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The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 | [Rick Atkinson]

The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945

It is the 20th century's unrivaled epic: At a staggering price, the United States and its allies liberated Europe and vanquished Hitler. In the first two volumes of his best-selling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted the history of how the American-led coalition fought its way from North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now he tells the most dramatic story of all - the titanic battle in Western Europe. D-Day marked the commencement of the war's final campaign, and Atkinson's astonishingly fresh account of that enormous gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows.
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Publisher's Summary

The eagerly awaited final volume in Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Atkinson's New York Times best-selling Liberation Trilogy.

It is the 20th century's unrivaled epic: At a staggering price, the United States and its allies liberated Europe and vanquished Hitler. In the first two volumes of his best-selling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted the history of how the American-led coalition fought its way from North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now he tells the most dramatic story of all - the titanic battle in Western Europe.

D-Day marked the commencement of the war's final campaign, and Atkinson's astonishingly fresh account of that enormous gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich - all these historic moments come utterly alive. Atkinson tells the tale from the perspective of participants at all levels, from presidents and prime ministers to ambitious generals, from war-weary lieutenants to terrified teenage riflemen. When Germany at last surrenders, we understand anew both the devastating cost of this global conflagration and the awe-inspiring effort that led to Germany's surrender.

With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Rick Atkinson's remarkable accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that restored freedom to the West. His lively, occasionally lyric prose brings the vast theater of battle, from the beaches of Normandy deep into Germany, brilliantly alive. It is hard to imagine a better history of the western front's final phase.

©2013 Rich Atkinson (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"Superb… The book is distinguished by its astonishing range of coverage… [Atkinson’s] lively, occasionally lyric prose brings the vast theater of battle, from the beaches of Normandy deep into Germany, brilliantly alive. It is hard to imagine a better history of the western front’s final phase." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"[An] extraordinary accomplishment. This is a beautifully written, moving account of one of the most bittersweet chapters in modern history… The details build a stunning and precise account of major movements—from Normandy to Paris, from the South of France to Grenoble—and close-up portraits of famous figures that make them living, breathing beings." (Smithsonian Magazine)

"Superb… The book is distinguished by its astonishing range of coverage… [Atkinson’s] lively, occasionally lyric prose brings the vast theater of battle, from the beaches of Normandy deep into Germany, brilliantly alive. It is hard to imagine a better history of the western front’s final phase." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (386 )
5 star
 (266)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.6 (356 )
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Story
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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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  •  
    Chad 07-19-13
    Chad 07-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    7
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    "Full of Info"
    What made the experience of listening to The Guns at Last Light the most enjoyable?

    The expanse of military politics.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No favs - it is non-fiction.


    What didn’t you like about L. J. Ganser’s performance?

    His flourish in pronouncing non-English place names and other nouns in (what I assume to be) native accents begins to grate on the listener....


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Longest Book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared 02-12-15
    Jared 02-12-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    6
    3
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    "very good"

    A very good American perspective of the European front of wwii. Lacks more in-depth British Canadian experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 12-24-14
    Stephen 12-24-14

    I am an outdoors person I love hunting fishing dogs and sailing. Born in Boston joined the USAF and served 8.5 years. Moved to Minneapolis.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent. The best I have read."
    Where does The Guns at Last Light rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rate this book and its narration at the top of the list of my reads from Audible.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa NEWTON, NJ, United States 08-21-14
    Teresa NEWTON, NJ, United States 08-21-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    28
    9
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    0
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    "1 fine book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Guns at Last Light the most enjoyable?

    there are bunches and more of facts, figures, anecdotes, and physical descriptions interesting and new for me. Of course I'm easy to please. I'm not a scholar, but the structure of all these books is solid and sensitive.


    Which character – as performed by L. J. Ganser – was your favorite?

    The reader, L. J. Ganser was just ok. Sufficient.


