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Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?

A Powerful Story of Love and Survival
Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Horace 'Jim' Greasley was 20 years of age in the spring of 1939 when Adolf Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and latterly Poland. There had been whispers and murmurs of discontent from certain quarters, and the British government began to prepare for the inevitable war. 

After seven weeks training with the 2nd/5th Battalion Leicester, he found himself facing the might of the German army in a muddy field south of Cherbourg, in Northern France, with just 30 rounds of ammunition in his weapon pouch. Horace's war didn't last long. He was taken prisoner on 25th May 1940 and forced to endure a 10 week march across France and Belgium en route to Holland.

Horace survived...barely. Food was scarce; he took nourishment from dandelion leaves, small insects and occasionally a secret food package from a sympathetic villager, and drank rain water from ditches. 

Many of his fellow comrades were not so fortunate. Falling by the side of the road through sheer exhaustion and malnourishment meant a bullet through the back of the head and the corpse left to rot. After a three day train journey without food and water, Horace found himself incarcerated in a prison camp in Poland. It was there he embarked on an incredible love affair with a German girl interpreting for his captors.

He experienced the sweet taste of freedom each time he escaped to see her, yet incredibly he made his way back into the camp each time, sometimes two, three times every week. Horace broke out of the camp then crept back in again under the cover of darkness after his natural urges were fulfilled. He brought food back to his fellow prisoners to supplement their meagre rations. He broke out of the camp over 200 times and towards the end of the war even managed to bring radio parts back in. The BBC news would be delivered daily to over 3,000 prisoners. This is an incredible tale of one man's adversity and defiance of the German nation.

©2019 Horace Greasley (P)2019 Bonnier Books UK

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this story

I really loved this book. The narrator did a great job. I’m a combat veteran, so I’m not a prude, but I could have done with less description of the sexual specifics. But maybe because I’m a woman and it’s from a man’s perspective is why I feel that way. At any rate, I couldn’t stop listening!

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loved this book!! and the narrator!

this book was amazing! what a beautiful, albeit sad at times, story. shows how cruel humans can be, yet how loving and strong humans can be. I'm so glad Horace decided to tell his story

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wonderful read,

Love this true story from begining to end. Was hard to put down. Wish there could be a sequel.

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Amazing and surreal

It is hard to put the words together to detail the emotions that this book makes you feel. I don't typically let my emotions come out, but this book made me chuckle, made me cry, and horrified me when listening to the atrocities that our fellow men committed on each other. The book really hit home for me since I was a United States Infantryman and I could truly understand the comradry and selflessness of Horace and his fellow men.

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British Bad ass

Good story. He definitely endured some hardness.
Way too much graphical descriptions of sexual encounters. The story could have more if an impact without that level of detail.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Vulgarity and profanity.

I could have done without the vulgarity and profanity. The use of profanity takes away from the story.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian Smith
  • 12-01-19

Great story, rather crude at times but.....

Great story well read, fascinating storey. Rather crude at times but.....not your normal escape story

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • 11-27-19

More Mills & Boon than war.

Semi erotic novel that spends more time telling stories of Horace getting his leg over than anything else.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kev
  • 11-26-19

Amazing

An amazing book by an amazing man. It was an honour to be able to listen to this mans story.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Antony J. Squires
  • 11-26-19

Fabricated?

Unfortunately I didn't enjoy the graphic moments of intimacy. Spoiled the story and not necessary

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 11-25-19

Fantastic

I started listning to this book and couldn't stop. Truly breath taking. Well narrated.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • adam davies
  • 11-24-19

Great read

Brilliant story and a brilliant narration. A credit well spent. Big thumbs up from me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Barty
  • 11-22-19

Incredible story

This is a must, a complete range of emotions from laugh out load to tears. Absolute hero's and heroines.
thank you

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-20-19

Anazing

an absolute must for every audible fan.
Just an amazing story of defiance, bravery in the face of evil, softened by the most endearing love story. A film must be in the offering.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam W.
  • 11-20-19

what an excellent book a true insight

what an excellent book a true insight into what really happened in prisoner of war camps in world war II emotional and exciting will make you angry and parts will make you question your fellow man a definite definite one to put on your reading list

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ivan
  • 11-17-19

Really?

What could have been a great story was ruined by needlessly explicit accounts of sexual encounters. If I want soft porn I am sure there are books I can go to for better!

Then there are lots of things that just don't stack up. A man who can pretty much escape a POW camp at will, who has the resourcefulness to survive the unsurvivable yet can't get a lift across the channel to get to his true love at the end? The fact that his lover didn't even tell him she was pregnant despite planning to move half way round the world to live together? And that doesn't even cover the military inaccuracies that others have pointed out in their reviews.

Pretty disappointing.