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Ordinary Heroes: A Novel (Unabridged)
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Ordinary Heroes: A Novel (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Scott Turow (Author), Edward Herrmann (Narrator)
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 38 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 3 Nov. 2005
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ5MG6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancee, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history and driven to uncover the truth about this enigmatic, distant man who'd always refused to talk about his war.

As he pieces together his father's past through military archives, letters, and, finally, notes from a memoir his father wrote while in prison, secretly preserved by the officer who defended him, Stewart starts to assemble a dramatic and baffling chain of events. He learns how Dubin, a JAG lawyer attached to Patton's Third Army and desperate for combat experience, got more than he bargained for when he was ordered to arrest Robert Martin, a wayward OSS officer who, despite his spectacular bravery with the French Resistance, appeared to be acting on orders other than his commanders'. In pursuit of Martin, Dubin and his sergeant are parachuted into Bastogne just as the Battle of the Bulge reaches its apex. Pressed into the leadership of a desperately depleted rifle company, the men are forced to abandon their quest for Martin and his fiery, maddeningly elusive comrade, Gita, as they fight for their lives through carnage and chaos the likes of which Dubin could never have imagined.

In reconstructing the terrible events and agonizing choices his father faced on the battlefield, in the courtroom, and in love, Stewart gains a closer understanding of his past, of his father's character, and of the brutal nature of war itself.

©2005 Scott Turow; (P)2005 Random House, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's a Hero? 'The story is always our own' 6 April 2006
By Mr. S. J. Bonsor VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've lost count of the number of critically acclaimed so-called 'page-turners'which have left me cold. You've probably read a few despite yourself: The kind of thriller which has sketchily-drawn photofit characters, a tortuous plotline and a kind of moralistic sheen sprayed over it to justify the meagre story. 'Ordinary Heroes', however, is not that kind of book.
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wartime drama/romance worth a go 10 Oct. 2006
Turow has written another legal thriller here, but one with a difference, as the novel takes the form of a tale within a tale and has mainly a wartime setting.

Following the death of his father, Stewart Dubinsky discovers the parent he knew as a staid, respectable lawyer had faced a court-martial in the Second World War. His father's manuscript account of the events leading to this forms the bulk of the novel.

The book contains some powerful writing about the experience of war and its impact on ordinary men. Certainly it is a cut above the usual derring-do of many war adventures. There is also a sort of love story, but one in which the development of romance is shaped by the war in which it blooms.

Turow has fashioned a thoughtful novel about the search for identity and the quest for truth. The father, David Dubin, struggles to understand his own self, and the true intentions of others during the maelstrom of battle. This is followed by the son's quest to understand his father more fully. Along the way, Stewart Dubinsky (whose surname has reverted to its original form) discovers more than he expected about his family and true heritage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story from World War Two 16 Dec. 2006
I have been let down by so many books about or set in World War Two BUT this is NOT one of them. Its a very powerful portrayal of Americans at war seen through the eyes of a lawyer pursuing an OSS agent and ending up in combat during the Battle of the Bulge.

Its very well written and very detailed and despite what you might think after reading the above very believable and realistic. It reminded me a bit of the great book and TV series Band of Brothers. If you liked that you will like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost back to his best 1 Sept. 2006
Although you could see the punchline a long way before the main character does, I felt this took Turow a long way back towards the brilliant 'early' novels he produced. Highly enjoyable, a real pageturner for many different reasons, can see the screenplay being written as we speak. A 'Saving Private Ryan' with emotion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What did my father do wrong? 7 Sept. 2012
When Stewart Dubinsky finds out that his recently deceased father had been subjected to a court martial at the conclusion of WW2, he cannot believe what he is hearing. This is a history that has never been spoken about. His mother, when asked, refuses to be drawn and doesn't want the history to be explored.

Stewart, however, finds that he needs to know the details of the crime that his father committed. His father's solicitor, Bear Leach, is still alive and still has some papers from the time in his possession - Stewart embarks on a journey of discovery, which takes the reader into the action at the front in France in 1944/45.

Reading the acknowledgements at the back, it is interesting to learn that many of the smaller details (for instance, a vivid description of a parachute drop) were the stories of Turow's own father. But that is as far as the autobiographical influence goes.

Others have praised this novel highly. I feel less enthusiastic, to me it is a slightly above average novel of the second world war, but not a brilliant one. It's very readable and there are a couple of fantastic characterisations - Major Teedle, for instance, a gruff man in the field, yet much given to theological philosophy. However, I never really felt that the narrator, Stewart, 'belonged' to the story and this. for me, dragged the novel down.

If I was looking for a place on my bookshelf for this book, I would put it alongside A Whispered Name: 3 (The Father Anselm Novels) by William Brodrick and Restless by William Boyd. Both have similar WW2 backdrops and have the mystery/thriller slant that this book has and to which this book compares very favourably.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm
I was recommend this book, but I struggled to read it and it was a battle to complete it!
Published 2 months ago by LZR
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Intelligent, thoughtful and with unforgettable characters, one of the best books I've read in ages.
Published 4 months ago by Geoff Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary heroes
Fantastic book his writing about the battles was both exciting and moving I've never been disappointed In any of his books and dont hesitate to recommend it
Published 5 months ago by margaret Glasgow
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very readable.
Published 6 months ago by PH
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Top man Turow. Read them all now!
Published 9 months ago by roodle
3.0 out of 5 stars ordinary fare
This genre is extremely competitive and this slight novel with its thin plot isn't going to be a standout. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Coffey
5.0 out of 5 stars Ecxellent
We'll written, good story line,keeps you interst from start to finish. I would recommend this book and author to anyone.
Published 11 months ago by John H Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Turow's usual style
A fascinating story with very moving descriptions of the effects of war and combat on troops. However the style is unusual. Read more
Published 14 months ago by JPW
5.0 out of 5 stars The writer who re-invented himself!
Scott Turow is reliably precise and scholarly. With this book he has re-invented himself. It moves like an action thriller. Read more
Published on 12 April 2013 by PETER TAYLO
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written WW2 Mystery
ORDINARY HEROES is a queer mix of war, courtrooms and mystery. The novel is framed by the story of Stewart Dubinsky, a modern day journalist, who begins to research his father... Read more
Published on 18 July 2011 by Hereward
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