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Publisher's Summary

Bletchley Park was where one of the war’s most famous - and crucial - achievements was made: the cracking of Germany’s “Enigma” code in which its most important military communications were couched. This country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was home to Britain’s most brilliant mathematical brains, like Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology - indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa. Plenty has been written about the boffins, and the code breaking, fictional and non-fiction.

Sinclair McKay’s book is the first history for the general listener of life at Bletchley Park, and an amazing compendium of memories from people now in their 80s - of skating on the frozen lake in the grounds, of a youthful Roy Jenkins, useless at code breaking, of the hijinks at nearby accommodation hostels - and of the implacable secrecy that meant girlfriend and boyfriend working in adjacent huts knew nothing about each other’s work.

©2012 Sinclair Mckay (P)2012 Audible Ltd

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Profile Image for Susan
  • Susan
  • 12-08-13

They've kept this secret for so long!

Yes, I vaguely knew what they did there, and perhaps even a bit about how they did it, but what astonished me were the names of the politicians involved, and how they filtered the decoded messages, and even how people I knew at university and my next-door neighbour were involved at various levels. Every chapter showed me a new aspect and how the politicians acted very strongly (perhaps wisely, or not) on the information. What it did not cover were the technicalities of Enigma which may have gone over my head, or personalities such as Turing and his input. It's one of those books that stay with you so you can chat over dinners and score points about what you know. Absolutely fascinating. Definitely not a light read but not heavy going at all. I could pick it up and start again after a long break.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Mark Kendall
  • 03-06-15

Informative

Enjoyable story of life at Bletchley Park. This tells the story of the people who worked there. How could so many people work in one location and keep it a secret.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Pauline
  • 11-30-13

Disappointing

What disappointed you about The Secret Life of Bletchley Park?

Plodding style detracts totally from a Fascinating subject

What did you like best about this story?

The subject

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Gordon Griffin?

Needed rewriting, not a change of narrator

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Secret Life of Bletchley Park?

The endless repeats of facts about people that had already been disclosed

Any additional comments?

Read like a degree thesis or a serialisation stuck together without editing

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Sacha100
  • 02-17-18

Lots of repetition

The story of Bletchley is fascinating and truly British in its brilliance, however this book was over long, covered some information twice but from a different angle and at times felt very superficial. Not for me I'm afraid.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Red Kitty
  • 11-29-15

Amazing

This is an amazing insight into a very important place. Totally underestimated at the time of its working, this book highlights the many ordinary men and women who took on the role as code breakers and managed to shorten the Second World War by 2 years.
Would highly recommend this book to anyone and feel a definite listen to teenager brought up it a world where there are so many computers. This book gives a great insight into the start of our computer world. The narration is brilliant, exceptionally well read, clear and easy to understand.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • 03-16-15

An important study, disappointingly told

Utterly brilliant subject matter revealed by no doubt excellent research, but in my view worthy of a more analytical, less gossipy style. Narrator is OK, but often gets the emphasis wrong.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Di
  • 03-05-18

Excellent record

I’ve visited Bletchley, such a shame I hadn’t heard this book first. I had seen a documentary and news items over the years but understandably they are time constrained and cannot be in such detail. I really feel I have a far better understanding of real life at the park and the stress that went with it. A really wonderful record of an intensely critical part of British history.

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  • John Young
  • 01-04-18

Fantastic Book

I enjoyed this book so much. The next time I visit Bletchley Park I will remember all that I have learnt from this truly amazing biography of these unsung heroes.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-17-17

A lovley exploration of the birth of computing

A great book, a beautiful tribute to the people behind our history. The author exposes the unique story's that blend together to form our rich history of code breaking.

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  • Paul c
  • 09-15-17

Fascinating read

Interesting to hear more personal account of Bletchley beyond just about Alan Turing. An eye opening regarding the integrity of the people who worked there and unique insight into how he affected the war. A must read.