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Grandfather's Tale: The Tale of a German Sniper Paperback – December 26, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse Star (December 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595164625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595164622
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to have been a soldier in the second world war? Or to experience the horrors of war? In this book, you will learn what it may have been like for you, had you been forced to join the German Army. You will experience the Second World War from start to finish. It is an unforgettable experience. Travel with the German Panzer Corps as they win with blitzkrieg after blitzkrieg during the first half of the war, and as they fight against impossible odds during the last half.

About the Author

Tim Erenberger lives with his wife, Angie, and their son, Jamie, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He grew up in Iowa and has also lived in the state of Oregon. Mr. Erenberger has had a lifelong interest in military history. He uses his many years of experience in martial arts and online war games to create energetic, fast-paced novels, including Fangs of the Serpent.

Customer Reviews

This is one of the few books that I could not put down until I had read every page.
Duane
Details about fighting against enemy infantry, snipers, tanks, etc. are all throughout the book.
D. Morisson
Factual errors, misspellings, poor punctuation, and non sequiturs are rife in this book.
BasinBictory

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 72 people found the following review helpful By McCalla on November 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You cannot believe how bad this book is. It purports to be the story of a 12-year-old who in 2000 listens to his 80-year-old great-grandfather's tales of having been a one-man sniping army for the Wehrmacht.

I must admit I bought "Grandfather's Tale" by mistake: I was under the impression it was an actual memoir. There was nothing about the book, it's jacket, "blurb" or description by Amazon to inform the buyer that it was fiction. Indeed, it was paired with a genuine memoir for sale at a special price. I assumed from all available evidence the book had been written by the grandson of a Wehrmacht sniper. I realized I had been taken - by the author.

I was first surprised by the almost juvenile style of writing in "Grandfather's Tale". Now, it's not unusual for World War II memoirs to be less than literary gems, because rarely is the author a professional writer. But we devotees of the war memoir make allowances in order to read about the true experiences of combat veterans of World War II. Veracity is what we prize most, and style is secondary.

But even by the relaxed "military memoir" standard, "Grandfather's Tale" is barely readable by an adult. The vocabulary, style and sentence structure employed is usually seen in books meant for readers who are 11-13 years of age. Indeed, the novel's voice is a 12-year-old boy. The events described however, kill after kill after kill of a sniper's victims, are far from appropriate for middle-schoolers. So I am left puzzled as to the age group for whom the book is intended.

More troubling is the fact the book is rife with glaring grammatical and typographical errors. Most maddening is author Timothy Erenberger's complete ignorance as to the proper form of the first person objective.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By BasinBictory on July 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book a few years ago, thinking it would be an interesting historical fiction in the vein of "War of the Rats" or even the impressive "Black March."

This book is just bad. Factual errors, misspellings, poor punctuation, and non sequiturs are rife in this book. Couple this with what appears to be a remarkable lack of knowledge about WW2 and the German Army in general makes this book nearly unreadable for anyone who has even a veneer of knowledge about the Second World War.

The first error I noticed was that the main character, Georg Frick, claims that he was only 18 years old when he was drafted into the German Army in 1937. Fine - that would make his birthdate sometime in 1919. However, Frick mentions that his father was a German soldier killed in the First World War, which ended in 1918? Huh? I guess maybe he was conceived in a late-war furlough, but I digress.

Second, the Wehrmacht did not extensively use snipers until later in the war, and certainly did not have entire platoons of scope-equipped snipers during the invasion of Poland in 1939.

Third, Frick's mentor, a sniper named Ellis (strange name for a German, no? - kind of like a Briton being named Ratzenberger, but again, I digress) claims to have been a sniper in WW1, where he had "over a thousand confirmed kills." That is patently ridiculous. It would be like writing a story about fighter pilots and saying some guy had shot down 1,000 enemy planes - all confirmed.

I'm surprised by the enormous amount of 5-star reviews this book received, because anyone who has read anything about the Wehrmacht and WW2 history in general would just laugh at this book and its 8th-grade level research and writing.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Skillsets on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
First just to clarify this book is 100% fiction, some reviewers seem to think this is a factual account.

Way over the top and poorly written. At one point in the novel the author has this guy carrying 4 rifles(Kar98k,BAR,M1,and a Tokarev along with a supressed pistol and a 30 pound bag of ammo.) Johny Rambo meets WWII.

Not for me at all.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Strong on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Don't buy this if you know anything about the German side of World War II, particularly if you know details like unit histories, troop movements, unit leaders, weapon histories, or unit organization. It will drive you crazy.

For instance, he has snipers organized into their own infantry platoons, he says they used MG-42s in 1940, he has paratroop units taking part in Crete then refitting and taking part in the opening of Barbarossa, he says Army Group Center assaulted Sevastapol and contained one panzer corp, 40 infantry divisions, one armored car division and one artillery division. He says the sniper belongs to a unit that didn't exist at the time, and didn't fight where it was described.

The snipers have super-human skills (killing hundreds a day, killing four people with one shot, hitting about 80% of their targets) and seem to be personally responsible for every success in the war (like taking Eban Emael). If all this wasn't bad enough, his dialog is terrible (makes Tom Clancy look like Ernest Hemingway).

If you want to know anything about snipers, read the more recent Sniper on the Eastern Front. That was one of the most gripping, harrowing, realistic stories I've ever read. And I've read over 200 books on the Eastern Front. In that book, one of two snipers who was awarded the Knight's Cross, describes his career. He earned the KC for killing about 50 Russians in one engagement. In Grandfather's tale, the lead character did this almost every day, sometimes before breakfast.

Avoid this comic-book "history" with it's third-grade writing style and stick to the real memoirs. There are enough interesting ones out there to give you the real taste of battle without having to invent a fantasy world.
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