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Publisher's Summary

The classic account of the Allied invasion of Normandy....

The Longest Day is Cornelius Ryan’s unsurpassed account of D-day, a book that endures as a masterpiece of military history. In this compelling tale of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy, Ryan painstakingly re-creates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.

This book, first published in 1959, is a must for anyone who loves history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth.

©1959 Cornelius Ryan; 1987 by Kathryn Morgan Ryan, Victoria Ryan Baida, and Geoffrey J. M. Ryan (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“What I write about is not war but the courage of man.” (Cornelius Ryan)
“Fifty years from now, the history of D-day, I am sure, will lean heavily on this book.” (New York Times Book Review)
“A dramatic, moving masterpiece, a living memorial to the men who died, and as suspenseful as the most gripping mystery story.” (Chicago Sunday Tribune)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

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Seen the movie? Read the book: it is worth it

Any additional comments?

Have you seen the movie? They make such a prominent statement in the opening credits that it is "based on the book by Cornelius Ryan" that I've always had a mind to read it.<br/><br/>After all, while the story is epic, the movie just "tries too hard" in parts. Isn't the breaching of Fortress Europe enough of a plot? No! Movie-goers also need a schmaltzy love story too. Surely the book can't be that contrived?<br/><br/>The good news is that it is not. It shares the "tell a story through a mosaic of slice-of-life vignettes" approach, yet does it with compelling integrity. It is gritty and unrelenting; sometimes poignant, but always authentic. The book's most rewarding and fascinating aspect is how it shows in rich detail the diverse impact of action and inaction, decision and indecision - and often just plain luck - in the final outcome of the day.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • United States
  • 03-18-12

Horrendous narration makes it impossible to listen

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narration.

What didn’t you like about Clive Chafer’s performance?

Every sentence dragged on with the exact same rhythm. How can you make such<br/>interesting material so impossible to bear????

Any additional comments?

This is one of the saddest disappointments I have ever experienced on Audible.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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a different take

This book gives a different take on the d day landings. Using interviews and letter etc it tells the story from the thoughts and feelings of those involved. A very good listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book, unpleasant narration voice

This is an exceptional written work. Unfortunately I found the narrator's voice to be so unpleasant that I was unable to listen to the entire book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • Bligh Park, Australia
  • 05-09-13

OMG....kill me now.....

Would you be willing to try another one of Clive Chafer’s performances?

NEVER!!!

Any additional comments?

I could not get past Chapter 2.... The narrator was sooooo monotone and drove me to rip my earphones out.....

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Good Book, Performance So So

Excellent book, but the reading leaves much to be desired. Droning, without much inflection. Very moving, all the same.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book

Had a little problem with the reader. He was much to slow and deliberate for me. Once I upped his speed to 1.25, everything was fine. Interesting story of one of the most important days in World War II history. Well researched as well as well written.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great story, infuriating narration

The narration was horribly, infuriatingly irritating! I somehow reached the end...driven by great story. But, wow, it was difficult!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An Unsurpassed Account of D-Day

The most surprising thing about Cornelius Ryan’s D-Day classic The Longest Day is how short it is. This, combined with Ryan’s novelistic writing style, made for a surprisingly quick read.

Ryan flew along on bomber missions with the U.S. Air Force and was later embedded with General Patton’s Third Army. When he decided to write about D-Day, he and a team of researchers sent questionnaires around the globe. These went to all manner of participant, from the German high command to French Resistance members to ordinary civilians. According to Ryan, a thousand interviews were collected, collated, cross-checked, and then bolstered with further questions.

The ground-level storytelling is so propulsive you don’t really stop to think how all these disparate anecdotes twine together to form a historical result. Ryan’s style is such that you can be absorbed into these accounts despite having no idea – spatially, temporally – where many of these individual actions are taking place.

Overall: The author does history a great service by showing it for the endlessly fascinating thing that it is. History should never be boring. History is life, only yesterday. Ryan’s version of D-Day will be read and reread as long as people care about World War II.

If this review helped you please click the button below...thanks.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A long awaited story now being told

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

All Americans need to understand the sacrifices made by our servicemen on 6 June 1944 as they stormed the beaches of Normandy. I have waited for many years to finally obtain an audio version of this book. A must for all students of History.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Longest Day?

Cornelius Ryan weaving the story of Private Arthur B.

What does Clive Chafer bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

His very distinct accent added to the narration.

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

Came very close to tears when listening to what happened to our guys at Sainte Mere Eglise.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • PAUL
  • 10-20-15

Great author but......

Would you listen to The Longest Day again? Why?

No. Great story but terrible narration.

How could the performance have been better?

Narration is robotic and after a ten minute listen will drive you crazy with irritation.

Any additional comments?

Great author. I listened to another title called 'The Last Battle' about the fall of Berlin and it was sensational. This title is of an interest to me but sadly I've stopped listening after one hour because of the terrible narration. Don't waste your money.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • tansy
  • 09-11-14

You have to give it 5 stars..but

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

Pleased I've got it

What other book might you compare The Longest Day to, and why?

Band of Brothers

Would you be willing to try another one of Clive Chafer’s performances?

no

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

Kept me listening

Any additional comments?

We live in the heart of the D Day Landings, 4 miles from Carentan & Ste Mere Eglise...I've seen the movie loads of times, I know the history, individual battles and stories...it's always been a book I've meant to read...so audible releasing it is perfect as I listen to books as I iron the linens for our 4 vacation rentals here...oh boy do I wish you had got someone to read this with less of a Mr Bean sounding voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Christopher Samuel
  • 04-13-13

Readable, scholarly, humane

In the two generations that have passed since the end of the Second World War historians have acquired the distance and balance from those terrible events necessary to writing good history. Given the early date of "The Longest Day" it is an enormous credit to Cornelius Ryan that he has avoided both partisanship and triumphalism in his account.



His research has obviously been meticulous, but this never causes his prose to labour and he humanises the battle on both sides without trivialising it. Most of all this is an accurate historical account that lives up to the size of the subject - perhaps the most important single day in the twentieth century.



This is not scholarly history in the academic sense, but as a single volume treatment of a momentous battle The Longest Day is as good a book as it could possibly be. And it is an impressive compliment to Ryan's prose that it translates so well to the audiobook format in a reading that does the book full justice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • forester
  • 07-10-17

Great story awful narration, returned

I have read this book but had to return the audible copy as the narrator is so awful, he drones on, and makes a fantastic story sound like a shopping list. I could not bear to listen to him and returned book.

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  • Philip Buckle
  • 04-28-16

One of history's most decisive events

One of history's most decisive events. Well written and finely and sympathetically narrated. Almost too short

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 12-21-15

finished too soon

Great book, narrator a bit flat, but you get used to it. Was hoping it wouldn't end. Gripping stuff!

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  • blake stacpoole
  • 07-13-15

A fine book indeed

A fine book indeed. I would highly recommend this and all of Ryan's works to anyone.