I give the book Marathon Watch by, Lawrence Laswell five out of five stars.
I knew someday I would find a gripping contemporary book about the United States Navy. I’ve been searching for one on par with the plethora of Army Fiction-that is not set in the 1700’s. This book is set in the 1970’s and does a fabulous job showing the political environment the Navy was in during the Vietnam war and the real life danger and adventure sailors encounter out at sea. I am also a big fan of any book that can make me laugh out loud-and The Marathon Watch has all kinds of funny moments.
The cast of characters Laswell put together is fun and a breath of fresh air. A big departure from the stereotypical officer and enlisted characters you run across in the military fiction genre. Lieutenant Lee was my favorite officer. His character was stunning and so real. It was so refreshing to see a character I think anyone who has been in the military long enough has had the pleasure to work with. The actions he takes and doesn’t take in a remarkably difficult situation were right on target and made the outcomes believable.
Watching the leadership evolution of Master Chief Ross and his eventual epiphany was great. I think he showed how even as established leaders we still learn new things and uncover situations we could have handled better. Even in a rut, Ross was relatable, human, and always worried about his men. I think his scene at the port in Greece was one of the most hilarious parts of the book.
I also liked the layering of motivations behind the different officers in the book. Why they did the work they did. How actions by one Captain verses another displayed the qualities and abilities an officer imbued with such responsibilities is required to have. I was celebrating the successes of sailors on one ship while mourning with sailors on another.
It was great to read a book able to make the traditions and culture of the US Navy come to life and have meaning. It was relevant and fascinating to read about the capabilities of the different ships-and then watch the sailors push their limits in real world situations. An action packed book I think anyone-civilian or service member could pick up and enjoy. I envision Captain O’Toole might have praised, “Laswell did a very adequate job.” And I agree-outstanding book, I look forward to reading Laswell’s future works.
The book is available at Amazon.com in both Paperback and Kindle versions.