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Publisher's Summary

Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Suddenly, a German Messerschmitt fighter pulled up on his tail. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would later be called 'the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.'

This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day: 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a farm boy from West Virginia, and 2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

What happened between them was later classified 'top secret.' It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was an encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years...

©2013 Adam Makos (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listening - recommend it!

An interesting perspective story of a german ace fighter pilot ( franz stigler) and his perspective of the war from its beginning to the end. Recounting the interesting life he lived of how he climbed the ranks of the german airforce. This audiobook shows the interesting perspective and honor it was to be a german fighter pilot. It also reveals the unsaid honor code between fighter pliots on both sides during this time. This book also covers a brief perspective of (Charlie Brown) an American bomber pilot for the B-17 Flying Fortress(named "Ye Olde Pub") plane was severely damaged by German fighters. Luftwaffe pilot Franz Stigler had the opportunity to shoot down the crippled bomber, but did not. This is his story told within franz stiglers timelines.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaike
  • Sydney, NSW Australia
  • 11-08-2017

Hellavu story

Excellent story excellently told. It just gets more and more interesting. Robertson Dean is as usual, wonderful.

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

Absolutely loved this book.

Bought a tear of joy and wonder to me I loved this story what a magnificent inspired story

1 of 1 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

Exceptional tale.

A story more about German fighter pilots of WWII than the episode headlined. Terrific background well told. More books on the losers are required.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting True Story

I love true stories as they often give the reader much more insight into detail and understanding. I loved this book and would recommend it especially to History students for the above reasons.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Pile of pickles<br />

Why this book ain't nothing but a pile of pickles. I'll never get that 10 hours back bad performance his German sounded like a stoned Schwarzenegger . Story well its about a act of stupidity to let a bomber get back to base god help him. I want my $ back give me a credit . The author is a wanker

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 16-12-2017

Probably one of the best books out there!!!

What made the experience of listening to A Higher Call the most enjoyable?

The book is good, probably one of the best books in the history of the World. The story is remarkable and in todays' times a pleasure to see once upon a time, even in hardship, men were humble and humane...today's people should learn about what it was to me a human...

Who was your favorite character and why?

Off course Franz

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved when he was in Sicily and they were looking down at Trapanni,,,I have been there and seen the field

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely yes...and am listening to it again

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan
  • 04-07-2017

MUST READ, great story, very well writen

Would you consider the audio edition of A Higher Call to be better than the print version?

Yes

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Higher Call?

there are many, but the highlight of Stigler escorting the B17 is unbelievable

Which scene was your favorite?

meeting between the pilots in 1992

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

absolutely

Any additional comments?

no

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joao G. D. Santos
  • 01-02-2017

Higher Call, an outstanding true story

It was the most emotional story I ever read. The climax, I believe every reader has ideally imagined, never ever reached the real moment they finally met. I have to control my tears from flooding the ambience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JURANDYR
  • 14-01-2015

A Tale So Wonderful - Because It Is Real

This audiobook is a must for anyone addicted to military aviation history. Well researched, written and rendered, it's author, publishers and reader delivered a masterpiece. Thank you very much for this outstanding experience.

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  • George
  • 04-11-2016

George's review

what a book,very powerful i was elated tearfull and exhausted at the end. I could not put it down, true men of honour in a time of hell. brilliant

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
  • K. Traylor
  • 13-10-2016

Amazing story of courage

Gritty war story and interesting reading Of the war in air, as seen from both sides. As an aircraft fanatic this is a terrific book. Also very heart warming and humbling. Fully recommended.
Keith Traylor

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • greg archer
  • 11-10-2016

holding back tears of joy, sadness, laughter and

heart warming, packed with historical facts, a testament to a generation of amazing courageous people

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • max
  • 22-09-2016

Like no other

I have read quite a number of books recently on these fly boys of the war and this is an outstanding account of an incredible story. The german pilots had it hard theres no doubt anout it, this covers the experience of Franz and his commrades vividly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • 27-08-2014

An Iconoclastic Take on WW2 Aerial Warfare!

