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Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WW II | [Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila]

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WW II

Chester Nez, the only surviving member of the original twenty-nine Navajo code talkers, shares the fascinating inside story of his life and service during World War II.
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Publisher's Summary

Chester Nez, the only surviving member of the original 29 Navajo code talkers, shares the fascinating inside story of his life and service during World War II.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 Chester Nez and Judith Avila (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A unique, inspiring story by a member of the Greatest Generation." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (357 )
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4.3 (303 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sandra Reno, NV, United States 08-07-12
    Sandra Reno, NV, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It's Hard To Believe It's Not Fiction"
    If you could sum up Code Talker in three words, what would they be?

    This WWII true story of one of our real heros is better than all the "page turners" I've read all year. Chester gives us a clear picture of his childhood on the "res" and his challenges as a Native American in a white army corps. If your read no other WWII book read this one. Then look up Nez, he is still around.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Chester tells his own story in his own words


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Phoenix, AZ, United States 08-07-12
    Jackie Phoenix, AZ, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2008

    I am a child of the 50's, love kids, animals, plants. I adopted a Sulphur mustang mare (desendant of the warhorses of the Conquistadors).

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    "The Navajo Code Talkers rock!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to a friend. This is history in first person, and it is important for people to understand the contributions of the Navajo people to this country. It's also an opportunity to glimspe an old and honored culture. I admire Chester as an individual, and the culture that could produce men of such integrity.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the opportunity to understand more about the Navajo point of view. I also love the prayer Chester's father taught him. We all need to achieve balance, and to walk in beauty.


    Which character – as performed by David Colacci – was your favorite?

    Chester, of course.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, because I didn't want it to end. I did listen to it twice.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyle Longmont, CO, United States 04-26-12
    Lyle Longmont, CO, United States 04-26-12 Member Since 2007
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    "How to fight the Enemy"

    This book explained how the USA was able to use a homegrown and little respected national Resource to maintain our national Freedom.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Illini Two 04-11-12
    Illini Two 04-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great book about a remarkable man"
    If you could sum up Code Talker in three words, what would they be?

    Inspiring, interesting, fascinating


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Code Talker?

    Chester's use of his heritage, the Sing, to deal with the trauma of war


    Any additional comments?

    It was amazing to see how these men grew despite difficulties at the Indian Schools then used that strength to benefit others

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caty 07-25-14
    Caty 07-25-14 Member Since 2014

    Profoundly grateful for Audible books on my commutes and for my workouts!

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    6
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    "Not Just for Historians"

    This book gave great insight not only into how Chester Nez served his country, but also into his thoughts, feelings, and culture. He lived a life that is far different than anything I can imagine, and his outlook on life is inspiring. Although I wouldn't normally call this genre my favorite, this book clearly stands out. I bought this book on a daily deal and it was a $3-something well spent.

    Chester Nez had a hard life. He talks about the most tragic events with care and gives you a sense of their weight and the impact they had on him. Throughout his hardships he maintains a sense of respect and pride for his country, his culture, and his family. This is especially shocking at times when those facets of his identity seem at odds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan QUEMADO, NM, United States 07-23-14
    Susan QUEMADO, NM, United States 07-23-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Sad and moving, very well written"

    I enjoy reading about WWII, and especially biographical works about this era. Since I live just about a hundred miles from where Mr. Nez grew up, I knew we'd have some things in common, even though I'm not of the Dine.

    I really enjoyed hearing about his youth; as a stock-raising person, I was absolutely horrified by the livestock reduction he relates, and I sorrowed for him at boarding school. Many children must still leave home and go to boarding school currently as well.

    His story struck me as honest and straightforward, though his lifelong clinging to his native religion and referring to Christianity as "white man's religion" saddened me deeply.

    I was so involved emotionally in he and his characters, I was looking up he and some of his fellows on the internet before I had even finished listening to the book. That's when I realized he had just passed away.

    I came away from this book with a great respect for Chester Nez and the other code talkers and understood much more about them as a result of reading this book. The book has also made me very curious about many other aspects which Nez didn't cover in his book, so maybe I will find some more books about this basic subject.

    I thought this book was very well written and sounded as if it were Chester's own words. It gripped my attention all the way through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David A. Sparks Texas 07-22-14
    David A. Sparks Texas 07-22-14
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    2
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    "I wish there were more people like Chester Nez"
    If you could sum up Code Talker in three words, what would they be?

    Honor, driven, pride


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that this is a true story and honors the Navajo for their accomplishments even after having received the short end of the stick.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Chester finally reveals to his father what his role was during the war. He wasn't the soldier his father thought he was. Chester was much much more.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and cried and cheered! Chester's innocent view on people and cultures was wonderful! His honesty and love for his children certainly brings tears to the eyes. I cheered for him as he mentions ALL of the original Code Talkers and makes a point to tell who was left out.


    Any additional comments?

    Whether for or against war, you cannot deny his bravery, love for nature, and his duty to country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pamela holt Shreveport,La 07-13-14
    pamela holt Shreveport,La 07-13-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Amazing story"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    This is a story of some amazing young men. It is well written, and well read.
    Don't miss it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah S Hogan 07-10-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Inspiring American"
    Any additional comments?

    What a great way to remember Mr. Nez who we lost just a few weeks ago. Audible does a fantastic job offering us books that are informative, entertaining and a great deal to top it off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne St. Charles, IL, United States 01-06-13
    Jeanne St. Charles, IL, United States 01-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Interesting and Informative Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Code Talker to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version. Throughout my listening, tho, I kept wondering if I should stop and only read the printed version. I found the narration quite disconcerting, not the story subject, but the narration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nez - because his life was fascinating. His life experiences, as a Navajo and a Code Talker, were full of joy, challenges, accomplishments, and deep appreciation. I valued how he always seemed to see the world, even during the war, through Navajo eyes. This, for me, added depth to his reflections. I also was intrigued by the fact that despite ill-treatment of the Navajo nation in his early life, he still was anxious and willing to serve his country. And did so significantly and proudly.


    What aspect of David Colacci’s performance would you have changed?

    Where do I begin? I felt like I was being read to as an adult might read to a child. And then there were constant misplaced word inflections, awkward sentence and syllable breaks, odd intonations in just relaying the story. I really can't enumerate just how many times I wanted to stop and read the printed version instead of listening. I kept at it because of the significance of hearing Navajo language orally. If it hadn't been for that I would have just stopped. I've listened to a lot of audible books and this, by far, was the most challenging narration I've listened to. I have not listened to other books narrated by Colacci. After my frustration with his narration I eventually looked up reviews; he seems to be highly praised as a narrator of other books. But I would strongly hesitate to listen to any other book narrated by him because of my very disappointing experience with his narration of Code Talkers.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My only extreme reaction was to the narration, not the book or its subject matter.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to a sample before you buy the book. The printed version just might be a better read. But Nez refers to the Navajo language as an oral one so that may justify listening to this audible version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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