Ordinary Heroes Audio CD – Unabridged, November 1, 2005
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About the Author
From the Hardcover edition.
- Item Weight : 4 ounces
- ISBN-13 : 978-0739322598
- Dimensions : 5.11 x 1.19 x 5.88 inches
- ISBN-10 : 0739322591
- Publisher : Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (November 1, 2005)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,462,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The writing is masterful but most of the book is about war; be prepared. I prefer the courtroom stories as Turow writes them, and will choose those stories in the future.
Stewart is determined to learn everything he can about the father he never really knew. Arduously, his father's life during the war is put back together, piece-by-piece. What he ultimately learns is earth-shattering. His feelings about his father have forever changed.
The author goes to great lengths to describe many of the horrific events that occurred during one of the darkest times of our nation's history. At times, the grizzly facts of war and human suffering were shown to be exceedingly graphic. Sadly, we come to witness the descent of someone's life as a result of the ravages of war. The story progressed from chapter to chapter. From beginning to end, I was driven to read on.
Now, on to the next Turow book (I can't wait).
Top reviews from other countries
So often films, documentaries and stories stop short after the dramatic D Day landings. This tale tells us something of the unbelievably horrific experiences of ordinary soldiers who, once they had survived the landings, had to forge through France and Belgium to meet with the Nazis in ground and air conflict. The post-war generations often question the reticence of veterans when the subject of the war arises. This account gives an insight into the reason for that reluctance to share experiences.
For those of us who are not fascinated with the details of military combat, it became a bit hard-going at times. However, I felt that I should try to grasp the complexities of warfare – tactics, types of armaments etc. – in honour of those people who had no choice but to immerse themselves in such things as they laid their lives on the line for the sake of peace. I am glad I did. I feel just a bit better educated now in a conflict that joined Britain and the USA in a close union that has endured.
The main character in this moving story was extremely well drawn. The author is skilled at describing not just events but motives, emotions, confessions, innermost thoughts - everything that creates a rounded person to whom the reader can feel connected and empathetic. His concentration on such detail made this a long book, but it was worth it. I am still reflecting on the story several days after finishing the book. That doesn’t usually happen.
I was aware of Scott Turow's abilities as a storyteller, but in his latest novel he has raised his game to produce an extraordinary book- the kind of satisfying read which makes you feel you have truly engaged with the characters, rather than having been a mere spectator. In short this is that rare breed: a genuinely literary novel which still manages to retain the best attributes of more populist fiction. The story poses some of the more intractable questions about what motivates the individual- love, duty, self-interest- and in the context of a family history, arrives at surprising, if ultimately satisfying, answers.
Stewart Dubinsky, a journalist, researches the life of his recently deceased father, David Dubin. He discovers that David was attached to the Judge Advocate General's Department of the US Military during World war II, dealing with Court Martials in the newly freed France and Germany. Against the background of the Battle of the Bulge and the onward push of Allied forces into Germany, David Dubin is sent on a 'Heart of Darkness'style mission to track down a renegade US Officer, Major Robert Martin. Although ostensibly working for the OSS, Martin's motives and loyalties are called into question. He and his nemesis, General Teedle (Dubin's commanding officer, and the source of the mission)crop up again and again in a game of cat and mouse throughout the novel.
In a more literary sense, 'cat and mouse' (or perhaps snakes and ladders?)describes Stewart Dubinsky's search for the truth about his father. He discovers that his father has been court martialled,then mysteriously cleared. Through the oral testimony of his father's now 96 year old court martial attorney Bear Leach, the written narrative of David Dubin, and the inquiries and conclusions of Stewart Dubinsky, we see the 'truth' about his father's history pieced together in front of us, complete with all the motivations and justifications of the characters involved. The juxtaposition of these various sources is a clever chess game with our expectations on Turow's part, yet the story is always crystal clear.
David Dubin's involvement with Gita Lodz, initially Robert Martin's 'companion' (though the edges are blurred as to what this actually meant)forces him to question his own assumptions about relations between men and women, and challenges the foundation of his duty as a soldier. Thrown by chance into active combat- not the expected route for an Army Lawyer- and working with a black Sergeant, Gideon Bidwell who has passed for white and hence is operational (not in the support role for which he otherwise might have been destined)similarly leads Dubin to challenge, in his own mind the whole ratinale behind war. The Legal process may be black and white, but what happens when the world is itself grey?
Stewart's examination of his father's written account allows him to see the true emotional being behind his hitherto distant parent. Indeed, the narrative makes this engagement with his father's story unfold organically until having occasionally re-written or re-shaped passages fromn his father's account for publication "I frequently cannot remember whose lines are whose when I turn the pages".
This is a novel set firmly within an historical context, but the research is worn lightly. The landscapes and people are vividly drawn, and the characters are fully rounded. The atmosphere of the time is accurate but by no means academic.
If you enjoy a fluidly written and engaging novel which rewards you not with cheap thrills but an intelligent and thought-provoking storyline, then buy and consume this book at once.