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We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance | [David Howarth]

We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance

It begins with an ambushed commando raid that leaves all but one of the expatriate resistance fighters dead or captured. Though wounded, Jan Baalsrud, the sole survivor, takes off on a courageous, incredible trek into the wilds of the Lyngen Alps, while the Nazis pursue him relentlessly. He suffers frostbite, snowblindness, and a terrible fall in an avalanche. At last, delirious and near death, he chances on to a cabin, where the first in a series of remarkably brave and clever men and women come to his aid.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the most enthralling true adventure stories ever written, We Die Alone, set in Nazi-occupied Norway in 1943, is an epic tale of survival against staggering odds.

It begins with an ambushed commando raid that leaves all but one of the expatriate resistance fighters dead or captured. Though wounded, Jan Baalsrud, the sole survivor, takes off on a courageous, incredible trek into the wilds of the Lyngen Alps, while the Nazis pursue him relentlessly. He suffers frostbite, snowblindness, and a terrible fall in an avalanche. At last, delirious and near death, he chances on to a cabin, where the first in a series of remarkably brave and clever men and women come to his aid. These "ordinary heroes" will eventually get the crippled Baalsrud to safety and freedom, and the amazing story of how they do it will fill listeners with wonder at the capability of the human spirit.

©1955 David Howarth; (P)2001 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Awe-inspiring....Stuart Langton's narration is an apt fit. His delivery is as spare as the text and every bit as intriguing. His voice has a force of delivery that makes this exciting and unbelievable tale one that the listener will want to hear in one sitting." (AudioFile)
"Almost unbelievable. We Die Alone is a spine chiller. It may well become a legend." (Boston Post)
"One of the most remarkable survival stories ever written." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (115 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
 (45)
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 (28)
2 star
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1 star
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4.1 (71 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
3.9 (70 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Erik Seattle, WA, USA 12-14-08
    Erik Seattle, WA, USA 12-14-08
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    "An unbelievable journey"

    This book was recommended to me by another American I ran into during my trip to Norway. It is an incredible story of survival - the will to live, the risks taken by those determined to help, and just simply luck. Knowing this was not fiction, but a real person's journey, made it all the more amazing to me. The author tells it like it is - without being sensational or boastful - so feels little more like a documentary.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 08-23-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 08-23-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A survival epic that will put a smile on your face"

    Are you depressed? Are you sick of people? Have you just read a book that has put you in the dumps? Then you must read We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance. I am sure you will like it. It works like a tonic. People are not all creeps! People do help others. This book is non-fiction, it is true and I dare you to read this book and not feel happy at the end. G-o-o-d book!

    It is about events that occurred in Norway during the German occupation of WW2. The story begins in March 1943. Here is a survival story and a war story that will make you be happy to be alive. Have you been in Norway? Then you will also appreciate it, the book I mean. You will recognize the people, the food, hear about the Lapps and of course be swallowed up by the dark nights in the winter and recognize how glorious it is when the spring comes and it never gets dark....but this is scary if you are hiding. This book takes place in northern Norway, near Tromsö and the Bardufoss Airstation and Kilpisärvi Lake.

    I listened to the audiobook narrated by Stuart Langton. The narration was OK, but the pronunciation of Norwegian names kind of threw me off at times. Other than that I have no complaints. Maybe he showed a bit too much engagement; I prefer neutral narrators but heck he never wrecked the story, and I was completely glued to it once I had stated it.

    The events are amazing. The story is well written, and there is humor and hope. If you are just a teeny bit in the mood for a survival story - pick this. I liked it even better than Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival and will try Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster to compare all three. There is mountaineering in all three.

    I am giving this five stars not really because it was amazing but because I enjoyed it from start to finish and felt extremely happy at the end. People need books like this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Augusta, GA, United States 11-29-11
    Kim Augusta, GA, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Amazing Survival Story"

    I have been listening to survival stories and found this one to be one of the best.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carie Santa Monica, CA, United States 02-14-11
    Carie Santa Monica, CA, United States 02-14-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of those great stories you rarely hear - read"

    I just finished Unbroken, an exceptional audio book. We Die Alone was a fitting sequel. Despite my own life's challenges, I am amazed by the resilience and inner drive-strength of some people beyond anything anyone can dream up. And sadly, they make me think of how pathetic some people are, hearing them whine about a 10 minute wait or that their dinner bread is not warm enough, all the while never giving a thought about those who risk their lives and minds for others and their countries. At times I had some challenges figuring out the landscape of the book, even having spent much time in Scandinavia and having been to the fjords, but no matter, Google Earth helped me out :-)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LARRY United States 03-22-13
    LARRY United States 03-22-13 Member Since 2012
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    "incredible"

    A truly heroic story. I found that I didn't want to shut my player off until the story was finished; so that's what I did. It is good to remind ourselves of the courage people can show in trying times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saman Houston, TX, United States 06-13-12
    Saman Houston, TX, United States 06-13-12 Member Since 2010

    sam_perera

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    "Terrific story."

    Somewhere I was recommended this story as a good read. Since I am a fan of real-life survival stories that included “The Log Walk”, “Unbroken”, and “Lost in Shangri-La”, this book seemed a real good choice. I was not disappointed at all as this is an extremely harrowing and arduous tale with an ultimate happy ending. Man has an incredible will to live through the most harrowing of experiences and this is a tale of the extreme in every sense. Also, this is a story of Norway in WWII in which only small fragments of information exist. This adds to the allure of this incredible story.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Belinda Hart Ivins, UT USA 12-17-14
    Belinda Hart Ivins, UT USA 12-17-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrible narration!!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different narrator! Why would you choose a narrator with such a horrible, distinct accent?? I won't say what part of America he's from, but it's so obvious!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Couldn't even listen.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stuart Langton’s performances?

    Absolutely not!


    What character would you cut from We Die Alone?

    The narrator!


    Any additional comments?

    It really annoys me when such a good book is impossible to listen to because of horrible narrator. Skip the audio and by the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carlos missouri 11-21-14
    carlos missouri 11-21-14 Member Since 2012

    More cheese!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The body can take a lot of abuse."
    If you could sum up We Die Alone in three words, what would they be?

    Will to survive.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Main guy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where he wandered the forest.


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

    I did cringe when he...did something to himself. Ugh. Won't give it away.


    Any additional comments?

    Not sure if it was worth a credit since it wasn't a very long book, but on the same note, I won't soon forget it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey 04-20-12
    Geoffrey 04-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    "An inspiring story of incredible courage!"
    What other book might you compare We Die Alone to and why?

    Id compare this with The Longest Walk, and The Endurance. Both detail the incredible limits of human endurance under extreme circumstance for survival.


    Any additional comments?

    Having been through hardships of my own, stories like these are very encouraging and inspiring. You can never give up on hope. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LifetimeRoad Deep South 10-31-11
    LifetimeRoad Deep South 10-31-11
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    "Great Story"

    Wow! How much can one man endure? Find out by reading this story. I love survival stories and have read many, including Unbroken (which I loved). The absolute solitude that Jan endured in this book is more than I think I could. A modern rewrite and performance of this story would bring it up a star I think.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Andy
    Uxbridge, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Humbling"

    An excellent account of human survival and determination. An awe inspiring account of human endeavour prompted by circumstance. I was gripped from start to finish and feel driven to visit some of the locations myself to fully understand the immense physical and mental trial they went through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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