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Christmas Eve, 1914 Performance

Christmas Eve, 1914

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Audio Drama, 2016

In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had - in reality - only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive. Beyond the exploding shells and artillery, the merciless freezing cold, extreme hunger, and crushing exhaustion, these young men - both British and German - discover a miracle of grace, as enemies becomes friends and an impossible Christmas finally arrives.

Written by Emmy Award winner Charles Olivier and produced by Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) to commemorate the Christmas Truce's centennial anniversary, this astonishing moment of peace in the midst of total war is brought to life as a vivid and immersive audiodrama, featuring a full-cast performance, elaborate sound design, and an original musical score. Listeners will also enjoy a classic Christmas carol, "Il Est Ne", performed by Tom Tom Club, at the conclusion of the story.

The full cast includes Damon Herriman, Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, James Scott, Lance Guest, Nate Jones, Cody Fern, John Beck, Gabe Greenspan, and Heiko Obermoeller.

©2014 Audible Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The cast's excellent naturalistic acting and superb dialogue bring out the human side of a conflict in which the enemy lay entrenched only a few hundred yards away." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (745 )
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4.3 (660 )
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4.5 (663 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 12-22-14
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 12-22-14 Member Since 2013

    BJS

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    467
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    "I was just reading about this in my news paper"
    What made the experience of listening to Christmas Eve, 1914 the most enjoyable?

    When I turned on to Audible and saw this offering I was thrilled. Since just reading about "Flanders Fields" in my Sunday newspaper, it was just a wonderful gift to your loyal customers for this time of year.


    What other book might you compare Christmas Eve, 1914 to and why?

    What happened that Christmas of 1914 one hundred years ago can not be compared to anything that I know of. Truth is often stranger than fiction.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    This was done beautifully with a full cast. I usually don't like sound effects in my audio books but it was done with style and class. There were many times I laughed out loud at the British dry humor. I also felt emotional about the deaths from war.


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

    It was easy enough to do that is was just over an hour long. I didn't know where that hour went it had me so engrossed listening to the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I love that the story is coming from one of the officers writing to a mother of one of his comrades who died and served with him ......the letter is written ten years after, to the mother. I can't imagine a mother not knowing about her son because no one bothered to contact her that he had died in the service of his country. Yes this is fictionalized about that time but it none the less shows that we are all human, Thank you Audibe for this wonderful gift.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Laird Austin, TX 12-18-14
    M. Laird Austin, TX 12-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Moving story and performance: hope in midst of war"
    What did you love best about Christmas Eve, 1914?

    The story, language, dialect, performances and sound really evoked the confusion, fear, comradery, despair, strength, and bravery of the men and the time in the midst of the horror of the war. And then the hope and the humanity. The sharing of pain across lines, the release of joy and laughter -- such an amazing moment during the Christmas of 1914.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    So difficult to say. The tension of the machine gun being prepared combined with the uncertainty of what the Germans were doing as they came with lanterns? The burying of Beecher? The reading of his letter? So many choices.


    If you could take any character from Christmas Eve, 1914 out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Zac. He remained grounded, thoughtful and strong in the midst of a dehumanizing time.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance of the character Swinburn was amazing -- such a complicated personality. And I really enjoyed the character Zac and that performance as well. Charles Olivier captured elements of the war of which I'd been unaware, and I really enjoyed the language. Well done!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vivian carter 12-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Awesome!!!"
    If you could sum up Christmas Eve, 1914 in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, breath taking, sit on the edge of your seat


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    they was all interesting


    Any additional comments?

    I am a avid reader and this is the first audible book that I have listened too but it will not be my last. Loved using audible

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-25-14
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-25-14

    Narrative makes the world go round.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    ""maybe war takes a holiday today""

    This isn't too sentimental (nor too gruesome) and convincingly recreates the possible development of one possible truce situation in the 1914 trenches. It doesn't directly address any BIG questions, other than the very powerful one posed by the truces themselves. I liked that it highlighted the conditions in the trenches, again without being too gruesome for family listening. I'm so happy to see commemoration of the centenary of the Truce since so many battles are so well remembered.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john83146 12-21-14
    john83146 12-21-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spirit of Christmas"
    Where does Christmas Eve, 1914 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Christmas Eve is a wonderful story of life in the trenches during WW I. Outstanding description of the harsh conditions and the utter fear of the men. As well as the levity and bantering amongst the officers jockeying for command and to allay their own fear. The interaction with the German soldiers proves we are all human beings. Although maybe not that civil.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The new Lieutenant singing Silent Night and the Germans responding by singing back.


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

    Teared up at the prospect the enemies on the battlefield could find common ground and become conversant for at least 24 hours.


    Any additional comments?

    Hard to believe the war continued for another 3 years.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MissSusie66 12-18-14
    MissSusie66 12-18-14 Member Since 2010

    MissSusie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Story"

    This was a great audio drama about the Christmas Truce in 1914 I have always been fascinated by this story and this audio drama was very well done! Highly recommend!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Hoover, AL, United States 01-05-15
    Thomas Hoover, AL, United States 01-05-15 Member Since 2016

    Accountant addicted to Audiobooks. I was never a reader until I started my Audible Subscription.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
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    Story
    "WWI Christmas"
    Would you listen to Christmas Eve, 1914 again? Why?

    Next Christmas for sure. Audible studios did a masterful job telling the story.
    Since is was a drama it was more like a movie in my head.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The young lieutenant who goes on his first mission and sings Silent Night


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The singing in the book


    Any additional comments?

    Great Audible Drama that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michele Lancaster, OH, United States 12-21-14
    michele Lancaster, OH, United States 12-21-14 Member Since 2013

    I am a working mom who loves to squeeze in listening to books while walking, doing chores or commuting.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thank you, Audibkle for this Freebee!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is very well done and very touching.


    What other book might you compare Christmas Eve, 1914 to and why?

    Silent Night


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending of course.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 12-30-14
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 12-30-14 Member Since 2016

    Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    783
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    "Christmas Truce."

    Thanks Audible for the freebie. I passed this book forward for my father to listen to since he is a huge fan of war stories. Even after all the war stories my father put me through, this is still a new one for me. A very good dramatized production of Christmas Eve, 1914.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth A. Gruben Kilmarnock, VA 12-25-14
    Elizabeth A. Gruben Kilmarnock, VA 12-25-14

    catboat75

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully "illustrated""
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in the personal aspects of historical events, especially war.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The necessity of each character is well-balanced, which makes it difficult to choose. I think the young boy who brought it all together with his song, is the one that comes to mind first.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was touched most at the end when the narration slipped into the end of a letter written to the mother of the boy whose voice had such a positive influence in such a negative venue.


    Any additional comments?

    Beautifully written and executed. This may become our annual Christmas "listening."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Highlight
    United Kingdom
    6/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "God Bless All Who Gave Their Lives & Their Limbs"

    A thoughtful tribute to all the men and women who have fought for their Country and their loved ones. To those living and those who's spirit shine on. Thank You ❤️ This little drama says it all. God bless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • adam
    3/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible"

    A very well written and narrated story while although partly fictional was incredibly moving.

    Would happily pay for this so it being free feels like robbery but very glad it has been done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Big BoBo
    2/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing production"

    I expected an audio book but got a full production so well done. What a great surprise. Would love to hear more like that. Recommend to anyone to have a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • eilis
    2/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meaningful Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This short story captures the feeling in the trenches and the pressures each person was under. Also demonstrates the loyalty to the country and the bravery.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kathleen Allen
    12/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful Story"

    Very nice to listen to. Convincing narration. Wish all audios were as well done as this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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