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John Graf

California Cowboy

Alpine, California

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  • 1 reviews
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  • 27 titles in library
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  • Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ben Macintyre
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (299)

    On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy.

    None of your damn business says: "A secret history of WWII crossed with Monty Python"
    "Save England from the spies & me from the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If there is a genre that particularly interests me, it is books about World War II. So I was happy when I found this book and anxious to read it.

    The story line is fascinating, if a little too heavy on details. The author does a very good job interweaving the various characters and subplots as they prepare for the Normandy invasion. However, there are just so many characters and plots, that it is sometimes difficult to follow, especially if you are listening in the car where there are distractions. Cut out a third of the less prominent spies and it would be perfect.

    But those are all minor complaints. For the first time in the many years that I have been listening to audible books, I absolutely hated the narration. It was awful and took far more away from the story than it added.

    First of all, the narrator insists on mimicking accents of the many foreign characters, and doing it badly. It is distracting at best, and painful at worst. The accents were cartoonish -- with the Germans all sounding like Lili von Shtupp from "Blazing Saddles" and the French all sounding like Pepe Le Pew. Russian, Polish, and Slovakian characters all sounded exactly alike.

    Secondly, the narrator is British. That is well and fine, but in this particular case his pronunciation was such that it distracted from the narrative. For example, the phrase "Secret Sources," which is liberally sprinkled throughout the book, came out as "Secret Sauces." Tell me of that doesn't interrupt your listening.

    So while this would probably be a wonderful paperback to curl up with in front of the fire or in a beach chair, it is just no fun to listen to.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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