A Storm in Flanders is novelist and prizewinning historian Winston Groom's gripping history of the four-year battle for Ypres in Belgian Flanders, the pivotal engagement of World War I that would forever change the way the world fought - and thought about - war. This is Groom's account of what would become the most dreaded place on Earth.
In 1914, Germany launched an invasion of France through neutral Belgium - and brought the wrath of the world upon itself. Ypres became a place of horror, heroism, and terrifying new tactics and technologies: poison gas, tanks, mines, air strikes, and the unspeakable misery of trench warfare. Drawing on the journals of the men and women who were there, Winston Groom has penned a breathtaking drama of politics, strategy, and the human heart.
©2002 Winston Groom. The Source Notes on pages 266-267 are an extension of the copyright page. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
It is written by an American for Americans who know a little as I knew about WWI, which is to say only what I remember from "The Guns of August."
Every soldier who left the trenches on leave and returned. When he arrived as a new recruit he may have heard stories about the conditions but when he returned from leave, he knew first hand what he was facing and he returned nevertheless.
He knows how to pronounce the French, German and Flemish names...at least I think he does.
When the war is over and Churchill wants to leave the area in ruins as a memorial to the dead and the citizens of Ypres resist. Their lives needed to go on and they wanted a living memorial to the sacrifices that were made.
This book stirred my interest and I visited Ypres in August 2016. Anyone who thinks the solution to a problem is war should read this book and visit this area. The number of dead and missing is breathtaking! This is the area where gas was first used by the Germans and where the Germans first used flamethrowers in the trenches. The British Empire forces vaporized thousands of Germans when they tunneled under the German lines and planted explosives. Winston Groom has performed a public service by writing such a readable/listenable book.
At times it reads like a body count. Brace yourself. Will give you a deep understanding of the first and perhaps more so, the second world war.
It was like watching a movie in my head.
The description of the Slaughter of the Innocents: the 17-19 year old German teens and students hooking arms as they charged into the lines of professional, sharpshooting BEF (British Expeditionary Force) solders who fired so fast i.e.over 15 rounds a minute, the Germans thought it was machine guns. Worse, each bullet was directed fire--aimed.
He's fine--a little young.
Yes, but I resisted because it was so good. I've studied this battle, really battles, for years but could not understand who was fighting who and where and why until by chance I ran across this one by the author of Forest Gump. Then I knew--at last here was some one could write and explain--with out getting lost in HQ (headquarters) minutiae: TACTICS AND STRATEGY-- and anecdote this tragic event.
We need more writers writing history. I've read so many books by BIG NAME college prof's PHD's WHO CAN'T WRITE. When I finish the ordeal I'm more confused than when started They're just good for research. Get the PHD's out of the "newspaper office" and get the gumshoes back who have a nose for history and can write, write, write--it's something you're born with like the body of a great prize fighter.
AUDIBLE--PLEASE INCLUDE MAPS FROM THE BOOK THAT I CAN DOWNLOAD.
A easy listen, well narrated. Most names pronounced correctly. Very British centered. Using the standard narrative of the Great War.
Good beginner read/listen for the new WWI enthusiast.
In the genre of history it was about average.
Not one moment stands out; it was overall enjoyable.
There weren't a lot of characters, so not really a relevant question.
No. History needs to be taken in small doses.
I enjoyed this book and learned a lot about WWI that I didn't know.
The written version deserves to be read. The spoken version is not worth the cost.
Mr Baker clearly has no idea how to pronounce many of the locations and persons involved in the book.
This is a fine book. It's limited in scope and depth, intentionally so, but it's admirably clear and well-organized, and more than accomplishes what Winston Groom set out to do, which is to write a book for American giving a sense of the Great War. Focusing on the British experience on the Ypres salient in a very good way to do this, and gives a revealing longitudinal section of the war.
If you're like me, you may be slow to warm to the book. It starts off in a worrying way, talking about "iron-fisted Nicholas II" (which is all he says about him) and "a never-ending stream of Paris taxicabs" bringing soldiers to the front. (This did happen, but the soldiers were reserves who played no role in the fighting, and the cab drivers got paid for doing it; the only reason anyone remembers it is that the French found it useful for wartime propaganda.) Mix this with David Baker's broadly American voice and somewhat inaccurate pronunciation and at first you wonder if someone is lecturing you about his second-hand impressions.
But it settles down into a very solid and readable book, and one that's good where it really needs to be, which is describing what life in the trenches was like. As a veteran himself, as well as a talented writer, Mr. Groom is someone you want telling that story.
It is an introduction, and a popular one at that. No footnotes, for example. Anyone with a very deep knowledge of the War will probably feel uncomfortable with certain interpretations and worry that a lot of points are being overlooked or oversimplified. But the intention is to tell a story, and not get bogged down in details, and that's certainly valid. It's a tale well told.
As for the narration, David Baker's reading just didn't work for me. I don't claim this is other than a matter of taste.
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