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A Bridge Too Far

Narrated by: Clive Chafer
Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)
Non-member price: $32.25
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Publisher's Summary

The classic account of one of the most dramatic battles of World War II.

A Bridge Too Far is Cornelius Ryan’s masterly chronicle of the Battle of Arnhem, which marshaled the greatest armada of troop-carrying aircraft ever assembled and cost the Allies nearly twice as many casualties as D-day.

In this compelling work of history, Ryan narrates the Allied effort to end the war in Europe in 1944 by dropping the combined airborne forces of the American and British armies behind German lines to capture the crucial bridge across the Rhine at Arnhem.

Focusing on a vast cast of characters - from Dutch civilians to British and American strategists to common soldiers and commanders - Ryan brings to life one of the most daring and ill-fated operations of the war. A Bridge Too Far superbly recreates the terror, suspense, heroism, and tragedy of this epic operation, which ended in bitter defeat for the Allies.

About the author: Cornelius Ryan (1920–1974), born in Dublin, Ireland, became one of the preeminent war correspondents of his time, flying fourteen bombing missions with the US Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. He is the author of numerous books, including several classics of military history, which have appeared throughout the world in nineteen languages. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in 1973.

©1974 Cornelius Ryan (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“I know of no other work of literature of World War II as moving, as awesome, and as accurate in its portrayal of human courage.” (General James M. Gavin)
“Ryan masters a spare, strong style to deliver a battle that has much of the majesty and beauty of classic tragedy. ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, poor narration

Detailed story, but really struggled with the narrator. I think if he was telling bedtime stories, a child would be lulled to sleep in a flash!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 26-07-2012

Great story much better than the movie

Where does A Bridge Too Far rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The research is good and goes so much further than the movie. The characters are complex and one has to remember that they are real. The inability of the allies to manage the campaign makes you wonder what would have happened if the German units were at full strength. The characterization of Field Marshall Montgomery is consistent with most books I've read. The inability of the allies to react nimbly was a result of too big a hierarchy; much like the Pentagon or many corporations. The inefficiency of the German military was unmatched. The saddest part of the book is the fate of the Dutch population who were simply in the way of Montgomery's unending need for glory. His "dagger thrust" strategy was tried and it failed despite the "90%" success.

How could the performance have been better?

Clive Chafer gives monotone delivery a bad name. Not awful but has the most creative and fantastic monotone ever heard. The story is too compelling to put you to sleep but his delivery reminds one of a flat landscape that uses a mouse's foot prints for mountains.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Snippersly
  • 22-02-2016

Run on sentences

What did you love best about A Bridge Too Far?

The story, men and mission are captivating. A true and powerful example of heroism by the men, and bad decisions by the command.

What did you like best about this story?

Gritty, realistic and stories told from a soldiers POV.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clive Chafer?

Anyone else... He reads the book like he is in a hurry. He reads without regard to punctuation, like it is a long run on sentence. The narrator killed the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Despite the narrator I gained a very keen insight into the special and personal histories.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 31-03-2014

Listen to the book, watch the movie

The movie is referred to as "A Hour Too Long" and it is a long film (3hrs). The book though brings clarity and if you wish to watch the film, I suggest listening to this book; before, after or during it does not matter. Spoiler alert, the cavalry doesn't quite make it. What you do get from this book is a clear understanding of what happen, what went wrong and possibly a good answer to the question of why. This is the 'boys own adventure' to battle and even if you are not into history, is a good yarn. Characters, action, sacrifice and morals are on every page. A damn good listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • colin o,neill
  • 29-10-2012

very accurate and unbiased history

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The dry historical data is really bought to an exciting level. The author writes a lively tale of bravery,sacrifice, historical facts and sadness. A book that is well worth the asking price.

What other book might you compare A Bridge Too Far to and why?

Tobruk, Kokoda by Peter Fitsimmons>
Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman
They bring military historyto the people

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The art of tragedy

Any additional comments?

Excellent

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • 25-03-2013

Great story marred by monotone performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, even though you have seen the movie, the story itself has so much more to offer. The personal perspectives of the survivors, the details about why and how. A great story

What did you like best about this story?

