The Shepherd

Narrated by: James Konicek
Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is Christmas Eve, 1957. Flying home, on leave from Germany, he is alone in the cockpit of the Vampire. Sixty-six minutes of flying time, with the descent and landing - destination Lakenheath. No problem, all routine procedures.Then, out over the North Sea, the fog begins to close in. Radio contact ceases and the compass goes haywire. Suddenly, out of the mist, appears a WorldWar II bomber. It is flying just below the Vampire, as if trying to make contact.

©1975 Frederick Forsyth (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very very well done!

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

Just about!

Any additional comments?

I first heard the story by accident on CBC, driving in the FL panhandle on X-mas Eve. Read by the author it lasted around 1/2 hour (45 min?) and I thought that's all there was. Have to admit I never read the book. But i loved the story and found that short version of it on X-mas stories CD and I've listened to it count less times since. So I approached this rendition with a lot of apprehension. Now I love it as much as the first rendition I've heard! I love the additional material that missing from the short version. Narrator does an excellent and convincing job as well. Listed to it twice in the 24 hrs since purchase. I have to disclose that I'm extremely biased toward stories dealing with flying. Being a pilot myself I tend to associate into the story a lot, and imagination gets easily set off :-)

7 people found this helpful

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

Classic Story, Great Reading

A classic Christmas ghost story, by the estimable Frederick Forsyth, shivery but touching, quietly and atmospherically read.

6 people found this helpful

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

Wonderful, i loved it! Outstanding!

One of his best! He really knows how to tell a great story. Love It! His characters & suspense followed by a great ending never fail to enthrall the reader!

5 people found this helpful

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

Brings to mind the sweeter side of Twilight Zone

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shepherd to be better than the print version?

I can't compare this to the written version but its a great listen for any fan of non-traditional Christmas stories and Audio Books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There really isn't any long development of the other characters...just the Narrator. But that character was well defined with human frailty and fears, augmented by an aviator's cockiness. Based upon the short but thorough development of Johnny Kavanaugh's personality and character, I would chose him...his strength of character and his nature leave the listener satisfied but unsurprised by his gallant actions.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final scene wherein the "Truth" about the Shepherd's identity is revealed and understood by the Narrator.

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

Happy Christmas, Johnny Kavanaugh!

Any additional comments?

A wonderful, sweet story for Listeners who want to hear more than the normal Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th St, or It's a Wonderful Life. There isn't too much surprise, but it leaves you with a nice feeling, as it ends with a short by compelling summary of the character of John Kavanaugh, leaving the listener nodding in agreement that this story is in character for that fabled pilot. I liked it and will listen every Christmas.

2 people found this helpful

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

A Perfect Christmas Story

I simply loved Frederick 'S story about a pilot heading home. You almost felt like you were in that airplane with him. A beautiful story.

1 person found this helpful

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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

A great short story well narrated

I always loved the book, great story, and loved the audible version. The story is unfortunately short and has no known sequel sadly. Well narrated.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good short Christmas ghost story...

Not your typical Forsyth. This is a short story that moves along quickly and reads both like a classic Christmas ghost story as well as a little "Twilight Zone" thrown in as well. Author made me feel as if I were actually in the cockpit with the young pilot on a quiet Christmas Eve heading home and feeling all the emotions he was feeling while experiencing instrument malfunctions, low fuel, inability to make radio contact with base, etc. I listened to this on Christmas Eve after everyone in the house had gone to bed and it left me with those holiday feel-good emotions.. It's simplistic and predictable yet well written. I particularly liked the way that the author ended the story with a little detailed information regarding the character "J.K.". I probably wouldn't use a credit for a 1 hour 12 minute book but I bought this on sale for less than $5 and I think it was definitely worth that.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent all around. great narration.

great story. moves right along. your right there all the way through. The way the story was told made you feel you were along for the ride.

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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

Great Christmas/ flying story.

An old favorite story told by an excellent reader. It is absolutely my favorite Christmas story.

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

Great airplane adventure

Love the old mysteries

Great story and superb performance.

A real airman's delight. Good Christmas tale.