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 .
 >   > 
A Higher Call Audiobook

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II is now in Channels.
How to Listen
  • To access Channels, you'll need the latest version of the app.
  • iOS - Tap the Channels icon on the main menu.
    Android - Tap on the hamburger menu and select Channels
  • Tap on the channel to listen to A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II.
Unlimited listening to Channels is included with Audible membership. Learn more
Channels requires the latest version of the Audible app
for iOS or Android.
Regular Price:$23.07
  • 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 -

Publisher's Summary

Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.

This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day - the American - Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17 - and the German - Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of one thousand bombers, each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack.

Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American Eighth Air Force would later classify as top secret. It was an act that Franz could never mention without facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for 40 years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

©2012 Adam Makos (P)2013 Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

What the Critics Say

“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more!”(Marcus Brotherton, New York Times best-selling author

“It is often said that ‘war is hell’ - and it is - however, this story reveals how the human spirit can shine in the darkest hours. A Higher Call is an eye-opener.” (Col. Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman, WWII)

“‘Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?’ The author asks the question and delivers the answer. A powerful, haunting read.” (Chuck Tatum, author of Red Blood, Black Sand)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (2076 )
5 star
 (1508)
4 star
 (429)
3 star
 (112)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.7 (1900 )
5 star
 (1484)
4 star
 (304)
3 star
 (92)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.6 (1886 )
5 star
 (1340)
4 star
 (428)
3 star
 (96)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Robert 04-19-15
    Robert 04-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful !"

    For any World War II historian this is A magnificent story of two soldiers, One German one American two wonderful men

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah B. Rickman Colorado Springs CO 04-17-15
    Sarah B. Rickman Colorado Springs CO 04-17-15 Member Since 2012

    author, women's aviation

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Phenomenal Story!"

    The ending brought tears -- good ones.
    Battle sequence and last flight of Ye Old Pub riveting.
    Franz's story truly heroic.
    Narrator gets 5 stars as well.
    Truly loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Hubbell 04-08-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome book!!"

    That is the true heart of a veteran! Wish I had a chance meet them, I salut all of you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Michael Kranz 04-05-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Higher Call"

    One of the best testaments of the greatest generation! This book is well written, well read and well dramatized with different voice intonation for each character. The author has portrayed the character of the men in a honest and poignant manner. It is an emotionally charged book, one that is hard to put down. I will definitely listen to this again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valiant 03-30-15
    Valiant 03-30-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring story. True chivalry in time of war."

    A touching and inspiring true story which I will not forget. Very well told and intricately woven together. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DB 03-21-15
    DB 03-21-15 Member Since 2016

    just good books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    71
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story of WWII fliers"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a very enjoyable book. The majority of the book is about the German ace and all of his experiences in WWII. Excellent writing and narrating kept me thoroughly engaged. If you're a military history buff, this is a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Random pen... Parker, CO 03-11-15
    Random pen... Parker, CO 03-11-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating story"

    True story. Gets you to understand a Germans perspective on WWII. Packed with action and characters you can care about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 03-11-15
    Scott 03-11-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is a must read/listen !"
    Would you listen to A Higher Call again? Why?

    Yes, One of the best written and told stories of the war.


    What other book might you compare A Higher Call to and why?

    Nothing comes close


    Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?

    All the German fighter pilots


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Absolutely fantastic true story and it could not have be narrated any better than by Robertson Dean

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. T Wieben ND 03-04-15
    B. T Wieben ND 03-04-15

    Jester

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wow"

    this was one of the best stories I have ever heard/read. it's right up there with unbroken

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 02-21-15
    Jennifer 02-21-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    107
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    411
    137
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""Incredible" doesn't even begin to cover it"

    This was such an incredible story, it's hard to know just what to say, but that adjective hardly begins to cover it. Makos' research and detail in recounting the events of the lives of the two pilots during the war was so in depth, you would think he had been there, watching over their shoulders the whole time. And it isn't just about the one fateful day when their paths crossed in the air over Germany... It was a full biography of both men and their careers as pilots, everything that lead to them being who they were that day, and their lives after.

    It was a sad story in that they were at war and terrible things and death surrounded all of them, but it was uplifting too because they survived it and not only that, they did so with bravery and integrity, answering that "higher call" despite the horrors and hatred all around. And how incredible, that not only did they both survive, but that they found each other decades later...

    Makos' words and storytelling were powerful and masterful, adding to the already intense emotions evoked by the story. I ran the gambit of emotions with them, from laughing at a pilot's glib remark, sharing terror in crisis and in suspense with the bomber crew as they fought to fly home, and cried at tragedies and the loss of good men, and also joined in the tears at the reunion of Franz and Charlie.

    The narration by Dean was well matched to the tone of the book - he was documentary-like in his narration at times, but kept you feeling connected with the men and action, and adapted adequate character voices for dialogue. He took the authors words to the next level, putting you there in the scene, in the cockpit and the foxhole, praying and wondering when the war would finally end.

    Certainly an unforgettable tale, and those images of the wounded Pub and other moments will not soon leave my mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.