Blog Tour and Review: Back To Bataan by Jerome Charyn

Today is my stop on the Back To Bataan tour hosted by Tribute Books. Check out the book summary for this historical romance mystery, then be sure to look below for my review and links to purchase your own copy.

Back to Bataan Summary

New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

My Thoughts:

Back To Bataan is a coming of age story set in New York City during World War II. It is very well written, but also very simple in style, which makes it an easy read. I found the setting to be very real, mostly due to the time frame in which the story takes place.

I enjoyed the wide variety of characters that are in Back To Bataan. There are good guys, bad guys, a benefactor that I couldn't figure out, and a love interest that was way too fickle.

The protagonist, Jack, while not relatable to me on a personal level, was a believable character. His actions did not always make sense, but I was able to put aside thoughts of right and wrong due to his age. Children don't always make the best decisions, but Jack was really able to learn from his mistakes. That's what enjoyed the most about him.

I was highly entertained by Jack's adventures (and misadventures), and I loved how he handled himself in certain situations. I found it interesting that he was surrounded by so many people who obviously cared about what happened to him. I was also surprised by their willingness to forgive Jack for his mistakes.

Back To Bataan was originally released in 1993. It has now been released with a new cover. The covers are so different, and while I enjoy the new one more, I feel it doesn't represent the true age of the main character, which is eleven. The story itself is timeless, and I think anyone who reads it will be able to appreciate it.

About the Author:

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Back To Bataan Website
Back To Bataan on Goodreads
Jerome Charyn Website
Tribute Books Website

Purchase Information:
Pages: 98
Release: July 1, 2012



  1. Great review! I won an e-copy of this book and I can't wait to start it! Probably won't get to it for another week or two, but totally psyched! :D Happy Friday!


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