An engaging true story of the rescue of downed air crews in Romania and Yugoslavia during WW II. Shines light on the political background of post-war Yugoslavia.
The first half of the book is basically the historical backstory, including the political angles, setting up the stage for the story of the actual rescue, which, despite being the theme of the book, is presented as almost an afterthought - in the last hour of the story.
It's not as riveting as some military history books I've read, but still, it's a good listen, and learning about the intelligence issues and the hospitality of the Yugoslavian people was worth waiting for the ending.
This is the kind of story that should be a movie, but never is. The courage and generosity of the Serbian people is unbelievable. The story is well told and gripping as a thriller novel -- but much, much better.
The story itself is great. It is interesting and well rounded history that is, at the same time pretty emotionally involving.
The narraration however is horrible. Lawlor's flimsy tenor voice and embarrasing impersonations really subtract from the enjoyment in my opinion. check the library... :(
I enjoyed this book. There are many untold stories from World War II that we may never hear about, I'm just glad this one got written. The Narrator Patrick Lawlor can make a thriller out of "The Principles of Accounting". Overall this was a good story about strong men, caring villagers and dedicated OSS men. Worth the money.
The story itself is spellbinding; it is full of intrigue and personality that keeps you on the edge AND, wonder of wonders, it is not just a good mystery but a true story! The writing is crisp and fastpaced with balanced development of plot and characters. The narration is really excellent - having the various accents really takes this audiobook over the top. The story is inspirational and discouraging at the same time - such is life in the modern world.
This is a very good story. A compelling piece of WWII history and the eastern European politics of that era that show through today.
My issue is the narrator sounds really young. The really strong characters and story lose something when told via a 12 year old. With Audiobooks the Narrator is key to a good "read", this one misses. The great story carries it, so its fine but could have been much better.
I ordered The Forgotten 500 for a professional book club on leadership. This is one of the most boring, dreadful books I have yet to come across. I'm sure there are people out there who have an interest in this type of story, and I do not fault them as the subject is fascinating, but I could not get past how horrid this narrator was.
My first complaint was how he always sounded as though he had a permanent smile as he was reading. Very upbeat, very fast-paced, even when the story did not warrant such exclamations. And the "accent" that he attempted? My thought on this is why even bother, if you are going to butcher it to such an extreme? In one sentence he would begin with a forced Slovakian accent only to be back to his own American speech by the end of that same sentence. Again, why bother?
I made it through 8 chapters before throwing in the towel. I read the Wikipedia page to get the gist and I'll wing it through the book club (while being honest in my review).
if you like Planes, the truth, or the valor of World War II this book is a must a really great read you will thoroughly enjoy it
This books gives a great account of what life was like for the select pilots and bombers who were shot down and supported by locals in Yugoslavia. It reveals a perspective on the politics between England, US, Germany and Russia and how it affected the power structure on the ground during precarious time. I was shocked by the divide and the treachery between England and US on the rescue. It really helped open my eyes to even more of the nuanced complexities during the war. It is also interesting to see how even our government was affected by those hastily cast alliances with Tito even to this day. I have read a number of different perspectives on the war and this truly was a refreshing one that is worth the read/listen.