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

    I'm always a little shocked by the religiosity of the 20th Century Captains Of Command. The management of wholesale slaughter whilst one converses with a myth is rather sad.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger S. Borovoy Los Altos, CA 11-15-13
    Roger S. Borovoy Los Altos, CA 11-15-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
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    "Mr. Ganzer brought this history book to life"
    Where does The Guns at Last Light rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This ranks high - partly because of its historical importance, but mostly because of Mr. Ganzer, the reader. Unlike many readers, he researched the characters' names enough to know how to pronounce all of them - and his ability with German names made a huge difference in the clarity of the narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.


    What does L. J. Ganser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I couldn't possibly pronounce the German names as well as Mr. Ganzer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tor Camp Sherman, OR, United States 11-04-13
    Tor Camp Sherman, OR, United States 11-04-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    4
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    0
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    Story
    "From Green to Veteran"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Guns at Last Light to be better than the print version?

    I can't answer. Have not read the print version.


    What other book might you compare The Guns at Last Light to and why?

    Max Hastings volume on WWII.


    Which character – as performed by L. J. Ganser – was your favorite?

    Patton.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A long and bloody holiday on the Italian peninsula.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like a little more about the German perspective. Atkinson drops in a few tantalising details here and there, but I'd like a little more.

    And I wish the audible edition somehow integrated a map feature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd lakewood, CO, USA 09-22-13
    Todd lakewood, CO, USA 09-22-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    13
    9
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    "Last of the series"
    What other book might you compare The Guns at Last Light to and why?

    ARMY AT DAWN AND THE DAY DAY BATTLE


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend that anyone who wants to read about WW II read these three books. He writes in a style that tells how it is from all levels from the private that see's the armies follys but still must follow orders to the General that see his orders get switched around in the fog of war. Full of little know facts and stories that keep you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paulie M. 08-02-13
    Paulie M. 08-02-13 Member Since 2011

    The Beck of Bessbrook

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Terrific Story!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Guns at Last Light the most enjoyable?

    Enjoyed some of the background regarding the decision and the personalities behind the decisions made on the battlefield. The author add more persepctive, feeling and flavor to the story by describing events that happened throughout the European theater, and not just on the local battlefield. The part about the V-2 attacks on Antwerp were very good.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The author does not pronounce "Nijmegen" correctly; and at first, I was wondering what he was trying to say. Since I have studied and visited the battlefield were Market-Garden took place, I was able to figure it out.

    Ask any Dutchman how to pronounce it; I cringed everytime the author said it.

    Nye (like Bill Nye) - may - chen (soft "ch" from the back of the throat, or a hard "ken" is acceptable)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hardy Jones St. Augustine, FL 06-23-13
    Hardy Jones St. Augustine, FL 06-23-13 Member Since 2015

    BlueVoice

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
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    "A Staggeringly Brilliant Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely


    What did you like best about this story?

    The comprehensive and detailed accounts of the human beings involved from privates to C in C.


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

    No, impossible, even from an emotional standpoint, not to mention the length.


    Any additional comments?

    This book made a profound impression on me. I have studied WWII since I was 8 years old and read all the Ambrose, Churchill, German Generals, Keegan etc. This book is as good as it gets. I thought the narrator did an excellent job but pushed too hard to pronounce German and French words - even Dutch - with the foreign accent. It was distracting. When finished with the book I took a walk by myself and then went surfing to get back to today's reality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. GOETZE MARYLAND 08-19-13
    S. GOETZE MARYLAND 08-19-13 Member Since 2010

    CANDYMAN

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    10
    10
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    0
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    "SHOULD BE READ IN EVERY HIGH SCHOOL."
    What did you love best about The Guns at Last Light?

    WHAT OUR FATHERS AND GRANDFATHERS WENT THROUGH SO WE COULD BE FREE.


    What about L. J. Ganser’s performance did you like?

    HE READ IT LIKE A GOOD TEACHER WOULD TELL YOU THAT REALLY UNDERSTOOD THE WAR FIRST HAND, LIKE HE WAS THERE!


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

    TOO LONG FOR THAT.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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