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Publisher's Summary

The classic account of one of the most dramatic battles of World War II.

A Bridge Too Far is Cornelius Ryan’s masterly chronicle of the Battle of Arnhem, which marshaled the greatest armada of troop-carrying aircraft ever assembled and cost the Allies nearly twice as many casualties as D-day.

In this compelling work of history, Ryan narrates the Allied effort to end the war in Europe in 1944 by dropping the combined airborne forces of the American and British armies behind German lines to capture the crucial bridge across the Rhine at Arnhem.

Focusing on a vast cast of characters - from Dutch civilians to British and American strategists to common soldiers and commanders - Ryan brings to life one of the most daring and ill-fated operations of the war. A Bridge Too Far superbly recreates the terror, suspense, heroism, and tragedy of this epic operation, which ended in bitter defeat for the Allies.

About the author: Cornelius Ryan (1920–1974), born in Dublin, Ireland, became one of the preeminent war correspondents of his time, flying fourteen bombing missions with the US Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. He is the author of numerous books, including several classics of military history, which have appeared throughout the world in nineteen languages. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in 1973.

©1974 Cornelius Ryan (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“I know of no other work of literature of World War II as moving, as awesome, and as accurate in its portrayal of human courage.” (General James M. Gavin)
“Ryan masters a spare, strong style to deliver a battle that has much of the majesty and beauty of classic tragedy. (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Michael
  • woodbridge, VA, United States
  • 07-26-12

Great story much better than the movie

Where does A Bridge Too Far rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The research is good and goes so much further than the movie. The characters are complex and one has to remember that they are real. The inability of the allies to manage the campaign makes you wonder what would have happened if the German units were at full strength. The characterization of Field Marshall Montgomery is consistent with most books I've read. The inability of the allies to react nimbly was a result of too big a hierarchy; much like the Pentagon or many corporations. The inefficiency of the German military was unmatched. The saddest part of the book is the fate of the Dutch population who were simply in the way of Montgomery's unending need for glory. His "dagger thrust" strategy was tried and it failed despite the "90%" success.

How could the performance have been better?

Clive Chafer gives monotone delivery a bad name. Not awful but has the most creative and fantastic monotone ever heard. The story is too compelling to put you to sleep but his delivery reminds one of a flat landscape that uses a mouse's foot prints for mountains.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Listen to the book, watch the movie

The movie is referred to as "A Hour Too Long" and it is a long film (3hrs). The book though brings clarity and if you wish to watch the film, I suggest listening to this book; before, after or during it does not matter. Spoiler alert, the cavalry doesn't quite make it. What you do get from this book is a clear understanding of what happen, what went wrong and possibly a good answer to the question of why. This is the 'boys own adventure' to battle and even if you are not into history, is a good yarn. Characters, action, sacrifice and morals are on every page. A damn good listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Greg
  • Lacey, WA, USA
  • 03-25-13

Great story marred by monotone performance

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

Yes, even though you have seen the movie, the story itself has so much more to offer. The personal perspectives of the survivors, the details about why and how. A great story

What did you like best about this story?

The personal narratvies and stories of the survivors adds a great deal to the story

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The delivery was monotone and mechanical. It nearly ut me to sleep many times. It was a sad way to portray such a great story and made it hard to listen

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

Great learning exerience

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Flat

What disappointed you about A Bridge Too Far?

It was a long book, interesting but flatly read which made it painful to get through.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Very flatly read. Monotone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Better than a sleeping pill.

The history was very interesting and the story is certainly compelling. The narration was simply awful. Virtually monotonous, it was a struggle to keep focused and I often was put to sleep while listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Too slow

Any additional comments?

Tone was just too monotonous. I have a degree in history but even for me, this was a little too tedious.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Run on sentences

What did you love best about A Bridge Too Far?

The story, men and mission are captivating. A true and powerful example of heroism by the men, and bad decisions by the command.

What did you like best about this story?

Gritty, realistic and stories told from a soldiers POV.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clive Chafer?

Anyone else... He reads the book like he is in a hurry. He reads without regard to punctuation, like it is a long run on sentence. The narrator killed the book.

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

Despite the narrator I gained a very keen insight into the special and personal histories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Garry
  • Cannington, Australia
  • 12-28-15

A great real story

Any additional comments?

