The Wrong Stuff

  • by Truman Smith
  • Narrated by James Killavey
  • 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Between April and July 1944, Truman Smith flew 35 bombing missions over France and Germany. He was only 20 years old. Although barely adults, Smith and his peers worried about cramming a lifetime's worth of experience into every free night, each knowing he probably would not survive the next bombing mission. Written with blunt honesty, wry humor, and insight, The Wrong Stuff is Smith's gripping memoir of that time. In a new preface, the author comments with equal honesty and humor on the impact this book has had on his life.

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What the Critics Say

"...the book proves that the nation's greatest resources are its young people, ready and willing to serve their country." (St. Joseph (MO.) News-Press)
"If you thought gallantry and valor were the only stuff war is made of, think again. He makes one statement which is not understood by anyone who has not served in combat: 'In order to out-bad the bad guys, you've got to be badder than they are.'" (Tulsa World)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Action, suspense, and history

I was surprised that the book is such a recent work. The descriptions were so vivid that it seemed like a report that must have been penned during the action.
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- Allan

The Greatest Generation on Display

One of the books written about the individual aviator warrior of WWII. Humor, pathos, irreverence, deep introspection--it's all there and I'm happy to see that it survived to my days as an air force crew dog. Smith includes several details about which others may have wondered, but have become air force legend, like just how one handles "nature's call" in a B-17 at thirty-thousand feet. The book emphasizes the idea that warriors/soldiers fight for their buddies, and not necessarily out of patriotism or other high ideals. Once I got to know Smitty and the crew I didn't want it to end. Loved the history lesson--the war fought in the skies of Europe was never a glamorous affair, rather composed of misery and even humor. It would have been a boring book if not for the interludes between sorties--he reveals inexperience with alcohol and women--you’re reminded he’s still just a kid. I find it equally amazing how vivid Smith’s memory was in recounting his wartime service, some 50 years later.
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- Lady Pamela

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-15-2014
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks