We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
A Higher Call Audiobook

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II is now in Channels.
How to Listen
  • To access Channels, you'll need the latest version of the app.
  • iOS - Tap the Channels icon on the main menu.
    Android/Windows - Tap on the hamburger menu and select Channels
  • Tap on the Dramatic History channel to listen to A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II.
Unlimited listening to Channels is included with Audible membership. Learn more
Channels requires the latest version of the
Audible app for Android, iOS, and Windows 10.
Regular Price:$23.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.

This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day - the American - Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17 - and the German - Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of one thousand bombers, each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack.

Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American Eighth Air Force would later classify as top secret. It was an act that Franz could never mention without facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for 40 years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

©2012 Adam Makos (P)2013 Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

What the Critics Say

“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more!”(Marcus Brotherton, New York Times best-selling author

“It is often said that ‘war is hell’ - and it is - however, this story reveals how the human spirit can shine in the darkest hours. A Higher Call is an eye-opener.” (Col. Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman, WWII)

“‘Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?’ The author asks the question and delivers the answer. A powerful, haunting read.” (Chuck Tatum, author of Red Blood, Black Sand)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (2433 )
5 star
 (1808)
4 star
 (471)
3 star
 (125)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (14)
Overall
4.7 (2229 )
5 star
 (1769)
4 star
 (338)
3 star
 (99)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.7 (2213 )
5 star
 (1605)
4 star
 (479)
3 star
 (104)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Harry Boyle Irmo, SC, United States 05-28-15
    Harry Boyle Irmo, SC, United States 05-28-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    197
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    226
    79
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing finer out there to listen to !"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Wonderfully written and researched. The narrator hits it perfectly. I listened pretty much non stop for two days.


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

    The description of the German Fighter pilot letting the American pilot and crew live to fight on another day.


    Any additional comments?

    If you listen to podcasts check out the John Batchelor Show May 25, 2015 hour 4. The podcast makes you decide quickly that you want to experience this novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony E. 05-03-15
    Tony E. 05-03-15 Member Since 2014

    I listen to books on my commute at 1.75 speed. I like umpiring books, corny sci-fi, religious, history, and whatever catches my eye.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Humanity Greater Than War"
    Would you listen to A Higher Call again? Why?

    The introduction to this book is interesting. The author talks about how he started by interviewing World War II veterans for his school magazine and it took off from there. He did not, under any circumstances, wish to interview anybody who fought for the Germans though, as this was an American publication and he felt there was no good that could ever come from the Nazi side of the war. Little did he know about Franz Stigler. Charlie Brown, a pilot spared from destruction by this WWII ace, told the author that if he wanted his story, he had to interview Franz Stigler first and get his story.
    The incident which drew me to this book in the first place is about half way through the book. It is a poignant moment but greater things are left to come. The story of Stigler is fascinating. The story of Charlie Brown is ok but to get inside the German war machine from a reluctant cog makes for great reading and a very touching ending. I would listen to it again.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Towards the end when Stigler becomes a jet pilot makes for some of the best moments in the book.


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

    The Franz Stigler Story: The Ace of Humanity


    Any additional comments?

    This book is powerful in that it shows that the enemy isn't the propaganda that is being sold to us, they are people with loyalty and families just like us who want to do what is best for them. If we could all have the sensibility of Stigler and Brown, who all these years after the incident are incredible friends the world would be a much better place.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pelle 03-13-15
    Pelle 03-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book I've read!"

    Greatest book I've read, right in the feels! Must read. Better than Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ken Acworth, GA, United States 01-21-14
    ken Acworth, GA, United States 01-21-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Book!"
    What did you love best about A Higher Call?

    The underlining chivalry of the two soldiers. Being a former US Soldier stationed in Germany I totally understood what the author was talking about. In fact I had the wonderful opportunity while in Germany to train with the Germany Army and I was awarded a German Shootsner(bronze). What an awesome experience and the German's were wonderful! Very respectful to me an American, treated me like royalty.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Higher Call?

    To many to list just one. There were two moments that will just grab you specifically. First when the two pilots first meet. And second, was when they meet after the war.


    Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?

    Charlie was, just because of his sense of loyalty to his men. Just an incredible man.


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

    Just to many to name just one.


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, absolutely! This is a must read for any American. This exemplifies what it has taken to remain a free country. One must always remember, Hitler was trying his best to strike America. Since WWII we have continued to have wars, the World Trade Centers have been brought down(albeit by cowards). America can never rest, we ARE the shinning light of the world. It is well documented throughout history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica 06-04-13
    Monica 06-04-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "HIGHLY RECOMMEND!"

    Loved the true stories and adventures in this book and learned a lot about the US and German WWII Airforces; it reminded me a bit of "Unbroken: A WWII Story...". The narrator was PERFECT too! Recommended it to all my friends :-).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guy Tallahassee, FL, United States 04-12-13
    Guy Tallahassee, FL, United States 04-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolute Classic - Must Read"

    What an amazing book. The book will bring tears to your eyes in the first section of simply setting up the story. It gives us as bit of kindness from a nasty war in which both sides sacrificed so much. This is a story of good men asked to defend their Country and they choose to do it with honor and dignity. This story happens early in the war and after you hear what both parties lived through and experienced, it is a miracle in itself that both parties lived to tell their stories. War is Hell and this amazing story came from its deepest destruction. Hats off to Adam Makos for giving us their story. For all our veterans and our active military and families, I can only tell you Thank You for your service to this Nation. I am forever grateful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    timothy 06-20-17
    timothy 06-20-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible Narration but great book"

    It was hard getting past the narration of this book. I usually listen at 1.5 but listened to this one at 1.3 speed which made the narrator sound like Elmer Fudd from the old Buggs Bunny cartoons.
    The story, however was great. I love personal accounts and hearing how the the author felt during his experiences.
    The story goes from going to flight training school to the bombing of Peal Harbor to missions in Africa and England. The author meets Jimmy Stewart and is in London during V2 rocket attacks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andersun 06-12-17
    Andersun 06-12-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Geat Story"

    Well worth the read! I could not put it down until the end! Thank you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert California 06-02-17
    Robert California 06-02-17 Member Since 2013

    Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "stunningly beautiful story,"

    I could not wait to get in the car to listen to the story. I have read a lot of World War 2 books, and I was happy this one had a lot of history especially of the German air force, and the touching and beautiful story of Charlie and Franz is a big plus

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Ellis 05-23-17
    Jamie Ellis 05-23-17 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must Read"

    This is one of the most moving stories I've ever read. The book challenged and reminded me that not all Germans were Jew hating Nazis as they are always portrayed in most popular media but many were men following the orders of a brutal and paranoid regime. It's a beautiful moment of humanity in an awful war. In the aftermath of the war, two men from opposite sides form a friendship and are the best examples of what people can be. This is a must read for anyone, not just people interested in military history. I absolutely cannot recommend this book enough. I think we all need to remind ourselves the sacrifices and horrors that our servicemen have faced and overcome in every conflict this nation has faced. Mr Brown and Mr Steigler are among the best of us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.