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Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow
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Ordinary Heroes (2005)

by Scott Turow

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1,0512212,145 (3.64)16
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
between 2 and 2.5. i guess this book made it on my list because i used to like reading about world war ii and the holocaust, but i think i'm done with that era for a while. i wasn't as interested in this as it seemed i should have been - it's a story within a story, and the ostensible main character didn't have a fleshed out backstory that made me care about why he cared about the actual main character and that story. the writing was alright, nothing too well done but nothing badly done either. it's a bit overlong and i wanted more in general from it, but it was an alright read. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jun 29, 2017 |
His Best — war scenes + feelings are riveting — so engrossing — Steward Dubinsky — father's past + death excellent —

Stewart Dubinsky knew his father. David, had served in World War II, but had told very little about his experiences. When he finds, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancee and learns of David's court-martial, Stewart is driven to uncover the truth about the enigmatic distant man he never knew. Using military archives, old letters, and David's own notes, he discovers that David, a JAG lawyer, had pursued a maverick U.S. officer in Europe, fallen in love with a beautiful resistance fighter, and fought in the war's deadliest conflicts. In reconstructing the terrible events and agonizing choices his father faced on the battlefield, in the courtrfoom, and in love, Stewart gains a closer understanding of his father's secret past and of the brutal nature of war itself.

Note: was actually rated as 3.5 stars, so I tagged it as both 3 stars and 4 stars - Emilia
  christinejoseph | Dec 23, 2016 |
During WWII a young and naive Jewish military lawyer, David Dubin, is tasked with investigating Robert Martin for non-compliance of orders. On meeting Martin, Dubin is impressed by Martin's charm, wit and courage, and agrees to help him and his team carry out a mission against the Nazis. The team includes Gita Lodz, a bright and energetic woman Martin rescused on a previous mission. On returning to his superiors Dubin believes receipts Gita provided will prove that Martin did not comply with orders because he had higher-ranking orders, and that will end this task.

Due to complex military law and strong personalities, Dubin is asked again to find Martin but this time the search is more difficult, and Dubin is side-tracked into commanding units in companies fighting Nazis camped close by. With little real battle experience, cold weather, and insufficient supplies Dubin loses a number of men to snipers but does his best to bolster and support his unit until re-inforcements and supplies arrive.

Ordinary Heroes describes Dubin's ongoing efforts and challenges to find Martin, and decisions he makes in executing his duties. His experiences and feelings in battle, the men he meets, those he loses all mold him into a more mature man with changed perspectives.

A strong read about heroes, fathers and sons, courage, loss and love. ( )
  Bookish59 | Oct 24, 2016 |
This is going to be one of my favorite books of the year. A really excellent character driven story set in the present (2003-4) and during 1944-45 in World War II. There are a couple of mysteries in here as well as a legal thriller (Turow's specialty). I became quite attached to several of the characters which I regard as a sure sign of good writing. The story itself feels like a true one even though it is apparently entirely fictitious. Parts of the story are set within larger real events with WWII (anyone who watched Band of Brothers will immediately recognize the winter battles around Bastogne in December 1944 as part of the Battle of the Bulge). This is much more than war fiction however. The novel is a little slow to start and has a rather slow pace for the beginning, but that is how we get to know the characters so well and become immersed in the stories. When the story kicks into high gear it is something of an emotional roller coaster with twists and turns. Some deaths are hard to take.

words of caution: The graphic gore level gets pretty high during the Christmas battle sequence at Bastogne and with some scenes beyond. I was so immersed in the story that it felt appropriate to what was happening, but it might upset some readers. There is a bit of a romance within the novel - an unconventional one - but love and lust in the time of war is nothing new. Just ask Hemingway. Personally I enjoy a bit of romance in stories when it is handled well.

Recommended ( )
  RBeffa | Jul 2, 2016 |
This "story within a story" involves the search by Stewart Dubinsky , a journalist, for information about his father, David Dubin, who has just died. He discovers that his father had received a court martial towards the end of World War II and sentenced to five years in Leavenworth - something that didn't quite fit in with his father's war medals.

Stewart's search takes him on a long trek, trying to access military records that are now still highly classified. He does manage to gain access, but only to redacted documents - until he contacts the man who had been his father's attorney. The attorney has a lengthy document he had asked David to write before his trial, as a way of getting some sense of what David had been through - because David, a lawyer and Assistant Judge Advocate, refuses to explain why he wants to plead guilty to the charges brought against him (releasing a prisoner accused of disobeying orders, and possibly treason).

