Audie Award Finalist, Audio Drama, 2016
In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had - in reality - only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive. Beyond the exploding shells and artillery, the merciless freezing cold, extreme hunger, and crushing exhaustion, these young men - both British and German - discover a miracle of grace, as enemies becomes friends and an impossible Christmas finally arrives.
Written by Emmy Award winner Charles Olivier and produced by Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) to commemorate the Christmas Truce's centennial anniversary, this astonishing moment of peace in the midst of total war is brought to life as a vivid and immersive audiodrama, featuring a full-cast performance, elaborate sound design, and an original musical score. Listeners will also enjoy a classic Christmas carol, "Il Est Ne", performed by Tom Tom Club, at the conclusion of the story.
The full cast includes Damon Herriman, Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, James Scott, Lance Guest, Nate Jones, Cody Fern, John Beck, Gabe Greenspan, and Heiko Obermoeller.
©2014 Audible Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"The cast's excellent naturalistic acting and superb dialogue bring out the human side of a conflict in which the enemy lay entrenched only a few hundred yards away." (AudioFile)
Poignant story with real characters. Reminding us of the effects of war in human spirit. A great listen as we remember the centenary of WW1
"I was just reading about this in my news paper"
When I turned on to Audible and saw this offering I was thrilled. Since just reading about "Flanders Fields" in my Sunday newspaper, it was just a wonderful gift to your loyal customers for this time of year.
What happened that Christmas of 1914 one hundred years ago can not be compared to anything that I know of. Truth is often stranger than fiction.
This was done beautifully with a full cast. I usually don't like sound effects in my audio books but it was done with style and class. There were many times I laughed out loud at the British dry humor. I also felt emotional about the deaths from war.
It was easy enough to do that is was just over an hour long. I didn't know where that hour went it had me so engrossed listening to the story.
I love that the story is coming from one of the officers writing to a mother of one of his comrades who died and served with him ......the letter is written ten years after, to the mother. I can't imagine a mother not knowing about her son because no one bothered to contact her that he had died in the service of his country. Yes this is fictionalized about that time but it none the less shows that we are all human, Thank you Audibe for this wonderful gift.
"Moving story and performance: hope in midst of war"
The story, language, dialect, performances and sound really evoked the confusion, fear, comradery, despair, strength, and bravery of the men and the time in the midst of the horror of the war. And then the hope and the humanity. The sharing of pain across lines, the release of joy and laughter -- such an amazing moment during the Christmas of 1914.
So difficult to say. The tension of the machine gun being prepared combined with the uncertainty of what the Germans were doing as they came with lanterns? The burying of Beecher? The reading of his letter? So many choices.
Zac. He remained grounded, thoughtful and strong in the midst of a dehumanizing time.
The performance of the character Swinburn was amazing -- such a complicated personality. And I really enjoyed the character Zac and that performance as well. Charles Olivier captured elements of the war of which I'd been unaware, and I really enjoyed the language. Well done!
Interesting, breath taking, sit on the edge of your seat
they was all interesting
I am a avid reader and this is the first audible book that I have listened too but it will not be my last. Loved using audible
""maybe war takes a holiday today""
This isn't too sentimental (nor too gruesome) and convincingly recreates the possible development of one possible truce situation in the 1914 trenches. It doesn't directly address any BIG questions, other than the very powerful one posed by the truces themselves. I liked that it highlighted the conditions in the trenches, again without being too gruesome for family listening. I'm so happy to see commemoration of the centenary of the Truce since so many battles are so well remembered.
"Spirit of Christmas"
Christmas Eve is a wonderful story of life in the trenches during WW I. Outstanding description of the harsh conditions and the utter fear of the men. As well as the levity and bantering amongst the officers jockeying for command and to allay their own fear. The interaction with the German soldiers proves we are all human beings. Although maybe not that civil.
The new Lieutenant singing Silent Night and the Germans responding by singing back.
Teared up at the prospect the enemies on the battlefield could find common ground and become conversant for at least 24 hours.
Hard to believe the war continued for another 3 years.
This was a great audio drama about the Christmas Truce in 1914 I have always been fascinated by this story and this audio drama was very well done! Highly recommend!
Next Christmas for sure. Audible studios did a masterful job telling the story.
Since is was a drama it was more like a movie in my head.
The young lieutenant who goes on his first mission and sings Silent Night
The singing in the book
Great Audible Drama that I thoroughly enjoyed.
"Thank you, Audibkle for this Freebee!"
Yes, it is very well done and very touching.
The ending of course.
Thanks Audible for the freebie. I passed this book forward for my father to listen to since he is a huge fan of war stories. Even after all the war stories my father put me through, this is still a new one for me. A very good dramatized production of Christmas Eve, 1914.
I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in the personal aspects of historical events, especially war.
The necessity of each character is well-balanced, which makes it difficult to choose. I think the young boy who brought it all together with his song, is the one that comes to mind first.
I was touched most at the end when the narration slipped into the end of a letter written to the mother of the boy whose voice had such a positive influence in such a negative venue.
Beautifully written and executed. This may become our annual Christmas "listening."
"God Bless All Who Gave Their Lives & Their Limbs"
A thoughtful tribute to all the men and women who have fought for their Country and their loved ones. To those living and those who's spirit shine on. Thank You ❤️ This little drama says it all. God bless.
A very well written and narrated story while although partly fictional was incredibly moving.
Would happily pay for this so it being free feels like robbery but very glad it has been done.
I expected an audio book but got a full production so well done. What a great surprise. Would love to hear more like that. Recommend to anyone to have a listen.
This short story captures the feeling in the trenches and the pressures each person was under. Also demonstrates the loyalty to the country and the bravery.
Very nice to listen to. Convincing narration. Wish all audios were as well done as this.
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