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Publisher's Summary

"A revealing look into the intrigue and extraordinary courage of our intelligence gatherers of World War II. A rare combination of suspense thriller and true heroism by a great American writer." (Clive Cussler, New York Times best-selling author)
© 2004 Patrick O'Donnell; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"This book is far more than a simple historical survey and reads like a satisfying cloak and dagger yarn, making it a good choice for both history and mystery buffs." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Great book...

I really loved this book. It motivated me to buy a hard copy. It shows a history of a great group (OSS) of people who you won't find anywhere else. I was completely surprised that these "made for movie" type operations and people really exisited. From our men getting tortured and killed to OSS operatives knowing what would happen to the fate of some of the captures we received, this book is very graphic and extremely invigorating.

I suggest it to anyone who is interested in history, the military, intelligence, or sacrifice.

44 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Extremely Poor Narrator

I purchased this ebook based on the recommendation of a friend, who, knowing my love of history, and the OSS in particular because my father spent his war life working in the OSS during WWII, thought I would enjoy this book. I DID NOT ENJOY THIS BOOK!.
And the whole reason is because of the narrator, Mr. Christopher Lane.

PROS: Book
CONS: Narrator

SUMMARY: Mr. Lane needs to either go to a school to learn how to do accents and dialects before spewing forth verbal garbage such as in this book that ruins the whole ebook presentation.
I DID enjoy the historical information presented in the book itself, but this was all ruined because Mr. Lane thinks that he has the ability to mimic different language accents and dialects, which he CANNOT do at all because every foreign language he attempts sounds the same.
If I could just award separate ratings for the book, and for the ebook voicing performance or presentation of the book, I would rate the book at 4.5, and the ebook voicing at a negative 5.
Therefore, in summary I have to give this book a 1 since that is the lowest rating available.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Informative and clearly written true-spy stories

What made the experience of listening to Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed the structure: a series of well told 1st-person narratives of OSS personnel, well joined by the author's explanation of how OSS was formed, organized, staffed, equipped, and tasked.

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

A good narrator, like a good actor, makes the characters real without the audience realizing how hard that is. Lane does that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Unconscionable direction

Why, oh why, did the producer/director of this recording allow Christopher Lane (normally a great reader) to go into foreign accents? The German and French are so bad that vast swatches of this very well written book are unlistenable. Lane not only goes into awful renditions of these and other accents, he also mispronounces place names. Argh! There is so much interesting material here.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book on an overlooked topic.

Any additional comments?

This was a great book. I loved the topic, and I thought it was very well presented. The stories were exciting, easy to follow, and engaging. The narrator was sometimes a little bland, but I thought he did a nice job, overall. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Blake
  • Annapolis, MD, United States
  • 04-23-10

Completely Colorless Cover to Cover

I kept reading hoping the book would eventually become at least average but it never got to that level. It just starts and stays bad, really bad. This author claims to base this book on hundreds of personal interviews and I have no doubt it does, but not interviews by the author - interviews by the OSS. Most of this book appears to be taken verbatim from the unclassified after-action reports of the operatives involved and consequently it reads with as much excitement as a bundle of police reports. The farcical narration is appropriate for such a bad book. Like watching a traffic accident, I kept listening to the end to hear Christopher Lane's horrible accents bordering on comedy. To sum it up, the book reads like this: "We met this guy, we did this and that and came back. Oh and we blew up a fuel dump." No color. No excitement. This effort is very poor. Use your time reading something good.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Luis
  • Miami, Fl, United States
  • 03-16-08

Interesting History

It was a good history of the OSS but a times it was biased towards them. But still an enjoyable listen

1 of 4 people found this review helpful