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Publisher's Summary

This is an eyewitness - and eye-opening - account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman.

R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of 20 and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did - from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.

An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

©2010 R.V. Burgin and William Marvel (P)2010 Tantor

What listeners say about Islands of the Damned

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-10

Jerry

I am sooo disappointed with this book. I have great respect for all of the troops that have served and will serve. But Burgin seems to have a very self-centered and high opinion of himself. He spends a lot of time telling the listener how great he was. Burgin seems to have a deep seated dislike for Sledge due to the number of negative comments he makes about Sledge.

16 people found this helpful

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  • J. Biallas
  • 17-08-12

Sledge's Squad Leader

If you appreciated "With the Old Breed" by E.B.Sledge, this Book is an essential read to flesh out the same story from a related perspective. This is the understated story of a Marine mortar man fighting through a Pacific hell that we today can only dimly imagine. Well Done!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 18-11-15

Remembering my Dad

It was like listening to my Dad tell some of his war stories. He fought with the 1st Marine. He couldn't talk about the war until just before his death in 1997 I miss him every day. Thank you for this book. I wanted him to put his experiences, In a book but he died before we could.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 22-11-11

rehash of Sledges The old Breed

Very disapointed in this book. It was a rehash of E. Sledge's The Old Breed. Even some of the words are identical. He sounds like someone who read "Sledge Hammer's" book and made himself the hero..As a former Sgt in the Corps I hate people who take the glory from someone else.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-07-18

Fantastic!

I loved reading this book as I have read Sledge and Robert Leckie's books as well, the three based upon the Pacific series. I believe he gives a descriptive account of what went on and the emotions that were felt during that time. God Bless you Mr. Burgin.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Hill
  • 09-02-18

The Best

I have listened to many books about the war in the south pacific and the marines who fought those battles. This is the very best of the best. I have nothing short of pure admiration for Mr. Burgin. I can't imagine how a man can go through what he did then come home and work as a mailman the rest of his life. Maybe he just need a quiet life. He sure deserved it. Thank you Mr. Burgin and the men like you.

3 people found this helpful

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  • S. H. Moore
  • 25-10-19

I think this is the best Pacific memoir there is.

I wasn’t a fan of Leckies books. Thought Sledges was very good. However, this one takes the cake. You really get a sense of the separating wall that Burgin put up in his mind while listening to this. He was a text book Sgt and leader and was a lot more of a professional than Sledge came off as. You can tell that they had different upbringings when comparing the two. If you haven’t read “With the Old Breed” absolutely check it out. But this is my favorite by far. I appreciate the simple no nonsense approach of Burgin. He was a Marine’s Marine.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jeffery Lee
  • 27-05-15

island of the damned. the untild story

great first hand experience. goes along with history books. RV Burgin is an exampke for all Marines.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ron Davidson
  • 14-04-12

Great History lesson

What made the experience of listening to Islands of the Damned the most enjoyable?

Many of us don't realize what these brave men and women went through to preserve our freedom. I think everyone should read this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • TLPTMR
  • 01-08-22

Really good story

The story tells, Without mentioning it, why this was definitely called the greatest generation. Very impactful story. Very well written. Narration was really good but not great. Definitely worth listening to!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 14-10-10

Compelling reading

'Islands of The Dammed' offers an account of three of the Pacific wars most hard fought battles from a U.S Marine who was there. The Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns are described as seen through the eyes of R.V Burgin, a U.S Marine from the same K35 unit as Eugene Sledge was.

This book complements the excellent 'With The Old Breed' written by the aforementioned E.B.Sledge. It is particularly interesting to read accounts of the same incidents mentioned in both books and compare the slightly different perspectives shared by two men who fought alongside one another during the Peleliu and Okinawa battles. There are incidents mentioned in one account and not in the other which allow the readers of both books to build a more complete version of events as seen through the eyes of two men. Given this, I would urge anyone who has not read 'With The Old Breed' to also consider reading this too and vice-versa.

It is interesting to note that Burgin mentions on more than one occasion within his book how he had differing opinions on certain views held by Sledge in his account.

'Islands of the Dammed' covers more of Burgin's pre and post war life than Sledge's own account does of his, but it must be said that Sledge's writings go into generally far more detail and as such fill his book primarily with his experiences of war.

Nevertheless, I would recommend 'Islands of The Dammed' to anyone interested in the Pacific battles of world war two and the personal experiences of a man who lived through them.

As a footnote, I would also like to add that the narration of this title is excellent throughout and makes you feel as if Burgin himself was the narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-21

come for the war, stay for the rations

fantastic first hand battle account of the Pacific war on and off the field. A must read/listen for anyone interested in the war. my biggest issue was the narrator's pronunciation of the word ration. A very small thing to get complain about but it really got on my nerves. other than that I enjoyed every second

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  • Kindle Reader
  • 07-04-21

Wonderful

A magnificent, magnificent, magnificent, magnificent , magnificent, magnificent, magnificent, magnificent, magnificent, magnificent book, superbly read.

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  • James
  • 02-04-15

Buy this book

Moving and very descriptive, a must for those interested in the Pacific theatre. I'm very glad I bought this book.

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  • L. Knight
  • 31-01-22

Great

Though too short! Well worth the listen but would have liked it a bit longer, lots of things skimmed over

Regardless, fantastic listen

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  • Shannen Twine
  • 12-09-19

Outstanding

I loved this detailed account of horror & bravery in the furnaces of the pacific. Brilliant, enthralling, terrifying & fascinating.