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Great Story, Questionable Writing!
on September 2, 2013
This review presents a dichotomy of problems as to how to treat the review process. The inherent story is very good. It is a true story about a remarkable man by the name of Joe Beyrle who was a member of the 506th infantry regiment of the famed 101st Airborne Division. In fact Beyrle was in the same regiment as the famed Band of Brothers who fought the war in Europe from D Day all the way through to the end in 1945.
For Joe Beyrle his was a different story altogether as he did jump on D Day with I Company but was separated from his unit and subsequently captured by the Germans. From that time forward we follow Joe from one Stalag to another as the Allies advanced further east the POW's were transported further east. We learn of the prisoner of war culture and what it took to survive in this rather meager existence.
We follow Joe in his multiple attempts at escape and see him captured in Berlin by the Gestapo where lucky for him he was actually rescued by the Wehrmacht and taken back to the Stalag where they escaped.
Toward the end of the war we see Joe connecting up with Russian units after his third and successful escape in Poland. Joe incredibly asks to join this Russian infantry unit and fights with them against the Nazis as they drive westward to defeat the Germans. The story is a good one, one that is both unusual and is actually true. A writer of fiction could not ask for a better story.
However Mr. Beyrle picked the wrong author to tell the story. Mr. Taylor's work is confusing and highly unorganized. His descriptions of the economy of the POW camp was confusing and at times gave us new terms in which he did not define. His transitioning from one story to the other leaves the reader confused and scratching one's head. He brings forth new characters that just show up with no background or purpose. In fact in the middle of the book I was ready to give up on it but I continued.
To make matters worse there were numerous grammatical and spelling mistakes as well a many jumbled downloads onto the kindle edition. This book needed a good editing before going live.
However I did continue only to see what would happen to Joe. The author's effort at times was confusing and frustrating. The basic story is great but the author was a struggle for me. Thus the 3 star rating for a book with a 5 star story.