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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: 195 Harcourt stated 1st edition hardcover, unmarked text, tight binding, no jacket, minimal wear, has library card holder on back inside cover. We take great pride in accurately describing the condition of our books, ship within 48 hours and offer a 100% money back guarantee.
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Face Of a Hero Hardcover – 1950

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This long-forgotten 1950 novel caused a stir last year when the London Times published a letter indicating that it was incredibly similar to Heller's classic Catch-22, which it predated by more than ten years. This autobiographical tale describes the horrors of World War II both in aerial combat and the Nazi death camps.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace; 1st edition (1950)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007E76S8
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,975,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Book deserves all the praise it has gotten. At age 18 I was an aerial gunner who flew 28 missions out of Italy. This remarkably accurate book brought me back in haunting ways to times that seem like a dream to me now. Falstein's hero knew what he was fighting for. He felt others did not. In fact, however, like Falstein, a big percentage of WWII airmen I knew were idealistic in the better sense of that word. A mad man was tying to enslave the world and they in their own way were trying to stop him. That simple! Great book.
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Format: Paperback
Face of a Hero is a book i first read back in 1951 when i was a teenager and WW2 was still fresh in my adolesent mind and altho at that time there were many things i could not fully fathom, it was a book i never forgot, but the book never again was to be seen until a recent visit to a bookstore almost 50 years later. Having now once again read it as a senior citizen I realize why i never forgot it. This war story carries an impact that i personally feel Catch 22 does not, that of a mans feeling down deep inside and certainly not one of heroics. If you look for a flag waving novel filled with statistics of how many planes (we) shot down or bombs dropped, read something else. But if you wish to share a mans terror at 10,000 ft. or the smell of death in a hospital room. This i feel is a class A read
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Format: Paperback
As an earlier review said, this is a straight memoir, not a novel per se. And as such, it is thoroughly clear-eyed, insightful and moving. A "Old Man" (34 year-old) B-24 Liberator gunner rides crew with the young boys who rapidly become old men as well. Falstein's ruminations show the men as they ineluctably crumble on the inside with each successive mission in their vulnerable, lumbering bombers -- not knowing exactly what they are fighting for, but knowing, simply, that they must go on. A stunning memoir, one of the finest out there; worth more than many others put together.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is yet another novel written by an American Serviceman after World War II. The author served in the Army Air Force in Italy. His novel is a fictional work that parallels that experience. It is a fair read and I think can be read by young readers. It is most interesting when read in conjunction with Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Mr. Falstein was an enlisted man on a bomber crew. Mr. Heller was an officer. Both persons served in the Mediterranean Theater. Both wrote semi autobiographical novels. But their styles are quite different. Mr. Heller was sardonic. At times his writing is hilarious. But the satire is unrelenting.

Mr. Falstein's work is more serious. I have read numerous semi autobiographical novels composed by former American Servicemen who were veterans of World War II. This is the only one I have found that deals with an enlisted member of a bomber crew in the European theatre. I agree with the notion of the World War II generation being the so called "greatest generation". And with that in mind, I personally feel that Face of a Hero serves as an important counterbalance to Mr. Heller's work. I enjoyed the work but consider it an important work, as opposed to great literature.
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Format: Paperback
This book primarily describes the effects of being bomber gunners flying from a base in Italy in World War II. With great insight into the characters, the author shows how the war powerfully affects all. It follows the gunners on their missions, into the local towns and in their barracks and base. It also shows the effects of the war on the townspeople. It left me powerfully moved, sad, and with an understanding of the emotional horrors of war. It is the best war book I have ever read.
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