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

Yes I would! A compelling story, well written and well read. Really draws you into the lives, fears, and hopes of the principal protagonists. It also gives a good overview of the politics and military situation that shaped the lives of those we read about.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Without a doubt, the Luftwaffe fighter ace Franz Stigler. The book really pivots around him.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It has to be the moment where Stigler holds off shooting down the crippled B17 flown by Lt. Charlie Brown. In doing so, he has a personal shift in conscience: sacrificing his hitherto coveted Iron Cross but, by his own later admission, gaining something much more valuable...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes. Many. Many. But particularly the one described above.

Any additional comments?

My only concern is just how much of the book is actually true. Such is the immediacy of the writing, it reads like a novel. The authors state that the text is based on more than eight years of interviews with the principal participants, but I wonder how much detail can be recalled so many decades after the events. So many WW2 books have come under suspicion recently, particularly those that, like "A Higher Call", have been published after the deaths of those involved, meaning that there's nobody around to either corroborate or refute the facts. There's no denying it's a fantastic read, but if were an author trying to make lots of money - and I understand the film rights have already been sold - I'd try to make it as entertaining as possible, too.

Still, I loved this book, and I hope my doubts are unfounded. Go read it!

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
  • Lukas Kinnear
  • 31-03-2018

A great story in a difficult time

this book is a detailed experience of what it was like to be on the "other side of the fence" the unspoken code of flyers and the horror of war this book scores 1000/10 for a 100% griping read

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • barnaby jones
  • 14-03-2018

Gives me goose bumps every time

Heard the story 3 times now! I must listen! You won’t regret buying this one! The hero in this storey has an amazing life that spans such an interesting period of history. You must hear the storey if you haven’t done so already. Cannot recommend enough!!!

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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
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-02-2018

A wonderful story

A trutly brillant and enjoyable story, what a life to have lived. Such an amazing story

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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
  • Jules
  • 14-01-2018

A moment of compassion in a world of killing

If you could sum up A Higher Call in three words, what would they be?

Compassion, Honour, Chivalry

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Higher Call?

When Franz Stigler met the sons, daughters and grandchildren of Ye Olde Pub's crew who had been brought into the world because he didn't pull the trigger of his fighter and then deliberately prevented the coastal flak crews from shooting the bomber down.

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

A calm measured performance overall

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have were it possible, but had to listen in chunks. However I looked forward to listening to the next chunk.

Any additional comments?

It was noteworthy how Franz Stigler's attitude changed after he saved Ye Olde Pub. Though he carried on with his role of a fighter pilot, shooting down Allied planes for the rest of the war, he ceased chasing in his main goal before 20th Dec 1943 - the Knights Cross. Instead he either didn't claim the victory or credited his wingmen with it. He was never awarded the medal, despite probably shooting down more than enough planes to qualify. He just wasn't interested in his "score" any more.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • D Roberts
  • 23-12-2017

Brilliantly written but with a selective agenda

Where does A Higher Call rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top third

Who was your favorite character and why?

Stigler

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

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

No

Any additional comments?

This was effectively the biography of Franz Stigler’s war, and all the better for being so. The central event was not as unique as the author implies. The writing is very skilful indeed. However this otherwise superb book is badly let down by the author’s selective American agenda (possibly unconscious and unintentional), which by extension made me doubt other aspects of the storyline. He continually fails to elaborate on non-U.S. contributions, even when these should have followed naturally in the storyline. For example telling a detailed story of Stigler’s downing by American P.40s (calling the action “one of the most spectacular air victories of the North African campaign!”) but then when it comes to Stigler’s other downing by a Spitfire, there is no description or story of it at all; we are not even told the bare bones of what happened. This sort of selective story telling irritated me throughout the book. I also found the author’s dismissive and unfair historical interpretations of non-U.S. victories irritating; such as offering no credit to the RAF in the Battle of Britain, and simply stating that the Germans lost focus before they could succeed! All of this will pay dividends in Hollywood of course, but it is a dis-service to history, hence the three stars, which should otherwise have been five stars for a very finely written and researched book.