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Publisher's Summary

Frederick Forsyth's spellbinding novels are the natural outgrowth of an adventuresome career in international investigative journalism.

Written in Austria and Germany during the fall of 1971, The Odessa File is based on its author's life experiences as a Reuters man reporting from London, Paris, and East Berlin in the early 1960s.

The "Odessa" of this title is an acronym for the secret organization that has protected the identities and advanced the destinies of former members of Hitler's dreaded SS since shortly before the end of World War II. One of its rare major defeats came in the spring of 1964, when a packet of dossiers arrived anonymously at the Ministry of Justice in Bonn.

How and why a once carefree young German freelance journalist came to send the packet is told in this brilliant new extrapolation from reality into terror.

©1972 Dane's Book Production Limited (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
  • Scott
  • Roseville, CA, United States
  • 08-09-10

Classic SS Thriller of (fictionalized) History

That most of the S.S. were not only able to get away but even come back and live peaceful lives in Germany is a tragedy.

When this book was originally released many decades ago it was likely created the scandalous outrage Forsyth intended and it still packs a punch as good investigative journalism should.

(I'm certain the book has been re-narrated at more listenable speed now MP3 players rule the day before too many cassettes or CDs were cumbersome and cut into profits so narration was so fast it took much of fun out of listening and led to many "abridged versions") e.g. I once heard (at a book store one of the Harry Potter books (still on the old C.D. format) and think... "Wow... that narrator is reading aloud FAR TOO quickly to enjoy.)

The book is well narrated with a sophistication befitting the people who will buy this book having a much better sense of history than much of the modern "pop culture" generation.

If you once saw it as a crummy movie (as I did long ago as a child) you can be certain, as usual, the book is far.. far.. BETTER! (Isn't it always?)

This is a "must read" as Forsyth in his forward lists all the research he did. I have no doubt that there is a similar organization even if its members are now rapidly dying of old age. Why they were/are able to go to their graves without any legal action or accountability for their many vicious war crimes is the reason is why one needs to read this book... especially if you believe in the phrase "Never again."

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

good tension, great characters, engaging reading

i've heard several books, audible and elsewhere. some i read first, but never read this one or saw the film. the story has excellent character descriptions and actions, believable and character specific dialogue, a well crafted plot with twists that kept pulling me along and details that made the story very engaging and a twist at the end that shifted the focus, for me, of the whole story, actually kind of shocked me.
i found the reader exceptional, able to shift dialects between characters, which kept them, in my minds eye, visually present, clarified who was speaking and gave the words emotional context. this guy is a good reader/actor, in my opinion, and an excellent choice for German, British English and Israeli dialect.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mitchel
  • Concord, Ontario, Canada
  • 10-06-08

Great story

Great story - not crazy about the reader though....

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A gripping historical fiction

Frederick Forsyth has written a gripping story of post WWII Nazi SS men's escape from prosecution for their war crimes. Based on historical fact, he has told the story of the lives of these men, the millions he killed and the story of one man journey to bring one of these SS men to justice. His story line soon has you forgetting you are listening to a story, and has you engaged in the lives of the characters. He did a superb job of developing the character of the main characters, especially the journalist Miller.

It isn't until the final 50 minutes of the story that the real reason Miller tracked the Nazi SS officer down is revealed.

This is my first Frederick Forsyth audiobook, but it will not be my last.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good story, learned a lot

Be warned, the narrator is HARD to get used to but once I did, I enjoyed the book much more. I learned lots and enjoyed some of the twists and turns. Not a top favorite but I would recommend as a bargain buy.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Forsyth fabulous

Good story I wish was fleshed out more. No matter, it has creative merit and I will read anything Forsyth pens.
For a truly multi-leveled narration running from proper British to nightmare ish Nazi get ready for Fredrick Davidson. Spine chillingly evil at times, a true master of literary interpretation.
I will be looking forward to more of his brilliant creativity.
It just fell off toward the end. Nothing I remember like the film.
It's a nasty Nazi horror story.4

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jugg
  • Menifee, CA, United States
  • 03-05-14

Odessa is not the name of a city......

Good story of the Nazi SS brotherhood post WWII. As with all Forsyth books, the story is developed from a solid basis in fact. Thus, it draws the listener in and paints a very believable tale.

A little disappointed in the ending. Other than that, this is typical Forsyth, exquisite.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Adrienne
  • Camp Connell, CA, United States
  • 11-30-10


This is a very interesting story, it made me think about things in a new way regarding the period after the war in Germany. I would recommend it to anyone with the only caution being that the reader does a terrible job with reading the voices of female characters. It is really grating, you just have to be happy that these parts don't go on for long, just endure it because the story is so rich and intriguing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Forsyth at his best

Outstanding story. Fredrick Forsyth always does his homework. His character development is amazing and his story always leaves you spell bound. There is often a twist at the end of his stories and every detail is wonderful. I loved this story, and I recommend all his stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Neil
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 04-26-10

Suspensfull read

I like this book very much. I never saw the movie, but I am now a Forsyth fan. It kept me going throughout and I looked forward to my commute. If you like stories of the war, and international intrigue then this is your book. It is sort of a Bourne Identity in the 60's, but based on truth

1 of 1 people found this review helpful