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To Hell and Back | [Audie Murphy]

To Hell and Back

Audie Murphy was a desperately poor eighteen-year-old orphan when he joined the Army, nineteen when he first saw a buddy die from an enemy bullet and an enemy die from one of his own. By VE day, he had killed at least 240 Germans, had single-handedly destroyed a German tank in one battle and held off six tanks in another, and had become the most decorated soldier in American history, winning every medal his country offered, including the Congressional Medal of Honor.
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Publisher's Summary

The time is 1943, the place is Sicily, and the event is the start of the most remarkable career of any American infantryman in the war. Audie Murphy was a desperately poor eighteen-year-old orphan when he joined the Army, nineteen when he first saw a buddy die from an enemy bullet and an enemy die from one of his own. During the next two years, he fought in Italy, France, and Germany. By VE-day, he had killed at least 240 Germans, had single-handedly destroyed a German tank in one battle and held off six tanks in another, and had become the most decorated soldier in American history, winning every medal his country offered, including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Four years later he was living in Hollywood trying to get an acting career off the ground when he and a friend decided to turn his story into a book. Instantly recognized for its grim authenticity and its unblinking accounts of some of the most terrible fighting in the war, To Hell and Back became a best seller and, in 1955, the basis for one of the most successful WWII films ever made, with Murphy playing himself.

©1949 Audie Murphy; (P)1998 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Audie Murphy hit the big time with this simple, compelling narrative....It is a book of raw honesty, clipped descriptions and simple courage." (AudioFile)
"Tom Parker brings this terse yet vivid and articulate memoir to life....Parker's clear and well-paced reading is a joy." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (145 )
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Performance
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  •  
    charles 11-11-05
    charles 11-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book by one of the true American heroes"

    Although the story is one of death and injury, this book is certainly one of the best war stories I have ever read. The narration by Tom Parker is absolutely the most enjoyable narration I have ever heard in an audible book. He absolutely makes the characters come alive and this book is the prime example of why I find audible books so enjoyable.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Platteville, WI, United States 04-04-09
    Stephen Platteville, WI, United States 04-04-09 Member Since 2008
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    "An American Classic"

    This book reads well on the printed page, but reads even better with Tom Parker doing the reading for you. His voice captures the laconic mix of grit, horror, humor, stubborness, unheroic courage, and tragedy that characterized the American infantryman in WW II.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 12-30-13
    Patrick 12-30-13

    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Puts you in the place & time along with him"

    Murphy didn't just write a dry narrative, he wrote a factual work complete with dialogue that bears a close resemblance to today's American grunt dialect. The story is straightforward, engaging, exciting, and insightful. Murphy's depiction of the honest and intimate banter between soldiers is reason enough to read this book. The way that men speak to one another during a time of war is something that most people never encounter, let alone understand. Murphy captures the camaraderie known to those who have shared combat and exhaustion. The men and their actions aren't glorified or demonized, just passed along as Murphy saw and experienced them.

    Tom Parker (Grover Gardener) excels as a narrator and doesn't disappoint.

    Recommended for fans of historical non-fiction, WW2 buffs, and those who find amazement in the Medal of Honor and other military citations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Warner Robins, Georgia, United States 06-11-15
    Jerry Warner Robins, Georgia, United States 06-11-15 Member Since 2010
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    "What an incredible story!"

    Amazing to think that there were men like Audie Murphy willing to sacrifice all that they did

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Trenta 06-11-15 Member Since 2014

    I am a US Army Social Worker with too many interests in life and not nearly enough time.

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    "Very modest account from a true American Hero"

    The performance of the narrator was superb. He was able to bring Audie Murphy's words to life in a way that would almost make you think he was reading it himself. This book was wonderfully written with and honesty of emotion that is astounding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    redman1713 NC, USA 05-29-15
    redman1713 NC, USA 05-29-15 Member Since 2014

    redman1713

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    "Powerful"

    I liked the voice of the reader.
    The story itself is powerful. How he grew as a leader and learned to change his way of thinking to adapt to combat. I do wish it mentioned what actions he was awarded what medals. But other then that a great book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracie 05-29-15
    Tracie 05-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow"

    It would be a great story if it were fiction.... But since it is true it is amazing! God bless America! And God bless the heroes that risk it all for us!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TD Atlanta, Georgia United States 04-19-15
    TD Atlanta, Georgia United States 04-19-15 Member Since 2011
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    "An Amazing Man With An Amazing Story"

    I have generally thought of our heroes as ordinary men that arise to the occasion via heroic, bold actions in the face of danger. What I learned from this story was that Audie Murphy was an extraordinary soldier and man. His intelligence came through in his decision-making and memory of people, places, events and dialogue between soldiers. He astonished me time and again.

    These "simple", uneducated soldiers spoke with color and creativity that we just don't hear today. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and performance and came away with a much deeper appreciation of our country's greatest hero of WWII. His heroism was no accident. He was simply great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James C. Zachary, Jr. 02-07-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Absolutely wonderful!"

    This is such a well written book. The story of Audie Murphy is a one for the ages. War is hell in any age. We should never forget what our military personnel have given. The performance given by a Mr. Parker is phenomenal. His voice characterizations remind me of the way radio used to be. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who may be even the least bit interested in hearing the story of World War 2 from Italy to France and to Germany through the eyes of Audie Murphy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tantely Keith 01-23-15
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    "A true story, fought in WWII, by a true man."

    A heroic tale from the man who lived it, told with humility. Actually Audie went to war at 16 (not 18, as stated in the book). He didn't want to give the impression that it was okay to lie about his age.

    (Not in the book)

    It's truly sad how the war affected him after. PTSD, led to alcoholism, sleeping pill addiction, and a gambling habit. He fought that personal war too, and tried to be a better person till his death at age of 45.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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