The Saboteur

The Aristocrat Who Became France's Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando
By: Paul Kix
Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (172 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Agent Zigzag comes this breathtaking biography, as fast-paced and emotionally intuitive as the very best spy thrillers, which illuminates an unsung hero of the French Resistance during World War II - Robert de La Rochefoucald, an aristocrat turned anti-Nazi saboteur - and his daring exploits as a résistant trained by Britain's Special Operations Executive.

A scion of one of the most storied families in France, Robert de La Rochefoucald was raised in magnificent chateaux and educated in Europe's finest schools. When the Nazis invaded and imprisoned his father, La Rochefoucald escaped to England and learned the dark arts of anarchy and combat - cracking safes and planting bombs and killing with his bare hands - from the officers of Special Operations Executive, the collection of British spies, beloved by Winston Churchill, who altered the war in Europe with tactics that earned it notoriety as the "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare". With his newfound skills, La Rochefoucauld returned to France and organized Resistance cells, blew up fortified compounds and munitions factories, interfered with the Germans' wartime missions, and executed Nazi officers. Caught by the Germans, La Rochefoucald withstood months of torture without cracking and escaped his own death - not once but twice.

The Saboteur recounts La Rochefoucauld's enthralling adventures, from jumping from a moving truck on his way to his execution to stealing Nazi limos to dressing up in a nun's habit - one of his many disguises and impersonations. Whatever the mission, whatever the dire circumstance, La Rochefoucauld acquitted himself nobly, with the straight-back aplomb of a man of aristocratic breeding: James Bond before Ian Fleming conjured him.

More than just a fast-paced, true thriller, The Saboteur is also a deep dive into an endlessly fascinating historical moment, telling the untold story of a network of commandos that battled evil, bravely worked to change the course of history, and inspired the creation of America's own Central Intelligence Agency.

©2017 Paul Kix (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The rest of the story.

Well written. very interesting perspective from the French point of view. Atrocities that didn't seem to make their way to my history classes along with a view from "behind the scenes" and within the fight.

I believe the author did a excellent job of portraying the emotions and character of those involved. He also gave insight as to how certain factions came to hold differing opinions of others, dependant upon their knowledge and experience of their deeds.

Good read.

4 people found this helpful

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Brave outstanding young man

Was this young man afraid of anything.?What a passion For France. One frightening episode after the other. Even though he was captured at times by nazis he always found a way to escape. Had he not he would have been dead at 20 instead of very old age. I appreciate no sex or profanity. If you have a great story you don’t need it very good story about his ancestral home and his ancestors. I highly recommend this for those who love ww2 action. Learned so much I didn’t even know and ww2 is pretty much all I will listen to. Narrator was great too especially with all the French names and villages

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Unforgettable

Every page left me yearning to learn what happened next! Incredible memoir. I would recommend to anyone interested in WWII

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Disappointing book and narration

I looked forward to listening to this book. The writing was tedious and the reader had a monotone presentation of the material. This could have been an exciting story of a singular individual, instead his story was lost in a sea of factoids l. Very disappointed that I spent one of my credits on this audiobook.

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Plenty of historical background, missions, imprisonment and escape.

Story about an aggressive young Frenchman, who wanted to help rid France of German Occupiers during WW2. He escaped from France early to get trained as a Resistance fighter in England. Parachute drops, eluding capture and causing damage to German facilities were all part of this real life story. Well written and narrated. Lots of background information about the Resistance, German counter espionage agents, and life in France. Tour de force!

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Interesting but not Epic

Overall interesting story but can get a bit repetitive over time. If you’re a WWII buff it’s great but if you’re more of a casual reader, may only be OK.

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A Wonderful Surprise!!

What made the experience of listening to The Saboteur the most enjoyable?

I was very skeptical that I would find the subject matter of interest to me. But once I started it, I didn't want to put it down.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Saboteur?

His survival and escape from his German captors. Our protagonist was a real life superman and at the same time an everyman.

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

Listening to the harrowing stories of our protagonist in the French Resistance made it come alive. I felt like I was an actual participant in the drama.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

An Inside Look at the Life of a Real Life Superhero

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This should be a movie!

This book is a great tribute to a brave man who showed courage throughout his life. How fortunate that his story was not lost! Bravo to his children who were able to record his adventures!

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An inspiring tale of courage, honor, and ingenuity in German occupied France

I found this true story of resistance to the Nazis absolutely riveting. The bravery and resourcefulness of the magnetic central character, a modest young man from a historic aristocratic French , family. are astounding. You just can't believe people can summon such courage and determination. You also can't believe the cruelty and determination of the occupying Germans and French collaborators. The writing and narration are excellent.

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Reads like a thriller and good history together

Must listen! It's also a great history of part of the French resistance through the story of an incredible man.