The classic account of the Allied invasion of Normandy....
The Longest Day is Cornelius Ryan’s unsurpassed account of D-day, a book that endures as a masterpiece of military history. In this compelling tale of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy, Ryan painstakingly re-creates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.
This book, first published in 1959, is a must for anyone who loves history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth.
©1959 Cornelius Ryan; 1987 by Kathryn Morgan Ryan, Victoria Ryan Baida, and Geoffrey J. M. Ryan (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“What I write about is not war but the courage of man.” (Cornelius Ryan)
“Fifty years from now, the history of D-day, I am sure, will lean heavily on this book.” (New York Times Book Review)
“A dramatic, moving masterpiece, a living memorial to the men who died, and as suspenseful as the most gripping mystery story.” (Chicago Sunday Tribune)
"Seen the movie? Read the book: it is worth it"
Have you seen the movie? They make such a prominent statement in the opening credits that it is "based on the book by Cornelius Ryan" that I've always had a mind to read it.
After all, while the story is epic, the movie just "tries too hard" in parts. Isn't the breaching of Fortress Europe enough of a plot? No! Movie-goers also need a schmaltzy love story too. Surely the book can't be that contrived?
The good news is that it is not. It shares the "tell a story through a mosaic of slice-of-life vignettes" approach, yet does it with compelling integrity. It is gritty and unrelenting; sometimes poignant, but always authentic. The book's most rewarding and fascinating aspect is how it shows in rich detail the diverse impact of action and inaction, decision and indecision - and often just plain luck - in the final outcome of the day.
"Horrendous narration makes it impossible to listen"
A different narration.
Every sentence dragged on with the exact same rhythm. How can you make such
interesting material so impossible to bear????
This is one of the saddest disappointments I have ever experienced on Audible.
"a different take"
This book gives a different take on the d day landings. Using interviews and letter etc it tells the story from the thoughts and feelings of those involved. A very good listen.
"OMG....kill me now....."
I could not get past Chapter 2.... The narrator was sooooo monotone and drove me to rip my earphones out.....
"A long awaited story now being told"
All Americans need to understand the sacrifices made by our servicemen on 6 June 1944 as they stormed the beaches of Normandy. I have waited for many years to finally obtain an audio version of this book. A must for all students of History.
Cornelius Ryan weaving the story of Private Arthur B.
His very distinct accent added to the narration.
Came very close to tears when listening to what happened to our guys at Sainte Mere Eglise.
"Excellent book, unpleasant narration voice"
This is an exceptional written work. Unfortunately I found the narrator's voice to be so unpleasant that I was unable to listen to the entire book.
You will not find this to be the definitive story of D-day. There is a lot of story with regard to the preparation, the disinformation programs, espionage and counterespionage that is not covered. There is not one word about the simultaneous diversionary attacks at Pas de Calais or of Patton's imaginary First US Army Group. Nevertheless, it does provide a very personal narrative of the experiences of many of those who were involved in the invasion both on the side of the Allies as well as the Germans. It provides some well-documented insights into what each side did right and did wrong on that fateful day. Some reviewers have been very critical of the narrator. I did not find Mr. Chafer's English accent at all offputting and in fact felt that it was entirely appropriate since the invasion was launched from England and there were just as many British and Canadian troops involved as there were American. The only reason I did not give the performance a five star is because the narrative was somewhat monotone and lacking in emotion. Nevertheless, if you have an interest in World War II and in particular the Allied invasion at Normandy, you do not want to miss this book. I have read the print version as well and found the audio presentation every bit as good if not better.
"Great book, poor narrative"
We all know The Longest Day is a favorite of all war buffs. However, the voice of the narrator is monotonous and the last word of every sentence ends in the same weird voice inflection.
"Good Book, Performance So So"
Excellent book, but the reading leaves much to be desired. Droning, without much inflection. Very moving, all the same.
"Still a Classic"
There have been many books written about D Day, but this still remains a touchstone standard history. Well written and presenting a complete picture from both sides.
"Great author but......"
No. Great story but terrible narration.
Narration is robotic and after a ten minute listen will drive you crazy with irritation.
Great author. I listened to another title called 'The Last Battle' about the fall of Berlin and it was sensational. This title is of an interest to me but sadly I've stopped listening after one hour because of the terrible narration. Don't waste your money.
"Readable, scholarly, humane"
In the two generations that have passed since the end of the Second World War historians have acquired the distance and balance from those terrible events necessary to writing good history. Given the early date of "The Longest Day" it is an enormous credit to Cornelius Ryan that he has avoided both partisanship and triumphalism in his account.
His research has obviously been meticulous, but this never causes his prose to labour and he humanises the battle on both sides without trivialising it. Most of all this is an accurate historical account that lives up to the size of the subject - perhaps the most important single day in the twentieth century.
This is not scholarly history in the academic sense, but as a single volume treatment of a momentous battle The Longest Day is as good a book as it could possibly be. And it is an impressive compliment to Ryan's prose that it translates so well to the audiobook format in a reading that does the book full justice.
"One of history's most decisive events"
One of history's most decisive events. Well written and finely and sympathetically narrated. Almost too short
"finished too soon"
Great book, narrator a bit flat, but you get used to it. Was hoping it wouldn't end. Gripping stuff!
"You have to give it 5 stars..but"
Pleased I've got it
Band of Brothers
Kept me listening
We live in the heart of the D Day Landings, 4 miles from Carentan & Ste Mere Eglise...I've seen the movie loads of times, I know the history, individual battles and stories...it's always been a book I've meant to read...so audible releasing it is perfect as I listen to books as I iron the linens for our 4 vacation rentals here...oh boy do I wish you had got someone to read this with less of a Mr Bean sounding voice.
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