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Ordinary Heroes [Unabridged] [Hardcover]

Scott Turow
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Feb 2006

All parents keep secrets from their children. My father, it seemed, kept more than most . . .

Whilst mourning the death of his father, journalist Stewart Dubin decides to research the life of a man he had always respected, always admired, but possibly never quite knew . . .

As a young, idealistic lawyer during the last terrible months of the Second World War, David Dubin was sent to the European Front – ostensibly to bring charges against a brave American hero, Robert Martin, who had suddenly, inexplicably, gone local and stopped following orders. Martin has become a liability and the authorities want him neutralized.

But as Dubin learns more about Martin and the demons possessing him, he finds himself falling in love with Martin's enigmatic ex-mistress – a dangerous woman of incredible courage. And someone who will do anything to protect her comrade-in-arms . . .

Stewart discovers a journal written by his father – and learns of his incredible courage in the face of battle, reads first-hand of the shattering moral consequences for those caught in the chaos of war and, finally, the secret he had died protecting . . .


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (3 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330441310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330441315
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 646,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'His most ambitious work to date… a riveting tale of love and treachery under fire.' -- Mail on Sunday

Book Description

Whilst mourning the death of his father, journalist Stewart Dubin decides to research the life of a man he had always respected, always admired, but possibly never quite knew . . . As a young, idealistic lawyer during the last terrible months of the Second World War, David Dubin was sent to the European Front – ostensibly to bring charges against a brave American hero, Robert Martin, who had suddenly, inexplicably, gone local and stopped following orders. Martin has become a liability and the authorities want him neutralized. But as Dubin learns more about Martin and the demons possessing him, he finds himself falling in love with Martin's enigmatic ex-mistress – a dangerous woman of incredible courage. And someone who will do anything to protect her comrade-in-arms . . . Stewart discovers a journal written by his father – and learns of his incredible courage in the face of battle, reads first-hand of the shattering moral consequences for those caught in the chaos of war and, finally, the secret he had died protecting . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 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
By Ichabod J VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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 Sep 2006
Format:Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful 7 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback
As narratives go, this had an eloquence all of it's own. The story follows a decent man through the appalling winter of 1944 in France, and the reader is left in no doubt of the tragedy and futility of war. I found is a very powerful book, not in a 'gung-ho here comes the cavalry way', but in a thoughful, clear and compassionate way. It has stayed with me long after I finished it. I will definitely look for other books Scott Turow has written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What did my father do wrong? 7 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback
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
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 1 month 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 4 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 15 months ago 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start but improves to become a good story
This story is set to the background of the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. The account of the father's war time experience is very vivid, being graphic in the brutality and... Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2011 by Anthony Fitton
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent holiday read
I bought this book ages ago, thinking that it would make a good holiday read. Consequently, I took it with me on a number of trips but somehow never got round to reading it. Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2009 by Blueinsmoke
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and moving
This is a tale set within WW2 and is a blend of mystery, thriller, emotion and love story.
Not my normal type of reading material but this is deep and thoughtful stuff that... Read more
Published on 26 April 2009 by Nick Brett
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written WW2 thriller
After a bit of an effort to immerse myself into the novel, I found myself gripped by the storyline and quality of writing. Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2006 by C Hyde
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