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New Book Tells a Story of Hope, Healing, and Faith

New Book Tells a Story of Hope, Healing, and Faith

By Cooper Dowd, Movieguide® Staff

Author T. Martin Bennett recently discussed his love for true stories and his book, WOUNDED TIGER, which is his retelling of one of the greatest stories he’s ever heard.

What began as a screenplay turned into an extensively researched novel about the incredible true story of Japanese Pilot Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. The book also talks about the lives of U.S. Soldier Jake Deshazer and Peggy Covell, who would play unexpected rolls in Fuchida’s eventual transformation.

“I wrote this as a screenplay to start with, that’s how I began, and then I novelized the book form,” Bennett told Movieguide® in a recent interview. “Wounded Tiger is the true story of the pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, whose life was changed by an American prisoner and by a girl he never met. So it was three plot-lines in this story that came together, in a really incredible way.”

Bennett said that God’s sovereignty is on display throughout this true story.

“There’s just too many things that are just too far out, too coincidental, too millions to one odds, that this would happen,” he explained. “Fuchida is in all the right places at all the right times. It’s like, ‘No, this couldn’t have happened.’ But it did. And that’s part of the fun of the story.”

Bennett’s fascination with true stories, biographies, and documentaries started from childhood. This led Bennett to write a screenplay based on the life of John Newton and his famous hymn, Amazing Grace.

However, when Bennett came across the story of Fuchida in a long-forgotten book, he knew that this story must be shared.

“I knew nothing about this guy, and I didn’t expect much,” he recalled. “It was an old, used book from a defunct publisher. But as I went through this story, I thought, this is unbelievable. So I spent about three years researching the story, and the more I researched, the better it got.”

“Honestly, this is one of the best stories I’ve ever come across in my life,” he said. “The book Wounded Tiger, I’ve had people tell me, dozens of times, is the best story they’d ever read. I’m not saying I’m a great writer. But I am saying it’s a great story. And it’s a great story of what God did in people’s lives. And it’s a story of hope and inspiration.”

After years of intense research, new editions of the novel, and the addition of over 300 photos, Bennett said that he landed on telling Fuchida’s story in a novel format.

“It reads like a novel because it is a novel, only as a true story. Plus, we added in hundreds and hundreds of photos that show the whole story,” he said. “We want people to not just know the story, but to more experience the story.”

Bennett said that the title of the book is a reflection of Fuchida’s incredible transformation in his journey seeking the truth.

“Fuchida was born in the Year of the Tiger. And when he was leading this attack on Pearl Harbor, the code word back to the fleet that they had achieved complete surprise was Tiger, Tiger, Tiger or Tora, Tora, Tora,” he said. “A tiger is an animal that has potential for power and beauty… But a wounded tiger is an animal that’s fearful. Fuchida wanted to be a great person. He wanted to be a part of a great nation. Everything just imploded and collapsed. It was really a terrible, terrible war.”

“But you’ll see things change and you’ll see the light and hope of Christ come into his life through two other people,” he continued. “In a broader sense, really, all of us are wounded tigers, because there are things that others have done to us, things that we’ve done, and they limit us from being who we could be if we were healed. What we see in the story in the story of Fuchida is the transformation from being a wounded tiger into a triumphant Tiger. That’s what the story is really about. It’s a story of triumph over tragedy, and transformation.”

Through years of new editions and research, Bennett said that the one thing that remains consistent is the power of God to transform anyone and use them for his Glory.

“The big focus is that the story is a catalyst to encourage people that ‘Hey, God cares. God helps, God intervenes in people’s lives,’” he said. “Fuchida wasn’t seeking God, he was just seeking the truth. He asked this question over and over: ‘Where does his love come from,’ when he saw Christians loving their enemies? Why would you do that? We kill our enemies, we destroy our enemies. Why would you love your enemies? And that question, seeking truth, led him to THE truth, the way, the truth and the life. And that’s a really beautiful thing.”

The latest, updated edition of WOUNDED TIGER is available on Amazon and the first few chapters are available to read for free at woundedtiger.com.

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