We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Vessel of Sadness | [William Woodruff]

Vessel of Sadness

Italy 1944 is the setting of one of the most convincing and quietly magnificent stories about man and war that has ever been written. They were young when they left and sang as they sailed down the Clyde. They didn't know where they were going and they didn't really care. They didn't want to fight and they hardly knew what the war was about. Here, distilled from the experiences and observations of the author, who served in Italy in the British infantry, is the story of those who fought and died at Anzio.
Regular Price:$16.41
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Italy 1944 is the setting of one of the most convincing and quietly magnificent stories about man and war that has ever been written. They were young when they left and sang as they sailed down the Clyde. They didn't know where they were going and they didn't really care. They didn't want to fight and they hardly knew what the war was about. But they went, together, singing, to what lay before them. Here, distilled from the experiences and observations of the author, who served in Italy in the British infantry, is the story of those who fought and died at Anzio.

©2004 William Woodruff; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (12 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.3 (4 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.3 (4 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Tim Byers Indianapolis, IN USA 05-25-06
    Tim Byers Indianapolis, IN USA 05-25-06 Listener Since 1999
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "You'll love the SOUND of this"

    In a way I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I tend to prefer linear plots-- first A happens, then B, and so on, until Z follows logically at the end. This novel doesn't follow that plan. It's more of a mosaic-- smaller stories, generally following the timeline of the British Anzio campaign in WWII, splashed on the canvas in such a way that up close you don't see exactly how they relate to each other. But by the end, you come away with a deeper sense of what it must have been like for the men at war.

    I loved the rhythm of this book; the narrator was fantastic and perhaps it's a cliche, but there truly was a lyrical quality to the text. It just sounds wonderful, and the power of the spoken word is what kept me engaged when the logical side of the brain was looking for pegs to hang the stories on (it's not that there's not plenty of plot and action, it's just that the novel is not structured in that A thru Z fashion).

    I enjoyed this book so much I want to buy the hardcover version to see what that lyrical prose actually looks like in print!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Willis R. Corson 08-12-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb Story Teller"

    It was a very skillfully written book on the battle to take Rome. I was glued to it the whole time and listened to it in one day. I was fascinated with the narrator's ability to mimic various English accents or dialects, which really brought the story to life. This was the glue that held it together for me. Vessel of Sadness is not a Ernie Pyle book on the Anzio Beach experience. It seems to be more of a rendering from a British infantry perspective with an unusual skill for weaving a story that paints a picture in your mind. I was a little disappointed that there was no mention of General Mark Clark, the hero of Anzio, the massacre of over 700 US Army Rangers by German infantry or the terror tactic of the Germans to walk long-range artillery in just to take out a single soldier they spotted. My father who is deceased was at Anzio. His unit, the 102nd Barrage Balloons, were brought in from Naples to land on the Anzio Beachhead four days after the initial invasion. He said they were in fox holes and trenches filled with water up to their chests while living in their own excrement & urine. He said they were brought up out of the trenches every three days.He said there was a British Army unit next to there's. He said the Germans hit the Allies with artillery every day. During one barrage, a British soldier came up out of the water in the trench and started walking for the open; he dropped his rifle and kept walking. British & American soldiers started yelling and hollering for him to come back, but he kept walking. Suddenly the sound of German artillery was heard coming in. My father said the German's walked the shells until they took him out. One moment there was a soldier, and the next there was no one there. The most traumatic experience for my father was when German "commandos" hit the fuel supply that the British unit had. He said they heard screaming and yelling and crying. They went running to the British area to see many British soldiers totally engulfed in flames and running. He said they tackled them and threw them down and rolled them on the ground. When I asked if they had saved any, he only shook his head indicating "no" and held his head down for the longest time. My father told me before he died at age 80 that he had nightmares & night sweats his entire life; it was the same reoccurring nightmares about trying to save the burning British soldiers. He said he could still hear them crying: "My feet are burning!" He said their boots burned right off from them. My father said they had artillery attacks every day for four months until reinforcements came in and got them off the beachhead. He said after every artillery barrage, they would go out looking for survivors. One day he saw a GI standing alone holding his intestines in his hands. My father asked if he could help. The GI told him he had a brother and what unit he was in and to get him. My father brought the brother and the two brothers embraced, and the wounded brother died in the arms of the other brother. I said to my father: Daddy, did that happen often at Anzio. He said quietly: "That was Anzio everyday." And he hung his head and was silent for a while. When I asked my father who suffered the most at Anzio, he said the infantry took the brunt of it. After Rome my father's unit was disbanded because they took down more Allied planes than enemy planes. If you asked my father what Anzio was like, he would whisper in a very low voice: "Anzio was hell." If you tried to push him further for information, he would tell you:" If you were at Anzio, you'd wish you were never born." He would only talk with combat war veterans about the war. I had great difficulty gleaning what I got. He said he went to a replacement detachment and was in the invasion of Southern France, the Rhineland & Central Germany and never again saw anything that compared to Anzio. The book Vessel of Sadness is an important read on the battle of Rome-Arno.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
Sort by:
  • William
    Bo'nessUnited Kingdom
    3/23/09
    Overall
    "Political education"

    This volume should be made compulsory reading for all politicians who seem to think that going to war is only an exercise in proving who is right. I defy anyone to listen to this without shedding a tear or two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.