Stewart reads the "journal" left by his father, which recounts David's attempts to arrest Richard Martin, a man who is something of a rogue and who claims to be an OSS officer on assignment. David is assigned by Martin's commanding officer - General Teedle - to find Martin, stop him, and bring him in for trial. In the course of this, David encounters the horrors of war at the very front lines of the final Allied advance that would ultimately defeat the Nazis.

I am not one for war stories, but Turow produces a book that is absolutely astonishing. The pace of the book is excellent, the narrative effectively descriptive, the ultimate story being told compelling. Surprises about, as Stewart finds that his mother refuses to talk about David's experiences in the War, even though David had rescued her from a concentration camp (Dubin and Stewart's mother are Jewish). Stewart's sister refuses to support his efforts to uncover their father's past.

A tightly-woven story that will satisfy readers completely - rich characters, profound insights, compelling plot. A must-read. ( )
1 vote jpporter | Nov 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
More brilliantly than his previous works, Turow shows what happens when "ordinary" people are placed in extraordinary circumstances. And what is more abnormal than war? The message is timeless. After six months of serving, Dubin comes to despise war. "There was nothing to be loyal to in all of this and surely no cause for pride." Then he witnesses the Nazi death camp at Balingen and he cries for the first time. He saw "how this terrible war had to happen, with all its gore and witless destruction."
 
Über seine Vergangenheit und vor allem seine Erlebnisse während des zweiten Weltkriegs hat David Dubin nie viel erzählt. Umso größer das Erstaunen und der Schock, als sein Sohn Stewart nach dem Tod seines Vaters Feldpostbriefe aus den letzten beiden Kriegsjahren 44 und 45 findet. Briefe die belegen, dass David von einem Militärgericht zu einer Haftstrafe verurteilt wurde. Der ehemalige Reporter Stewart begibt sich auf die Spuren, die sein Vater hinterlassen hat, auf der Suche nach der Story seines Lebens. Seltsamerweise sind die Akten von David immer noch unter Verschluss und nur durch Zufall entdeckt Stewart ein Manuskript, von seinem Vater selbst verfasst, das die Geschichte dieses Kriegseinsatzes eindrücklich schildert. Als Anwalt für die Militärgerichtsbarkeit wird David Dubin als Leutnant 1944 nach Frankreich geschickt. Er schreibt liebenswürdige Briefe an seine Verlobte Grace in den USA und kümmert sich meistens nur um lapidare Fälle. Sein innigster Wunsch zu kämpfen erfüllt sich durch einen Auftrag sehr schnell und kehrt sich auch baldigst ins Gegenteil um. Der Schrecken des Krieges entsetzt David und er hinterfragt schnell den Sinn seines Befehls: Er soll einen Major dingfest machen, der laut Meinung seines Vorgesetzten ein russischer Spion ist. Major Robert Martin ist jedoch nicht leicht zu fassen und da sich in dessen Dunstkreis die schöne Widerstandskämpferin Gita aufhält, in die sich David verliebt, ist es für den Major ein leichtes, sich immer wieder seiner Verhaftung zu entziehen. David führt sein Auftrag von Frankreich nach Deutschland und er erlebt nicht nur Kriegsgreuel sondern auch die Befreiung eines KZ. Und in diesem entdeckt er Martin und Gita wieder...
 

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Herrmann, EdwardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446617482, Mass Market Paperback)

Stewart Dubinsky knew his father, David, had served in World War II, but had been told very little about his experiences. When he finds, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancee and learns of David's court-martial, Stewart is driven to uncover the truth about this enigmatic, distant man he never knew.Using military archives, old letters, and David's own notes, he discovers that David, a JAG lawyer, had pursued a maverick U.S. officer in Europe, fallen in love with a beautiful resistance fighter, and fought in the war's deadliest conflicts. In reconstructing the terrible events and agonizing choices his father faced on the battlefield, in the courtroom, and in love, Stewart gains a closer understanding of his father's secret past and of the brutal nature of war itself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:49 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Stewart Dubinsky plunges into the mystery of his family's secret history when he discovers his deceased father's wartime letters to his former fiance, revealing his court-martial and imprisonment during World World II.

» see all 8 descriptions

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