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Twilight of the Gods

War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945
Written by: Ian Toll
Narrated by: P.J. Ochlan
Series: The Pacific War Trilogy, Book 3
Length: 36 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.9 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The final volume of the magisterial Pacific War Trilogy from acclaimed historian Ian W. Toll, "one of the great storytellers of war" (Evan Thomas).  

Twilight of the Gods is a riveting account of the harrowing last year of World War II in the Pacific, when the US Navy won the largest naval battle in history; Douglas MacArthur made good his pledge to return to the Philippines; waves of kamikazes attacked the Allied fleets; the Japanese fought to the last man on one island after another; B-29 bombers burned down Japanese cities; and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were vaporized in atomic blasts. 

Ian W. Toll's narratives of combat in the air, at sea, and on the beaches are as gripping as ever, but he also takes the listener into the halls of power in Washington and Tokyo, where the great questions of strategy and diplomacy were decided. Lionel Barber of the Financial Times chose the second volume of the series (The Conquering Tide) as the preemiment book of 2016, calling it military history at its best. Listeners who have been waiting for the conclusion of Toll's masterpiece will be thrilled by this final volume.

©2020 Ian Toll (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Twilight of the Gods

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  • Benjamin Casey
  • 2020-09-14

Amazing Details

Picks up right where the last one left off. The narrative and organization create a great flow to this long book . You can almost feel yourself zooming in from the overall picture of the war down to buck privates and seamen. I’m one of those wwii avid reader types and was worried about reading long chapters on battles I was pretty familiar with . Toll brings new perspectives and details about the Pacific War. From the bloated flies of Saipan infesting an admirals dinner offshore to an in depth look at Japanese social psychology for waging war this book brought to light the war in the Pacific . I also appreciate Toll’s research on the logistics involved in the Pacific Theatre.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Rionda
  • 2020-10-12

Superb

The writing places you in the SW Pacific, Iwo Jima, and Tokyo Bay. A great finish to an already superb series. The bravery of boys charging into battle, fighting enemies both real and psychological, is quite impressively told by Toll. General Wainwright’s reaction, after 3 years in a POW camp in Japanese occupied China, to the USS Missouri leaves the reader understanding how awesome the US war production was in 3 short years. Superb!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Helen Grace
  • 2020-10-28

Extraordinary history of Pacific War 1944-45

I read this book because my father was a Navy Lieutenant dentist attached to the 1st Marine Division Air Wing and later 2nd Division Air Wing. I am reading my Dad’s 432 letters he wrote almost daily to my mother. I wanted to understand more about his abbreviated and censored comments about his daily routines from 7/6/44-9/23/45. For me, Book 3 and Book 2 enlarged the scope of his experiences in the Solomons, Guadalcanal, Samar and Okinawa etc. I’ve been brought to tears so many times thinking about his 14 months in the Pacific front. I have greatest respect for him and all his fellow Navy and Marines and others. I’m so respectful and impressed with the USA from that time. I feel much less sorry for myself in this Covid pandemic after the perspective gained learning about WW2 Pacific history. Ian W. Toll is outstanding in his detailed information told in a concise and compelling way. What a fabulous author! I bought all three of Toll’s Trilogy of WW2 Pacific front books. Also convinced a relative who’s a VA doctor to do the same. I have these books on Audible and hard copies from Amazon. Books help me see maps and pictures. Best ever! Now I need to figure out what to do with my Father’s letters from 7/7/44-9/23/45. Maybe a book for my family to read about their Father and Grandfather, Dr.Donatian Meder. Dad’s letters were written before I was born. He’s deceased now. It’s a time warp reading him talking to Mom. The Toll books gave depth and meaning to this tremendous experience for all Americans and Japanese who were involved. Everyone should read Ian W. Toll’s Twilight of the Gods. I’m so grateful to Ian Toll for writing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Mary Helen Grace

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  • thomas r dickson dds
  • 2020-10-27

excellent

best book of 1944-45 available. Very detailed and in detailed very much worth the mental effort.

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  • Cassandra Hayman
  • 2020-10-26

Couldn't put it down!!

One of the most engaging and informative books I've read on the Pacific war. Ian Toll shares the history of the conflict from a multitude of perspectives. Very well researched. Truly a fitting capstone to his remarkable Pacific War Trilogy.

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  • Root69
  • 2020-10-23

Book deserves a better narration.

This was a remarkably well researched and well written book, and a fitting conclusion to the author’s trilogy about the Pacific War. However, I found it a disappointing performance to say the least. The reader uses the same monotonous cadence for virtually every sentence from Introduction through Epilogue. There is little life or emotion, just a grinding-it-out job of reading the words on the page. The book is poorly served by this.

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  • J. Acosta
  • 2020-10-18

The best book of this superb trilogy

Toll’s final volume of his superb trilogy on the Pacific War covers aspects of the conflict in that theater often ignored in other comprehensive works about the theater, especially the period after the Battle of Okinawa and the return of servicemen and women to the United States, and the home front during the same period. Highly recommended.

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  • DmitryB
  • 2020-10-15

fans of military history, this is for you

I eagerly awaited the third installment of Toll's Pacific War saga for a couple years, and he didn't disappoint. I haven't read other histories of the pacific war, but it strikes me that this one, over time, will rank near the top. highly recommend.

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  • James Greer
  • 2020-10-13

Fitting Conclusion

I've read the entire trilogy, and enjoyed it. Toll has a way of personalizing great events, and making the human side matter. He even seems to find new insights into people and places that have been thoroughly examined. This was a fitting conclusion to a series well worth the time of any reader, be they new to the subject or, like me, having read nearly 50 books about the Pacific War.

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  • Edd Huetteman
  • 2020-10-12

Excellent Detail Recount of a Complicated History

This book gave new insights to battles, personnel and politics that were refreshing. Interestingly, the epilogue covered details of the initial occupation of Japan, that were new to me. The detail of the Japanese political infighting was great. Only one negative - The narrator mispronounced at least two Japanese words: Yokosuka and Yamashita. Should be pronounce Yokuska and Yamashta. Anyone who has been in the Tokyo-Yokohama area would know this. Great Book. I hope Ian Toll continues his work.