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Publisher's Summary

A globe-spanning novel of alternate history in the final days of World War II.

January 1945: As Hitler's Germany and Tojo's Japan collapse, General George Marshall dies unexpectedly days before the critical Yalta Conference. His successor as US Army Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur, flies halfway around the world to butt heads with Josef Stalin and change history.

When MacArthur relieves General Dwight D. Eisenhower from command in Europe, the Anglo-Allied advance devolves into a free-for-all as competing armies race for Berlin, and the changes echo across the globe.

Populated by a cast of realistic characters who will take you inside the American, German, Soviet, and Japanese military machines, and meticulously researched by a well-known military historian, MacArthur's Luck opens The Fortunes of War series, exploring a world both tantalizingly like our own, but also dramatically different.

Half the fun is figuring out what's real, and what's not.

©2017 Steven H Newton (P)2018 Steven H Newton

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Packed a Punch, quite moving

Would you listen to MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet again? Why?

I'm going to gift one to my son.

What did you like best about this story?

the many characters

Which scene was your favorite?

The German Panzer commander having to leave refugees by the river as he flees the Russians

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

the book lets you sympathize and feel for all sides of this world war

Any additional comments?

the writer is good and he kept me interested in the plot and moving forward. The reader read all the characters with different dialects and did it well but I would have preferred that all voices be the same like they are often in history books.

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A good book .

An interesting alternate history with fascinating yet small changes that enhance the outlook of the whole . I’m looking forward to The next audiobook .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Striking and very well worth it

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

yes. The recording just captured me. It was hypnotic at times. I kept looking forward to see how each character would resolve. Game of Thrones did that to me also. You really want to know what is going to happen to these people. The fact that just one writer created all this was quite surprising.

What other book might you compare MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet to and why?

this one is written better than most history texts and is far more interesting and human

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

I hadn't heard him before . Striking voice and all sorts of real characters.

Any additional comments?

Steven Newton is obviously very skilled at his craft. When is the next book coming out? The one that closes out this story? I want to know what the hell is going to happen to these people.

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Great story and great narration

I read the story before I heard the audible version of it. I'm glad I did both. The story is compelling and the narrator does a excellent job of giving distinct voices to the various characters in the story. What I especially appreciated about the narrator is how his voice sounds like the time period during which the story occurs. If you listen to the story, you might find reading it also interesting (or vice versa). This story is as good as alternate histories get. I highly recommend it.

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Brilliant Audiobook, Riveting

What made the experience of listening to MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet the most enjoyable?

To be clear, I was asked to review this for the publication I write for but was unfamiliar with the writer or the narrator. Well... the man reading it was one of a kind. Very special talent. Large variety of voices but true and real The writer was detailed about the history of the period and penned some very,very interesting and sympathetic characters, this whole moment in history is absolutely dramatic and riveting I have studied it and thought this was a very original and striking way to appreciate it

Who was your favorite character and why?

Actually some might disagree but I liked MacArthur in this. In history we are given an unreal depiction of him. Here the writer seems to expose all sides of him, makes him human but flawed but also grand and the kind of man we needed at the time to lead.

What about Robert Thaler’s performance did you like?

This man finds humor in the strangest situations. You feel what he reads and you see it. And its a remarkable voice.

Who was the most memorable character of MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet and why?

I don't think there was just one. There were so many. It was rather amazing. Dmitri the Russian fighter was sweet and sad, Konev was harsh but funny, one of the German officers was very,very poignant, another was a brutal pig,- the Americans were all portrayed realistically and written with flair

Any additional comments?

I'd buy this one just to listen a second and third time. It's that good., a diamond in the rough

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Pretty Fascinating

Where does MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

near the top and I've been listening to books on tape for years.

What other book might you compare MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet to and why?

its unique in structure. Many interesting characters moving through one of the most dynamic periods in Western history. James Michener comes to mind. He was broad, big, and he loved the characters he put down on paper

Which scene was your favorite?

There were several that were powerful and unforgettable. All the writing featuring Albert Speer is really potent. He is a controversial figure and I had read his own accounts decades ago. This handling was quite sympathetic, its fictionalized of course but it was striking and believable.

Any additional comments?

this writer was just terrific. Fun and full of adventure and characters that you care for.

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Finally, a good audio book

Would you listen to MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet again? Why?

I'm not even finished yet, just started listening 5 hours ago but you better believe it. I listen to a lot of these and many of them are turkeys and gobblers. This one's for real.

Who was your favorite character and why?

the Russian, Konev. Bad ass. If we ever tangle with the Russians people should listen to this guy first.

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

Mr Thaler is nothing short of brilliant. I love Peter Coyote and Joe Barrett and maybe a very few others. Thaler is right up there with them.

Any additional comments?

I don't write these much but I'm pretty stoked about this one. S. Newton knows his craft. You can tell he's Military. You can just tell. He has discipline, he tells a fine story, specially if you know any history, he side tracks himself at times but that's not a big deal. He's pushing his cards into the center of the table and I respect that. He writes to win.

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one of the good ones

Would you listen to MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet again? Why?

my son's listening now. He doesn't read that much. I want him to gain a better understanding of what really went down in WW2 and this is a pretty good way

What was one of the most memorable moments of MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet?

I just think the writer knew his craft and that made it very enjoyable to listen. I read the book first, Stephen Newton has a good way of communicating. He uses characters to express events and I found that unique

Which character – as performed by Robert Thaler – was your favorite?

I docked the guy a star because I really prefer just to hear the writing and then imagine the people myself. I would have liked a news caster type to just give it to me straight without all the dialects,etc.

Any additional comments?

Newton is a pretty damn good writer. I was surprised and pleased

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

well written and on many levels

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

I teach at a State school in the area and have studied this period extensively, consulting volumes on the exhaustive campaign along the Russian Front with particular interest. The writer clearly has a detailed knowledge of the subject and the players. He infuses his story with fictional characters that give life to the material. Its as if you are accessing personal diaries from the period. This drives his plot and I loved it. I couldn't stop listening because I wanted to know how these dramas would resolve even though in hindsight I well know exactly how this terrifying period in history concludes.but dammit, this book stops abruptly at a point of fairly high tension,- I won't spoil it for others only to say that this is just the first book so I await the sequel and the denouement I want to know what happens to these people by the end of the War

Who was your favorite character and why?

so far there are so many characters that are interesting I don't want to pick one. When I hear the rest of the story I might know better. MacArthur himself as great as he was is kind of a foil in this but he's also revealing and the author manages somehow to give him several sides to his character which is what good writers in my opinion all do. I'm thinking to get my students to listen or at least read this series since it may be the best way for some of them to appreciate the drama and the historical impact of this epoch

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

No. Never heard him before. He drives it. Right on the money.

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

if you know this period you can't help feeling a lot of emotion listening to this thing

Any additional comments?

when is Part II coming out?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story - interesting characters

Would you listen to MacArthur's Luck, Part One: Laying the Bet again? Why?

Yes, I would/will listen again. Mainly because I'm new to audible and it requires more attention than I anticipated to catch all the details. I enjoyed the story and know I'll enjoy it again (not right away though) because there will be details I missed the first time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Col. Neames (sp?). I like his attitude and desire to help while also trying to cover his own ass.

What about Robert Thaler’s performance did you like?

I like the voices he brought to the characters. Clear and easily understood. That is important to me because I don't want to blast the volume, but I do have some hearing loss and the clear diction is vital to my enjoyment.

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

No, but I don't think there are many books that I would have wanted to listen to straight through.

Any additional comments?

Anxious to listen to the rest!