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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Arnhem by Antony Beevor, read by Sean Barrett.

On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out onto his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power.

Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel and lasted until the end of the war.

The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war.

©2018 Antony Beevor (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about Arnhem

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The Best Book you will read on Market Garden

As with all Antony Beevor books, this is the most informative well written book I've read on Operation Market Garden.

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Detailed, alarming & engrossing

A fairly flat narration yet well suited to the topic. Wonderfully detailed with extraordinary information & engrossing eye witness accounts & conversations that bring bloody battles & tragic mistakes to light. An amazing legacy to the lives & deaths of soldiers & civilians alike.

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Recommended to All

This is the first book of Beevor's that I have listened to, and I am satisfied to say that I have already added several of his other works to my Wish List. Arnhem is a well narrated, contemporary account of the conflict. Beevor doesn't display any obvious national bias in his telling of the campaign, and Barrett's narration is excellent.

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  • John
  • 16-12-2018

Simply brilliant!

For anyone familiar with Antony Beevor’s other books: here he is at his best. For anyone who has not read them and has an interest in military history: this book is a must!

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  • JonathanG
  • 27-07-2018

Well Told Story of The Battle of Arnhem

A major battle of World War 2 which the allies lost for various reasons the book highlights. The plight of the Dutch people during the occupation by German forces and after the batrle is well told. A good book worth reading if you are interested in military matters and this battle.

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  • per
  • 09-06-2018

Very good description of the battle and background

Very good description of the battle and background with a sprinkel of personal stories. Not too gory but precise depiction of an sometimes horrifying situation/situasjons. Good narrator, quite dry but likable good and precise.

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  • Mr James Carter
  • 05-06-2018

Excellent book

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having studied Arnhem a little over the years, watched "A Bridge too Far" many times as well, this book really put some meat to the bone. If you have any interest in Market Garden then this book will not disappoint. I note an earlier comment on the accents within the book and personally I found them quite acceptable, just to address some balance there. I'm going to listen to Stalingrad next.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-05-2018

Sosabowski and the Poles vindicated

For years a lot of shameful nonsense had been written about the role of the Polish brigade and Gen. Sosabowski. In recent years it was the veterans of the British 1st Airborne that led the way in restoring the unfairly tarnished reputation of the General and his men (ironically Sosabowski was at one point asked to lead the division, but refused as he felt it would compromise the potential use of his brigade in Poland). This book does them justice.

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  • Hamish Betteridge
  • 07-06-2018

Clear, and insightful

The truly poor quality of Britain’s senior generals beggars belief. While the high quality of field commanders, soldiers , and Dutch civilians is the exceptional. All the more poignant for the contras between the m. The self grandisment at one end and incredible self sacrifice at the other.

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  • Thorpe682
  • 18-09-2018

The best Market Garden Book?

Lots of books have been written but this must be one of the best with an even handed approach to the good and bad bits of the abilities of US, Brit and German forces ( Not forgetting the Dutch and Poles) . Its an easy listen as well ( I have only listened not read it ). Make your own decisions was it a good plan or a really poor one?

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  • Seayeaitch
  • 26-06-2018

Time for the Truth....

Incredible story that portrays, the execution and the unfolding of Arnhem brought to life by Sean Barrett ( I can listen to this man all day). For all interested parties American, English, German and Polish this epic story presents all sides and worts an all, compelling listening, I loved it.

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  • Dubliner
  • 06-06-2018

Another Beevor classic

This book is essential reading for anyone interested in military history. Antony Beevor displays his formidable narrative and analytical skills in his account of the Arnhem offensive. The book is very well read by Sean Barrett.

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  • Mr. M. Vimpany
  • 22-10-2020

Good but mired in detail

I would make two observations about this book. Firstly, as my headline suggests, I found this to be a book mired in detail. It is as though one is being guided through a forest, with no real idea of destination or purpose, stopping at every single tree to examine it in the minutest detail before moving on to the next which is treated similarly. In other words it becomes difficult to see the wood for the trees. To be fair, I am only a quarter of the way through, and this overview may ‘emerge,' but if it does it is hard won! I had bought this book because I wanted a better understanding of operation market garden. This was very hard to come by, given the constant excursion into minutiae. If you are in the same position, and seek a similar understanding, I recommend you consult other sources first and grasp the outline of the campaign before reading this particular book. I cannot but admire the intense scholarship that has gone into it, but at the cost of a broad grasp. A possible remedy? I have spent my career as a trainer and one of the guiding principles of this discipline is the mantra, attributed to Rudyard Kipling (though I doubt it)!, is “tell them what you are about to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them.” My point is that this book, (and many others) could really use an opening chapter giving a broad outline of the topic before delving into detail, what I like to call a ‘map of the territory’ which sets out landmarks to help navigate the complex terrain ahead. This makes the forthcoming detail far more easily contextualised and digested. The second point I wanted to make is that, unlike written works, the narrator makes all the difference. This is true not just of this title, but of many others I have listened to. Of course you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but I would urge the publishers to stop using actors and employ more natural speakers. Many of the narrators used sound almost shakespearean and take on what I would describe as an ‘earnest’ mode of speech. This is how BBC presenters would have spoken in decades past. The inflections and emphasis they use, and the affected accents they put on, are simply not representative of how people speak these days. For me (and others, judging by their reviews) this affected mode of speaking distracted and alienated me from the story. Personal conclusions It is so easy to criticise a book you have not constructed. My comments are not criticism, but honest observations from my personal perspective. My first observation is that this is a good scholarly yet enjoyable read (though I should say ‘listen’), but it is not for the faint hearted and certainly not good as a primer. Secondly, if you get on with the narrator’s quirks, fine, but if not they can get in the way of your enjoyment. Once irritated there is no going back. For any book I personally prefer a narrative style more in line with everyday, conversational patterns of speech. From the publishers point of view I suspect that this would make it more accessible to a greater range of listeners.

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  • E P
  • 17-09-2020

Hubris and Folly

This is a sad book about military hubris and folly of poor military planning and a tragic loss of life in the last year of WW2. It corrects the deformation of the brave Polish paratroopers, let down the British High Command. Mr Beevor is excellent on both the grand strategy and the small details of fighting. Where the book excels is the description of the aftermath for the battle and the conditions in the Netherlands up to eventual liberation

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  • Carrie-Ann Smith
  • 22-07-2020

brilliant.

brilliant, took me a few weeks to comokete in the car, well worth it. brill

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  • Matt.G.
  • 09-06-2020

Brilliant

This was my first audible book so I chose a subject that I knew well. I was not disappointed. thoroughly enjoyed it.

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