Synopses & Reviews
Their names were Bob Palmer, Gordy Cox, Tim McCoy, and Chuck Vervalin, and in 1941, when they joined the navy, they were not trying to prove their patriotism—they were just looking for a job that would provide "three hots and a cot."
But on April 22, 1943, the war took a terrible turn for them. While on patrol deep in enemy waters, their submarine, the USS Grenadier, was torpedoed and sent crashing to the ocean floor. Listed as lost in action and given up for dead, all four had in fact miraculously escaped the ship, only to be captured by the Japanese. The four men spent the next two and a half years as POWs, enduring barbaric torture and starvation, unable to communicate with their wives and families. When they were freed, they were forced to find a new kind of resilience as they struggled to resume their lives in a world that seemed to have forgotten them. In Bob's case, it would be more than thirty years before he was reunited with the love of his life—the wife who had left him for a well-bred naval officer after he came back from the war.
By turns panoramic and intimate, No Ordinary Joes shows us, through the lives of four "ordinary" men who endured extraordinary circumstances, the tragedy of war and its aftermath, and the restorative power of love.
"This meticulously researched and thoroughly well-written book adds much to the literature of the WWII generation." ---Booklist
No Ordinary Joes tells the harrowing true story of four young sailors from the USS Grenadier who were captured and tortured by the Japanese during World War II, the bond that sustained them, and their struggles to resume their lives.
About the Author
Since his days as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Larry Colton has taught high school, worked for Nike, and written three books. Between 1976 and 2000, his articles appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, Ladies' Home Journal, Esquire, and other publications. He is the author of Goat Brothers and Counting Coup, which won the Frankfurt eBook Award for Nonfiction. Winner of the prestigious Audie Award for his recording of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic by Gordon S. Wood, veteran actor Robert Fass is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters, and dialects. A four-time Audie Award nominee with over sixty audiobooks to his credit, Robert has also earned multiple Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Francisco Goldman's novel Say Her Name, which was named one of the Best Audiobooks of 2011 by AudioFile magazine. Robert has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, plus nonfiction works in history, health, journalism, and business.