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Publisher's Summary

It is Christmas Eve, 1957. Flying home, on leave from Germany, he is alone in the cockpit of the Vampire. Sixty-six minutes of flying time, with the descent and landing - destination Lakenheath. No problem, all routine procedures.Then, out over the North Sea, the fog begins to close in. Radio contact ceases and the compass goes haywire. Suddenly, out of the mist, appears a WorldWar II bomber. It is flying just below the Vampire, as if trying to make contact.

©1975 Frederick Forsyth (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Very very well done!

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

Just about!

Any additional comments?

I first heard the story by accident on CBC, driving in the FL panhandle on X-mas Eve. Read by the author it lasted around 1/2 hour (45 min?) and I thought that's all there was. Have to admit I never read the book. But i loved the story and found that short version of it on X-mas stories CD and I've listened to it count less times since. So I approached this rendition with a lot of apprehension. Now I love it as much as the first rendition I've heard! I love the additional material that missing from the short version. Narrator does an excellent and convincing job as well. Listed to it twice in the 24 hrs since purchase. I have to disclose that I'm extremely biased toward stories dealing with flying. Being a pilot myself I tend to associate into the story a lot, and imagination gets easily set off :-)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Orlando, FL
  • 10-18-15

Classic Story, Great Reading

A classic Christmas ghost story, by the estimable Frederick Forsyth, shivery but touching, quietly and atmospherically read.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Wonderful, i loved it! Outstanding!

One of his best! He really knows how to tell a great story. Love It! His characters & suspense followed by a great ending never fail to enthrall the reader!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Brings to mind the sweeter side of Twilight Zone

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shepherd to be better than the print version?

I can't compare this to the written version but its a great listen for any fan of non-traditional Christmas stories and Audio Books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There really isn't any long development of the other characters...just the Narrator. But that character was well defined with human frailty and fears, augmented by an aviator's cockiness. Based upon the short but thorough development of Johnny Kavanaugh's personality and character, I would chose him...his strength of character and his nature leave the listener satisfied but unsurprised by his gallant actions.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final scene wherein the "Truth" about the Shepherd's identity is revealed and understood by the Narrator.

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

Happy Christmas, Johnny Kavanaugh!

Any additional comments?

A wonderful, sweet story for Listeners who want to hear more than the normal Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th St, or It's a Wonderful Life. There isn't too much surprise, but it leaves you with a nice feeling, as it ends with a short by compelling summary of the character of John Kavanaugh, leaving the listener nodding in agreement that this story is in character for that fabled pilot. I liked it and will listen every Christmas.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Great airplane adventure

Love the old mysteries

Great story and superb performance.

A real airman's delight. Good Christmas tale.

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

My Favorite Story for Christmas Eve

Where does The Shepherd rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I am a fan of audio books due to a lot of travel in my life. The Shepherd is one of my all-time favorites. I rank it in my Top 10.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shepherd?

Although he appears late in the story, Old Joe's interaction with our hero is absolutely wonderful.

What about James Konicek’s performance did you like?

Back in the dark ages, I had this story on--wait for it, kids--audio cassette. Different narrator, but the same story. Konicek 's Joe is not quite as good, but he makes "boozy Flight Leftenant Norris" and the Wing Commander come alive.

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

This is a story of hope, of answered prayer, and of the brotherhood of the knights of the air. Happy Christmas! Tears of joy.

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

A Perfect Christmas Story

I simply loved Frederick 'S story about a pilot heading home. You almost felt like you were in that airplane with him. A beautiful story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rahni
  • SARATOGA SPRINGS, UT, United States
  • 01-12-17

Meh

I wasn't a huge fan of this short book, but it was a pleasant enough listen at 1.5x.