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The Flight Portfolio

Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 19 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The long-awaited new work from the best-selling author of The Invisible Bridge takes us back to occupied Europe in this gripping historical novel based on the true story of Varian Fry's extraordinary attempt to save the work, and the lives, of Jewish artists fleeing the Holocaust 

In 1940, Varian Fry - a Harvard-educated American journalist - traveled to Marseille carrying $3,000 and a list of imperiled artists and writers he hoped to rescue within a few weeks. Instead, he ended up staying in France for 13 months, working under the veil of a legitimate relief organization to procure false documents, amass emergency funds, and set up an underground railroad that led over the Pyrenees, into Spain, and finally to Lisbon, where the refugees embarked for safer ports. Among his many clients were Hannah Arendt, Franz Werfel, Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall. 

The Flight Portfolio opens at the Chagalls' ancient stone house in Gordes, France, as the novel's hero desperately tries to persuade them of the barbarism and tragedy descending on Europe. Masterfully crafted, exquisitely written, impossible to pause, this is historical fiction of the very first order, and resounding confirmation of Orringer's gifts as a novelist.

©2019 Julia Orringer (P)2019 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

An interesting proposition developed without imagination or any real pace or dramatic build.
Far too much reliance on the uninteresting peaks and valleys of Variance’s portrayal of a doormat to Grant in their gay relationship and struggle. The ending is poorly constructed and entirely unfulfilling as several loose ends are left unresolved.

The performance is way over the top and in places downright insipid.

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  • Ellen
  • COLCHESTER, CT, United States
  • 06-07-19

Great book great narrator

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was aware of the story but not many of the details. What an amazing man he was to save so many people. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elliott
  • Palo Alto, CA, United States
  • 05-15-19

Compassionate Rescuer

A compassionate American rescues Jews and anti-Nazis from Vichy France prior to America's entry into WW II. Personal stories are deftly interwoven as escapes are described in

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Horrible book

Insulting to the millions who died in WWII. Begging elites like Chagall to leave France when they were so narcissistic they thought
their status would protect them. The whole premise these elites were more deserving of being saved was disgusting. Couldn’t finish this piece of trivial trash. Sorry I wasted a credit on it.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fiction that takes license with history

I did not finish the book because I found the diversion to a homosexual relationship between Fry and Grant somewhat offensive. Fry did a lot of work to help the escape of the cream of Jewish intellectuals and artists from the clutch of the Nazis. We should be grateful for that.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful