The Survivor (Spoiler ALERT)

Posted by Josh on June 9, 2013 in Book Review |


The Survivor, a book written by Robb White, is a fictional story about World War II.  The main character of the book is Adam Land, a litenaut in the navy who is also a pilot, but embarks on a dangerous mission with the marines.

At the beginning of the book, Adam is a carefree navy pilot, who constantly disobeys orders, in order to have more fun.  All this changes though, when “the man in charge” orders him confined to his quarters.  Only a few days later though, he is sent to get a lot of gear and weaponry from a nearby station and that very night, he is shipped out to a marine base on Pearl Harbor, whose inhabitants are going an on mission to a Japanese-held Island.  Adam still clings onto the hope that there had been some mistake, since he had never been in a fight and didn’t even know how to shoot a gun.  However, after Adam befriends a marine named Jason, they are all put on a submarine to make the long voyage to their destination, all 92 marines, and Adam.  On the long terrible voyage, Adam becomes friends with two more marines, who ware known as Guns and the Rebel.  At the end of the journey, as the boat starts to surface to let the troops off at the island, they are sunk in 600 feet of water when they hit a mine.  The boat starts to fill with water, and all seems lost until Adam comes up with an idea.

Adam remembered learning from his schooling that no matter how deep you are, if you continuously let air out of your mouth, slowly exhaling, and let your head back, you will not drown and will surface.  Despite this hope that they could survive, only 4 marines, including Guns, the Rebel, and Jason, decided to risk it.  About half-way up, the other marine panicked and his lung burst, since he held his breath.  The other four men made it though, and all they had to do was get to shore, but there were monstrous waves blocking their way.  Once again Adam came up with a plan to stay on top of the wave and curl yourself into a ball on the way down.  Using this tactic, they all got ashore, alive.

Right away Japanese discovered them, but the marines managed to kill the three sentries which had spied them.  Since they had to kill the sentries, other Japanese were now aware of their presence, so, sick, exhausted, wounded and hunted, the marines were near death.  After awhile, the Japanese gave up the search, so the marines could at least catch a nap and be a little safer.  One day, their chance of escape came.  An admiral in the Japanese army had come, so a parade was being held in his honor, but the admiral had come in a plane!  They then put their plan into action.  All four men dressed in old Japanese ceremonial masks they had found, and walked in to the middle of the parade.  The parade stopped when Adam motioned it to, and all four men climbed on the tank.  Once inside the marines killed the soldiers inside, and Jason took control of the tank.  Jason drove the tank right to the plane, and while moving Adam jumped into the plane.  However, what they didn’t know was that a pilot was in the plane.  And when he saw Adam, he shot him, straight in the shoulder.  Once the tank was parked the three marines quickly got into the plane, and they killed the pilot who was ready to kill Adam.  Mortally wounded, Adam told Jason how to fly the plane, so they could get back to Pearl Harbor.  Sadly, Guns stayed behind to work the tank to distract the Japanese so his comrades could escape.  As soon as Adam and his friends made it to Pearl Harbor, he died, saddening the rebel, but most of all Jason, but Adam died saving his friends, and he died a marine.

Robb White did an excellent job with this book.  Written in 1964, this book gives an excellent picture of what World War II was like.  Not pleasant, like we all know.  White teaches us a valuable lesson; sometimes bravery is needed for survival and to do what’s right.  Bravery sometimes doesn’t mean risking your life for someone else’s but sometimes bravery can be standing up to someone who is doing something wrong, even if it makes you lose friends or makes people dislike you.  White also teaches us that the biggest acts of bravery usually come from people who are afraid and scared but brave by doing the right thing anyways.  White also teaches an actual lesson about surviving underwater.  I never k knew that if you constantly let out small breaths, you would survive under great depths of water.  It has been awhile since I learned something like that from a book.  The Survivor was a great book, and one I will remember for the lessons it taught and for being an action-packed, fun-to-read book!

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1 Comment

  • Connie Saba says:

    Oh Boy! Some would say my kind of book but I not so sure. But it did sound like it would keep your interest.

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