Cover image for Belly of the beast : a POW's inspiring true story of faith, courage, and survival aboard the infamous WWII Japanese hellship, the Oryoku Maru
Title:
Belly of the beast : a POW's inspiring true story of faith, courage, and survival aboard the infamous WWII Japanese hellship, the Oryoku Maru
Author:
Pearson, Judith, 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : New American Library, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
272 pages ; illustrations ; 21
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Corporate Subject:
ISBN:
9780451204448
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Clarence Library D804.J3 P43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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East Aurora Library D804.J3 P43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Lancaster Library D804.J3 P43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Describes the brutal ordeal of U.S. Naval Corpsman Estel Myers as a POW aboard the infamous Japanese prison ship Oryoku Maru during World War II, detailing the suffocation, malnutrition, torture, disease, and other hardships that claimed the lives of more than three quarters of the prisoners. Origin


Author Notes

Judith Pearson , a novelist and journalist, is a member of several writer's organizations, including Sisters in Crime, Changing Hands Writing Group, and the Southwest Writers Workshop, and has become actively involved in veteran groups and POW organizations. An associate member of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, she lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband and sons.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

For those who regard the war in the Pacific between Japan and the U.S. as a conflict between imperial powers without moral connotations, this infuriating and often horrifying book should serve as an object lesson. Pearson, a poet, songwriter, and novelist, is also an associate member of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. In following the travails of naval corpsman and POW Estel Myers, she has again illuminated the often-ignored aspects of the monstrous Japanese treatment of Allied POWs. In 1944, after two years of brutal captivity in the Philippines, Myers and his already half-starved comrades were stuffed in the fetid, roasting hulls of Japanese prison ships bound for home islands. What followed was a human-engineered hell that would doom most of these men to a slow, torturous death. Those Japanese guards who weren't actively brutal were criminally indifferent to the sufferings of their prisoners. This book makes no effort to be "balanced," maintaining unequivocally that thousands of Japanese officials and soldiers routinely committed war crimes, and it is a powerful testament to that declaration. Jay Freeman


Publisher's Weekly Review

A writer actively involved in veterans' rights and POW organizations, Judith Pearson offers Belly of the Beast, the harrowing story of WWII POW Estel Myers. From Kentucky sharecropper to naval medical corpsman, then malnourished POW, Myers was herded with many other American soldiers into the almost airless hold of the Japanese prison ship Oryuku Maru. Three-quarters of Myers's fellow prisoners died there. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Drawing on a collection of newspaper clippings as a starting point, Pearson has researched and written the story of an American POW of the Japanese during World War II. Estel Myers, a young navy hospital corpsman, was captured in the Philippines in 1942 and remained a prisoner until he was liberated from a camp in Japan in 1945. Fiction writer and journalist Pearson details the harrowing nature of Myers's existence during those years, especially the trip from the Philippines to Japan. Through it all, he did what he could as a medic to keep himself and others alive. Pearson uses a simple but compelling style to craft this biographical narrative. There is no documentation, but the book strives for historical accuracy, drawing on interviews with survivors of the same events. Recommended for any public library with readers interested in World War II.-Edward Gibson, Lincoln Univ. Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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