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Carter L.

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One of the Best Performances Ever

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-21-19

This story would be a five-star with me as the reader. The narrator turns it into a 10-star +

Great Story and a Great Performance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-09-19

This is a very well-told and engrossing story of the hard-fighting men of the 345th Bomb Group. The stories of individual men are told within the context of the grand strategy of the Allied march toward Tokyo. So then, rather than just a collection of stories, the listener gets a sense of what the men experienced as the Japanese were worn down and the Americans and their Allies turned the war to their favor.

Tactics and equipment are discussed enough so that the listener understands the challenges that the 345th's men faced. However these discussions are not overwhelming. Rather they are just enough to make the personal stories meaningful.

The work is notable for artfully incorporating the contemporary views of the men who did the fighting and fixing without being filtered through the modern-day machinations of political correctness. Thusly described, the men become real, rather than one-dimensional, flag-waving caricatures.

The narrator's performance is top-notch--nuanced and authoritative, while still easy to listen to.

This is a terrific work about a lesser-known aspect of the World War II air war.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

It got out of the author's control

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-18

It is perhaps a bit unfair to review from the perspective of modern sensibilities a book that was written during the 1930s. However, it is still for sale and making someone some good 2018 money. So...fair is fair.

If Ms. Undset received a Nobel for writing this book, then everyone who slogs through it should likewise receive a Nobel for persistence. This is a story that got out of Ms. Undset's control. It's too broad and unfocused, and much, much too repetitive. At times I hated Kristin for her self-loathing and hard-headedness. There is nothing wrong with giving a character those traits, but dwelling on them over and over and over and over and over again became beyond tedious.

Many characters and situations were left unresolved.

The descriptions of daily life and politics and the church were excellent. So too was the narrator.

This was a 45-hour listen. At least 15 hours were unnecessary. More tightly edited, this would be a solid five-star story. As it is, I finished it only because I paid good money for it.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great Performance for a Great Story!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-03-17

I had a difficult time adjusting my ear to the narrator's voice for about the first 30 seconds, and then it all seemed to come together. The voice quickly became perfect, and it struck me as being very authentic for the 1940s.

The book includes a lot of detail about Righetti's upbringing and his family which I wouldn't have thought was necessary for a story about a combat pilot, but it turned out to be good context, and made me care about him more. It made him seem more real.

There is a lot of background about the air war over Europe and certainly a great deal about Righetti's accomplishments. It seems odd that he's not better known. Except for being crazy-aggressive, he seemed to have been not only an accomplished pilot, but a very good leader.

As to his ultimate fate, the book takes the reader through a very comprehensive investigation that raises issues and ideas that most folks never would have considered. And it all comes together in a super-slick package. This is a very well-written book that is also very well narrated and acted.

Highly recommended.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

One of the Most Detailed Accounts

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-26-17

Would you listen to Operation Reunion again? Why?

Yes, it's the most concise and detailed account of the effort that I've encountered

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Romanian fighter pilot (I won't try to spell his name) who liaised between the Romanian forces and the Fifteenth Air Force. He seemed charismatic, skilled, resourceful and genuinely committed to saving the American POWs.

Have you listened to any of Gary Goebel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Mr. Goebel is not a professional narrator or actor, but rather is a retired fighter pilot. His father was a renowned Mustang ace and also the author of this work. Mr. Goebel's performance is workmanlike. His voice is not dramatic, but it is clear and more than adequate to tell this story well. His effort to get this story out to a greater audience is commendable.

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

It's just less than an hour in length, so it was easy to do.

Any additional comments?

This is not a long story, but at the price, it was worth it to me.

A Thorough and Gripping Account

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Of course. It overviews--in a conversational style--how the USAAF grew to become so powerful and effective. And the giants of the USAAF--Arnold, Spaatz, Eaker, etc.--are real people rather than just names. The execution of the strategies is explained in a very compelling way through the stories of the men who actually executed them. The accounts of air combat are very vivid and very compelling.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe?

The story of a bomber crewman who, after being blown out of his aircraft, regained consciousness to find himself falling in the middle of a debris field that was his B-24 only a few minutes before. In the middle of all that falling junk was a fellow crewman--who was without a parachute.

What about Paul Woodson’s performance did you like?

I liked that it seemed like he was enjoying the book. And he does a pretty nice job with accents and foreign place names, etc.

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

Yes, once it gets through the preliminary discussions of leadership, and doctrines, and other foundational elements, the action really picks up and it's hard to put it away.

Any additional comments?

It's a long listen, but I don't think this entire story is told nearly as well by any other book.

The Perfect Voice for a Compelling Story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-13-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Hell's Angels to be better than the print version?

It's difficult to say--I sure didn't like to stop listening.

What did you like best about this story?

Although the stories of air combat are told in a way that's both exciting and personal, it's not just about air combat, which, when overdone, can get numbing or overwhelming. The fighting is woven into a total story of strategy, tactics, equipment and people. And it tells the story of the support personnel as well--these are the folks who made sure the aircraft and men were ready for each mission. And it includes lots of personal stories and vignettes that make the men and what they did that much more real. Altogether it makes a very engaging story.

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

Robertson Dean performs this amazing story with the gravitas it warrants while simultaneously drawing the reader into the gut-wrenching action that typified the air war over Europe. His timing and tempo, together with his ability to apply nuance and heart, move the book along perfectly. It's difficult to imagine this book read by anyone else.

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

Terror, heart and sacrifice at five miles high.

Any additional comments?

There is probably no better start-to-finish narrative history of a World War II Bomb Group.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful