REVIEWS

PRAISE FOR VANISHED

“Beyond the technical strength of Hylton’s achievement — beyond the obviously informed and determinedly reported history one encounters in the book — there are passages so expressive that we’re constantly reminded we’re in the hands of a phenomenal writer.”

— Time

 

 

“An exceptional writer. The hidden ties that bind his characters seem as clear and moving and inevitable as the story about war and loss and recovery that he's telling.”

— Esquire

 

 

“Marries a cinematically well-paced narrative with a deep sensitivity to the people whose lives it tells.”

— The Boston Globe

 

 

Vanished has a huge cast and a lot of moving parts, but Hylton juggles them with supreme adroitness. . . Vanished excels where it counts most.”

— The Washington Post

 

 

“A powerful story, masterfully told.”

— GQ

 

 

Vanished is not only a story of war and loss but also a gripping and moving tale of America's relationship with the fallen soldier. We need books like Vanished to remind us of the long, painful aftermath of war.”

— Newsweek

 

 

“Forces us to acknowledge that 'the lingering pain from WWII is as potent as any other war' — something we are apt to forget due to its 'good war' aura.”

— The Wall Street Journal

 

 

“Reads like a lit candle, casting light in hopes of finding something lost, but also vigil-like, meant to remember as much as to reveal.”

— Politico

 

 

“The ending, when it comes, isn’t so much a surprise as a catharsis: Seven decades after 11 airmen fell out of the sky, Hylton has finally given them a proper burial.”

— The New York Times

 

 

“Wil S. Hylton's superb new book, Vanished. . . pays tribute to the men who were lost in a largely forgotten campaign, and it celebrates the determination of the divers and scientists who risk their lives in exotic places to bring the missing home. Hylton's narrative charges, and his writing is lean and vivid.” 

— Newsday

 

 

“Each narrative builds to a potent climax — one describing the airmen's final, straight-out-of-a-war-movie battle, the other detailing the awe-inspiring discovery.”

— Men's Journal

 

 

“A remarkable achievement. Hylton adds humanity in abundance by telling the story of the search through Pat Scannon, a doctor and founder of a biotech company who has devoted years of his life and many resources to the effort to find the men who went down with the B-24.”

— The Seattle Times

 

 

“Hylton has written a book that resonates on many levels. It brims with the great gifts of the human spirit — love and loss and longing, courage and tenacity and strength in the face of tragedy. It is a book whose virtues grab hold and won’t let go until you finish the final page. And even then, you’re not quite ready to put it down.”

Dallas Morning News

 

 

“Hylton seamlessly fuses narrative, character, and historical detail. Moving yet admirably unsentimental, this is a superb account of war and its haunting aftermath.”

— Kansas City Star

 

 

“A gripping tale. . . Tracking down the remains of the MIAs and piecing together their final moments is the daunting, emotionally fraught quest — undertaken by civilians and the military — at the heart of Vanished.”

— The Los Angeles Times

 

 

“Remarkable. Readers feel, in the final chapters, a real loss for men they knew at the outset were going to die, and profound gratitude to those who bring closure to their families.”

— Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

 

“For readers interested in the mysteries of the war, this book will grab them by the scruff of the neck and hold them spellbound from beginning to end.”

New York Journal of Books

 

 

“Hylton proves himself a major American writer. He has done what every war story since The Iliad has attempted: In telling the story of the ghosts he first felt on the barge in the cerulean-blue Pacific, he has brought some small bit of peace to the long aftermath of war.”

— City Paper

 

 

“Hylton writes with poetic flair about the beauty of the islands, the terrible conditions on the ground and in the air, and the hard work of private experts such as anthropologist Eric Emery and others in the last decades, as they searched for the missing aircraft.”

— Library Journal

 

 

“Hylton succeeds in gracefully addressing the perennial literary theme of memory and its connection to both personal and collective loss. This relationship is Vanished’s burning center.”

— Kirkus

 

 

“As riveting as it is well-researched.”

— Free Lance-Star

 

 

“Brings to life the exploits of a team of modern-day sleuths hell-bent on tracking down the remains of World War II MIAs from the Pacific Ocean theatre…Gives poignant insights into the families of the missing men.”

— BookPage

 

 

Vanished will immerse readers — history buffs and others — in a stirring adventure where history and mystery collide.”

Washington Independent Review of Books

 

 

“Hylton’s fascinating account documents the search and recovery efforts of the devoted teams dedicated to finding these brave soldiers and bringing them home. By focusing on the crew of one missing B24 and the man who became obsessed with their fate, Hylton brings the story to a personal and poignant level.”

— American Booksellers Association

Indie Next Selection, November 2013

 

 

“A fierce hope burns through every page of Vanished. Wil Hylton has given us a superb book.”

— Ben Fountain

author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

 

 

“A powerful tale of war that's also a briskly-paced thriller of forensic sleuthing. Read Vanished, and you'll never think the same way again about the Pacific theater — or the heroic flyers who gave their lives fighting in it.”

— Hampton Sides

author of Ghost Soldiers

 

 

“A breathtaking work of literary journalism and a dazzling debut. Vanished unfolds like a cinematic mystery while exploring the eternal questions of war, love, and loss. Hylton is a master storyteller.”

— Philipp Meyer

author of The Son

 

 

“Spellbinding, moving, and masterfully researched, Vanished is at once a first-rate mystery and an ode to the timelessness of a loved one’s memories. In writing it, Wil Hylton has done more than tell a beautiful story; he has spoken, as his heroes do, to one of man’s noblest instincts, that  no one should be left behind.”

 — Robert Kurson

author of Shadow Divers





“A great read. Wil Hylton documents America's noblest policy in riveting narrative detail.”

— Stephen Hunter

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Third Bullet

“This is an astonishing, kaleidoscopic book — part mystery, thriller, and ghost story that happens to be true. I read it with goosebumps, convinced that Vanished will take its place among the classics of World War II literature. Wil Hylton is a storyteller extraordinaire. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for honoring the fallen with such clear-eyed, big-hearted power.”

— Michael Paterniti

author of The Telling Room



“A beautifully reported tale sprawling from Texas to the South Pacific. Hylton writes about fathers and sons, what is lost forever, and what can be found after all hope is gone. Vanished is a crucial book for anyone who cares about the cost of war.”

— Stephen Rodrick

author of The Magical Stranger