At the start it seems like just another replay of the war in the Pacific as experienced by a bunch of marines; another round of bars and ""houses"" and griping and the build up of petty irritations into major issues. But bit by bit the men of the platoon take on reality. You begin to care what happens to them. The island in Hawaii where they are being trained for island fighting becomes familiar territory. And finally, when the destination is known and memory brings back the shuddering terrors of Saipan, you relive with them the agonies of that bitter campaign. The story centers chiefly on Mike Andreas, lieutenant and a replacement; on the slow process of his indoctrination, not only in the facts of war but the relations with his sergeants, his men, his superior officers. You care when his marriage seems to blow up in his face. And you follow his regeneration, his growth, and his accolade from his chief. Despite the realism, the crudities, this book packs a punch and is worth singling out.