The War Years: Dutch Clarke, Brian Ratty, Sunset Lake Publishing - It is a treat to be transported to not only another time but another frame of mind, in this case Guadalcanal in 1942. The result is a suspenseful and brisk read. Dutch Clarke defies his well off family and enlists in the United States Marine Corps. This sprawling epic takes Dutch from boot camp to Japanese POW camp. In between, Ratty (a renowned photographer in his own right) shows what war photographers went through. Also explored in this novel is the clashing of cultures: "Do you guys speak English? I'm American. We're friends." It becomes a deeper story about prejudice and the dark forces that sometimes drive us.
The US Review of Books
Eric Hoffer Award Winner
A skilled storyteller, Ratty has moments of elegant prose.
Just as the news photographer focuses the camera for the perfect shot to capture a moment, the novelist writing about World War II must hone in on the details that will create a compelling reality. Author Brian D. Ratty, a photographer and novelist, has done that in Dutch Clarke: The War Years, the second book in a series.
The novelist misses nothing as his narrative snaps pictures of racism, injury, death, heroism, revenge, and redemption in nonstop action. Ratty effectively weaves a combination of current drama and flashbacks as Dutch narrates his saga. A skilled storyteller, Ratty has moments of elegant prose... It’s no wonder that the book is a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year finalist and an Eric Hoffer Award-winner.
ForeWord Magazine Review
Dutch Clarke the War Years - One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read
This book was captivating from the first paragraph. A wonderful twist to the "common" stories about WWII. Following the experiences of Dutch Clarke, as a photographer with the US Marines, was very informative and insightful. This book has it all......from the glitter of Hollywood to the devastating conditions and treatment in a POW camp. I can't wait until the next Dutch Clarke book is published!!
Kathy B. Bend, OR
What a great story. This book takes Dutch, and us, from the glitz of 1940s Hollywood to the fury of combat in the far-flung Pacific, to the numbing despair of a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Wrapped richly in the legend created by the US Marine Corps in World War II, it is a tale of this country's shaky start in this great conflict, it's recovery and seizing the initiative in the Pacific Campaign, and the inevitable triumph of the Allies over the Empire of Japan. It is also a wonderful tale of the triumph of the human spirit over staggering odds. The author gets a grip on the reader at the beginning and doesn't let go until the final page. In a word, read it!
John W. Eugene, OR
A great read! Done in the no-nonsense style of the great Western writer, Louis Lamore, this book brings WWII to life in a very personal, gut level way. "Dutch" reminds me of the days when we knew the good guys from the bad, when there were standards of conduct and the lines were not blurred. This book is not only a great read but it serves as a memorial to those who suffered for our freedom...discovering that freedom is not free. You'll have trouble putting it down.
Jack L. Palm Springs, CA