absolutely loved it, Mr. Dove was superb in his reading, perhaps the best work I have listened to of his. story is fascinating
An engaging story, with likable characters, and lots of details on WW II and army life. OK, that's more than 3 words.
It was like a big satisfying meal - lots of detail, lots of content, I wanted to know what would happen next.
Anybody. Biggest problem was his silly sounding accents. The Germans were indistinguishable from the Russians, and the "hoity-toity" upper class Yanks were embarrassing. Not knowing how to pronounce the formerly Jewish section of Newark called Weequahic is maybe understandable, but calling Port Said "Port Sed" is pretty silly.
I was drawn in by the story right away and stayed engaged, not ready to have it end. Character development was excellent and I felt like I knew, and cared about, these people. Believable. Entertaining.
Pleasant and realistic. Ordinary lives mixed with extraordinary ones. Accurate historical markers and events bring the narrative to life. I was sorry that it ended.
I have a 2 hour one way commute to work and really enjoy Griffin's books (which I read years ago). The one thing that exasperates me is the narrator's inability to pronounce words properly, and his desire to read E-V-E-R-Y letter out when reading US Army orders - as in P-R-O for promoted or D-E-T for detached. ye gods it slows the story down! So, would I listen to it again? Hmm... I'm not sure.
This time through the story, I've been struck by the cruel and dismissive use of Craig Lowell by the US Army. It is not until he meets Sandy Felter that he runs into an officer who wants to lead/help him instead of using him and then throwing him away, in contempt and/or in hatred. I'm not naive (I'm a vet of 7plus years in the USMC), but it is shocking. That said, the story really begins to thrive once we get to Greece.
Well, if I want to read more of this series, I'll grit my teeth and try to ignore the mispronounciations... but I'd not be interested in anything else he's done. The guy who did the Corps series was much better, imo.
What I really like is the way in which you end one of this series, and immediately want to know more about what happens next? Where will Mac be? What happens to Lowell? What about the Felters? Griffin has a gift for characterization that minimizes other things.
Griffin's stories rise above the short-comings of the narrator. If you have a goodly commute, I cannot recommend a better series to help the time move along!
Mystery and Fantasy Lover
The story is well-written with a clear understanding of the times. The reader is very good! Highly enjoyable read!
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
If you have not read Griffin, you may think these are war stories. This is my fourth book, mostly due to liking the first book and then a sale that came out. Very little of the books have to do with war. They are mostly military soap operas. This starts out at the very end of World War 2. There is also some action that takes place in Greece afterwards.
I did enjoy this book, mostly due to the characters. I also learned more about why we had a cold war. It seems Russia may have taken Americans prisoner and may have killed on purpose some Americans. It was all kept hush hush. We on the other hand killed some Russians. The Russians are depicted as doing a lot of raping of the Germans and torturing, etc. Course we are getting our side of the story and I am pretty sure the Russians have some atrocities to report.
I also didn't know about the civil war in Greece, where the communists tried to take over the country and we sent in advisors, of which some were killed. Those who fought in Greece did not get the benefits or acknowledgements that the WWII soldiers got since it was a police action.
There was a lot about the politics in the Army and the caste system.
The two books I enjoyed were written in the 80's and the two I did not enjoy were written in 2008. I don't know if that had something to do with it. This does have some lovable characters.
Griffin does a good job of capturing the nuances of life in the US Army in the late 40s in this book. His use of detail communicates the realities of garrison duty quite effectively and the action sequences work well.
Unfortunately, the narrator of this book, which is set in great measure in Germany and with important German characters, seems entirely incapable of understanding how to pronounce the German words used by Griffin. Note that this is not a matter of accent; some sounds in German are difficult for most English-speakers to hear, much less pronounce. But pronouncing "Leutnant" as if the first vowel were "ew" (for example) is jarring enough to break my immersion.
That said, Dove's pacing, emphasis, and ability to handle American accents are more credible.
If you can ignore the failings I found problematic, the story is involving enough to capture the attention and sustain interest.