I didn't think this book would grip me the way it did. I knew very little of the A-Bomb drop on Hiroshima, only that it happened if I'm honest, but Hersey's account opened my eyes. He recounted real peoples experiences from the moments before the drop, during, directly after and many years after. It's unbelievable to think that one moment could have such an impact across time. When I read the stories of men and women affected I was torn between putting the book down to collect myself and the need to read on. I had this detachment with the event because I knew so little about it and it was so far away geographically. I could never have anticipated the effect this book, this event would have on me.
The way Hersey constructed the novel was incredible. The opening focused on the six individual experiences of men and women just moments before the bomb where they ruminated on mundane problems, plans for the day and expectations. Then everything was thrown into chaos. From moments just after the bomb where the descriptions of the scene were so harrowing yet treated almost medically. It hammered home just how desensitised the people of Hiroshima became to the devastation.
This certainly isn't a book I will be forgetting any time soon. I learnt so much, not just about the actual event but the resilience the people of Hiroshima. The strength they have. Truly awe-inspiring.
Author: John Hersey
Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics
Have you read Hiroshima?
What did you think?
Thank-you for reading,