Written in Austria and Germany during the fall of 1971, The Odessa File is based on its author's life experiences as a Reuters man reporting from London, Paris, and East Berlin in the early 1960s.
The "Odessa" of this title is an acronym for the secret organization that has protected the identities and advanced the destinies of former members of Hitler's dreaded SS since shortly before the end of World War II. One of its rare major defeats came in the spring of 1964, when a packet of dossiers arrived anonymously at the Ministry of Justice in Bonn.
How and why a once carefree young German freelance journalist came to send the packet is told in this brilliant new extrapolation from reality into terror.
©1972 Dane's Book Production Limited; (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
i've heard several books, audible and elsewhere. some i read first, but never read this one or saw the film. the story has excellent character descriptions and actions, believable and character specific dialogue, a well crafted plot with twists that kept pulling me along and details that made the story very engaging and a twist at the end that shifted the focus, for me, of the whole story, actually kind of shocked me.
i found the reader exceptional, able to shift dialects between characters, which kept them, in my minds eye, visually present, clarified who was speaking and gave the words emotional context. this guy is a good reader/actor, in my opinion, and an excellent choice for German, British English and Israeli dialect.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
That most of the S.S. were not only able to get away but even come back and live peaceful lives in Germany is a tragedy.
When this book was originally released many decades ago it was likely created the scandalous outrage Forsyth intended and it still packs a punch as good investigative journalism should.
(I'm certain the book has been re-narrated at more listenable speed now MP3 players rule the day before too many cassettes or CDs were cumbersome and cut into profits so narration was so fast it took much of fun out of listening and led to many "abridged versions") e.g. I once heard (at a book store one of the Harry Potter books (still on the old C.D. format) and think... "Wow... that narrator is reading aloud FAR TOO quickly to enjoy.)
The book is well narrated with a sophistication befitting the people who will buy this book having a much better sense of history than much of the modern "pop culture" generation.
If you once saw it as a crummy movie (as I did long ago as a child) you can be certain, as usual, the book is far.. far.. BETTER! (Isn't it always?)
This is a "must read" as Forsyth in his forward lists all the research he did. I have no doubt that there is a similar organization even if its members are now rapidly dying of old age. Why they were/are able to go to their graves without any legal action or accountability for their many vicious war crimes is the reason is why one needs to read this book... especially if you believe in the phrase "Never again."
Lover of good ideas
Frederick Forsyth has written a gripping story of post WWII Nazi SS men's escape from prosecution for their war crimes. Based on historical fact, he has told the story of the lives of these men, the millions he killed and the story of one man journey to bring one of these SS men to justice. His story line soon has you forgetting you are listening to a story, and has you engaged in the lives of the characters. He did a superb job of developing the character of the main characters, especially the journalist Miller.
It isn't until the final 50 minutes of the story that the real reason Miller tracked the Nazi SS officer down is revealed.
This is my first Frederick Forsyth audiobook, but it will not be my last.
Be warned, the narrator is HARD to get used to but once I did, I enjoyed the book much more. I learned lots and enjoyed some of the twists and turns. Not a top favorite but I would recommend as a bargain buy.
Good story of the Nazi SS brotherhood post WWII. As with all Forsyth books, the story is developed from a solid basis in fact. Thus, it draws the listener in and paints a very believable tale.
A little disappointed in the ending. Other than that, this is typical Forsyth, exquisite.
This is a very interesting story, it made me think about things in a new way regarding the period after the war in Germany. I would recommend it to anyone with the only caution being that the reader does a terrible job with reading the voices of female characters. It is really grating, you just have to be happy that these parts don't go on for long, just endure it because the story is so rich and intriguing.
I like this book very much. I never saw the movie, but I am now a Forsyth fan. It kept me going throughout and I looked forward to my commute. If you like stories of the war, and international intrigue then this is your book. It is sort of a Bourne Identity in the 60's, but based on truth
PLOT: Hunting Nazi Raushman is his new goal.
1963~ a freelance journalist stumbles on to a journal of a Jew who committed suicide. The story it tells is first rate. The journal beings in Rega Concentration camp where sadist Raushman the Nazi in charge both kills, tortures and "enjoys" the murder of all his victims. When the Journal informed Miller (the Journalist) that Raushman is still alive and living in Germany the hunt is on. This is both interesting how the "good old boy" Nazi network helped each other out. With some going to South America and some simply with new identities they chose new lives right under the nose of the Nazi Hunters. They often protected each other. But the ODESSA is the "organization" who helps FUND and arrange the escapes and new lives. AS Miller discovers the "forger" who helped with the new identity papers. He has the proof he needs for justice but the Odessa is hot on his trail to stop him at any cost. This is an excellent story. It has the details and keeps you interested. But there is a plot twist that is great that gives a personal reason for Miller to find the Nazi Rauschman. I give it 4 STARS....
I would recommend the book but not the audio. Something important was lost in hearing rather than seeing the page.
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