Having been a fan of this book as a written book and a Steller cast movie I have always enjoyed the way the book weaves and takes us. The audio book adds value to the book and is narrated well. If you enjoy a good war story, this is one to add.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great story.

An excellent story of the Market Garden operation. It was incredibly unlucky the British found themselves on top of the II SS Panzer corps at the time of the operation. If by a stroke of luck or ill fortune they had been elsewhere the operation would have been a rousing success. Such are the fortunes of war.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gripping

Gripping story on these 9 days and how one strategy panned out in many peoples' lives

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Smith
  • 11-17-16

Amazing book ruined by awful narration

If you could sum up A Bridge Too Far in three words, what would they be?

Compelling, daring, insightful

What other book might you compare A Bridge Too Far to, and why?

Pegasus Bridge, D-Day

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narration is simply terrible. <br/><br/>It does this incredible true story and the wonderful work of Ryan a massive disservice.<br/><br/>'Monotone' doesn't begin to explain it. Clive Chafer reads in a very unnatural, almost robotic way, with a constant rhythm that a metronome would be proud of. <br/><br/>I made it slightly more bearable by increasing the speed to 1.25x, but I couldn't finish it. <br/><br/>Boring, depressing, unengaging, dull narration.<br/><br/>I'd strongly advise against purchasing the audio book for this reason, but would highly recommend purchasing the actual book and reading it for yourself - an incredible story.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A Bridge Too Far?!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • A. J. Mc
  • 03-18-16

Great story but wow the narration is awful

Do the producers actually hold auditions for these guys or just pull any random actor in looking for a job? This is such a monotonous clunking performance it almost made this unlistenable.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Hocking
  • 10-13-17

Fantastic and harrowing story that make me feel grateful

The amazing history of ultimately a doomed mission. The bravery of these men is truly humbling.

Unfortunately the narration is appalling, although by the end you have got used to it. The flat monotone delivery is like machine narration. I would choose to read it next time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Eddie
  • 07-16-17

Appalling Narration

Any additional comments?

Why do Audible not vet their narrators before they put their books up for sale. The monotonous and boring narration completly spoilt the book for me. I wasted my money in purchasing this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daz
  • 08-20-12

Classic WW2

A good book on one the greatest episodes of WW2. Had to knock a star off for the monotonous narration which grated on me a bit. Every sentence read with the same intonation distracted from the writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • rgb
  • 09-26-17

A great book, but....

The audiobook sounds like it's being read by a robot. A robot that doesn't really care. Shame.

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  • GT
  • 11-19-15

Very Comprehensive Account

Would you listen to A Bridge Too Far again? Why?

Yes - there's too much information for one reading.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is not a novel and the 'characters' were real people. I don't think anyone comes out of the event in a good light apart from the troops themselves. The failings of the 82nd are brought to light in the book and glossed over in the film.

Any additional comments?

The narrative was a bit dead-pan but the textual information is staggering and very well crafted. A 'must listen' to all war historians, especially if planning a visit to Arnhem - listen to it on the way there...

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  • frank
  • 12-22-13

A tale of true Heroism

What did you like most about A Bridge Too Far?

Easy to follow, with a unique insight into a story that even now we find fascinating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Bridge Too Far?

1st Airborne’s plight in Arnhem - magnificent.

What does Clive Chafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

easy to listen to and captures the moments perfectly

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

The soldiers that were left behind. The effective end of the 1st Airborne who so desperate to see action before the war ended had a terrible ordeal.

Any additional comments?

Proud to be British!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip Buckle
  • 03-22-16

Narration is subtle but overall good. Great story

the story is well known. the narration is spoken too fast and is tone less. The narrator has no apparent sense of drama or storytelling

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • spgibbons
  • 07-20-15

Excellent Book

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

It's a fascinating, well told account of the battle. I thoroughly enjoyed listening.

What did you like best about this story?

I have always been interested in this subject since seeing the 'A Bridge too Far' feature film as a child. It's a well balanced telling, taking both sides point of view into account.

What about Clive Chafer’s performance did you like?

I liked his voice and narrating style.

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

It made me think about the loss of life on both sides.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful