It kept my attention very well because it was so interesting and so well done. At first the narrator was not very lively but as I progressed through the book he got better. Highly recommend.

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  • Luis
  • 31-10-20

took a while to get into the story but was good

It took a while to get into the story but was good. At the beginning I did not like the readers voice but got use to it and it fit the story telling.

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  • Michael
  • 09-11-19

One of the best books about a little known group of brave men.

If you are even remotely interested in World War 2 and some of the backstories of the war in the Pacific, this book is a must read/listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 10-03-19

Re: Outstanding history

This is an outstanding history of the Coastwatcher's subject, it's history and important during the critical span of December 1941 to mid-1944. The narration is easy to follow and a joy to hear throughout.