• A Storm in Flanders

  • The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front
  • By: Winston Groom
  • Narrated by: David Baker
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (573 ratings)
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.

What listeners say about A Storm in Flanders

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    405
  • 4 Stars
    115
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    388
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    382
  • 4 Stars
    89
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love, love, love this book!

What made the experience of listening to A Storm in Flanders the most enjoyable?

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."

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What does David Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He knows how to pronounce the French, German and Flemish names...at least I think he does.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

6 people found this helpful

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

Not a another PHD history TEXTBOOK!

If you could sum up A Storm in Flanders in three words, what would they be?

It was like watching a movie in my head.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Storm in Flanders?

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.

What about David Baker’s performance did you like?

He's fine--a little young.

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

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

5 people found this helpful

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

The Horror of War

This book is a graphic description of the genuine horror that was WW 1 in the trenches.and the failure of the Generals on both sides to realize how new technology required different approaches .Pig headedly charging entrenched positions defended by machine guns, artillery and modern rifles is akin to breaching a concrete wall by battering your head against it.The end result was hundreds of thousands of unburied corpses in No Man's Land and buried corpses everywhere IN ,UNDER and around the trenches.There is more to the book than this but it certainly pulls no punches. The book was real,well written and the narrator was great. It had a profound effect on me.Normally I would listen to a historical book like this several times but I am not sure I want to think about such things again.
If you want to get the skinny on WW 1, I suggest you listen to the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Barbara Tuchman....THE GUNS OF AUGUST....I have listened to this several times and will do so again. Tuchman describes the culture and organization of the German,
Russian,British and French Armies and then takes you on a roller coaster ride of action that was the opening campaign. A Storm In Flanders is a blood and guts description of what happened in the years after the Germans were stopped and everyone dug in.

4 people found this helpful

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

Conventional Wisdom and Fresher Perspectives

Groom begins with an undeniable truth: great tracts of timber have been pulped in the effort to explain the origins of the First World War. Unsurprisingly, then, his own brief summary of those causes shuns the complex and controversial, reverting instead to words like “inevitable” and pigeonholing Wilhelm II as a “military nut”. This is little more than the shorthand of popular perception.

However, he’s merely setting the table for his main narrative and, once in the Ypres Salient, Groom is in his element. He knows how to enliven the tedium of static warfare with anecdotes, both sobering and humorous. He avoids much of the military jargon that can clutter other accounts. When even official histories refuse to sugarcoat the war’s horrors, it’s easy to fall into the “Lions Led by Donkeys” or “Angry Young Man” schools of thought. Groom sidesteps both, presenting the logic of seemingly (to us) illogical decisions, debunking the myth of the “chateaux generals” and showing that much-castigated officer, Sir Douglas Haig, as capable (at times) of rising above his popular, clueless caricature. Perhaps most importantly, he refuses to paint the common soldier as a mindless dupe, explaining his sacrifice in terms of loyalty to comrades—especially fallen comrades—belief in the cause and, finally, just plain soldierly pride and stubbornness. A continuous, parallel account of the wider conflict keeps the Ypres sector in its proper context, making this a solid introduction to the subject for beginners as well as a useful refresher for old hands.

Our narrator does a workmanlike, rather uninspired job. His pronunciation of French, Belgian and German names is often less than adequate. But get past that first, perfunctory chapter, give the story time to grip you, and you probably won’t even notice.

3 people found this helpful

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

Germans and parts of Germans

I've read a lot of books on various wars. This is one of the best. Mesmerizing. I laughed every time he said 'Germans and parts of Germans.' You'll see what I mean.

3 people found this helpful

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

Concisely told, basic, English centered, History

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.

3 people found this helpful

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

I was in tears...

incredible descriptions of life in trench warfare and the horrors of World War I. I remember I had a history teacher in form 3 that talked about the horrors of the trenches. I couldn't hold back the tears at the description of the dedication of the War memorial - "they are not missing, they are here...".

2 people found this helpful

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

Biased and inaccurate

This could have been an excellent topic if properly written but it is very biased and written in a pro-British propaganda style. It is similar to books that were written during or immediately after the war. It also repeats a number of atrocity accusations that have long been discounted. There are much better books on the subject.

1 person found this helpful

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

A "Pop" History book. Heavy British bias.

I wouldn't recommend this book other then as entertainment. Its light on information, heavy on narrative which is biased towards the British. WW1 was incredibly complex and the Germans did some awful things, particularly in Belgium. Yet to push a narrative that says the British were good guys and the Germans were bad guys is naive is misleading.

The one positive I'd say is that maybe you want that. if so this is a good book. Otherwise skip it in favor of Peter Harts book "The Somme" or for a more general overview of the entire conflict get Keegan's one volume work "The First World War".

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

listen to Forest Gump tell you about world war I

my God I only got this because it was free but I want whatever data I wasted downloading it back. it should say by the idiot who brought you Forrest Gump on the front of the book so the people would know not to read it.

1 person found this helpful