The personal narratvies and stories of the survivors adds a great deal to the story

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The delivery was monotone and mechanical. It nearly ut me to sleep many times. It was a sad way to portray such a great story and made it hard to listen

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Great learning exerience

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kory J. Klimoski
  • 22-07-2016

Great read!

This book was a great read. the narrator was very skilled and the book flowed very easily.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary Archer
  • 21-08-2015

A great story.

An excellent story of the Market Garden operation. It was incredibly unlucky the British found themselves on top of the II SS Panzer corps at the time of the operation. If by a stroke of luck or ill fortune they had been elsewhere the operation would have been a rousing success. Such are the fortunes of war.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Antoinette Hattingh
  • 04-07-2015

Gripping

Gripping story on these 9 days and how one strategy panned out in many peoples' lives

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • 16-11-2012

A Bridge to Far.

I found it to be a very interesting book. I have seen the movie but still find it to be a book well worth listening to. I would recommend it to other readers any day. A Great History Book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 27-07-2012

One of the few comprehensive views

Ryan does a laudible job in covering the Allied side of the battle with due care to the multiple fronts and locations. This is a great start before moving in to more detailed histories of the various segments of Operation Market Garden. It had been many years since I last read Ryan and noted that he did a good job covering the role of the Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron and the coup d'main operation at Arnhem bridge and his discussion of the radio problems was sound.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Smith
  • 17-11-2016

Amazing book ruined by awful narration

If you could sum up A Bridge Too Far in three words, what would they be?

Compelling, daring, insightful

What other book might you compare A Bridge Too Far to, and why?

Pegasus Bridge, D-Day

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narration is simply terrible.

It does this incredible true story and the wonderful work of Ryan a massive disservice.

'Monotone' doesn't begin to explain it. Clive Chafer reads in a very unnatural, almost robotic way, with a constant rhythm that a metronome would be proud of.

I made it slightly more bearable by increasing the speed to 1.25x, but I couldn't finish it.

Boring, depressing, unengaging, dull narration.

I'd strongly advise against purchasing the audio book for this reason, but would highly recommend purchasing the actual book and reading it for yourself - an incredible story.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A Bridge Too Far?!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. J. Mc
  • 18-03-2016

Great story but wow the narration is awful

Do the producers actually hold auditions for these guys or just pull any random actor in looking for a job? This is such a monotonous clunking performance it almost made this unlistenable.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve Hocking
  • 13-10-2017

Fantastic and harrowing story that make me feel grateful

The amazing history of ultimately a doomed mission. The bravery of these men is truly humbling.

Unfortunately the narration is appalling, although by the end you have got used to it. The flat monotone delivery is like machine narration. I would choose to read it next time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eddie
  • 16-07-2017

Appalling Narration

Any additional comments?

Why do Audible not vet their narrators before they put their books up for sale. The monotonous and boring narration completly spoilt the book for me. I wasted my money in purchasing this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daz
  • 20-08-2012

Classic WW2

A good book on one the greatest episodes of WW2. Had to knock a star off for the monotonous narration which grated on me a bit. Every sentence read with the same intonation distracted from the writing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr S L Gibbs
  • 25-10-2018

Fact filled

I enjoyed the narration and the authors dedication to portraying both sides of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kerry joan enoch
  • 31-08-2018

Great Audio

Absolutely brill love listening to this about what all the boys went through and the people who didn't make it back my greatest respect to all who were there

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Ng
  • 01-01-2019

Great story - but why the accents?!

A great book, one I have read myself and enjoyed very much.
This audiobook was okay and on the whole well-read with specific credit for the pronunciation of some Dutch words and names which I appreciate is not an easy undertaking.
One thing which does grate IMHO is the use of accents, especially Scottish for General Urquhart. Yes he was a Scot, however, he sounded more English than Scottish and to use the same accent for Brian Urquhart as well was daft and potentially confusing. The Polish accent for General Sosabowski was also pretty poor. That said I did enjoy the overall audiobook.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Copperfish
  • 23-03-2018

Finding it difficult to maintain interest

The narrator is just so monotonous that I'm struggling to make it beyond the initial chapters.
very disappointed with such a potentially fantastic story and title.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • rgb
  • 26-09-2017

A great book, but....

The audiobook sounds like it's being read by a robot. A robot that doesn't really care. Shame.