Audie Award Finalist, Audio Drama, 2016
In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had - in reality - only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive. Beyond the exploding shells and artillery, the merciless freezing cold, extreme hunger, and crushing exhaustion, these young men - both British and German - discover a miracle of grace, as enemies becomes friends and an impossible Christmas finally arrives.
Written by Emmy Award winner Charles Olivier and produced by Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) to commemorate the Christmas Truce's centennial anniversary, this astonishing moment of peace in the midst of total war is brought to life as a vivid and immersive audiodrama, featuring a full-cast performance, elaborate sound design, and an original musical score. Listeners will also enjoy a classic Christmas carol, "Il Est Ne", performed by Tom Tom Club, at the conclusion of the story.
The full cast includes Damon Herriman, Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, James Scott, Lance Guest, Nate Jones, Cody Fern, John Beck, Gabe Greenspan, and Heiko Obermoeller.
"The cast's excellent naturalistic acting and superb dialogue bring out the human side of a conflict in which the enemy lay entrenched only a few hundred yards away." (AudioFile)
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I was just reading about this in my news paper
When I turned on to Audible and saw this offering I was thrilled. Since just reading about "Flanders Fields" in my Sunday newspaper, it was just a wonderful gift to your loyal customers for this time of year.
What happened that Christmas of 1914 one hundred years ago can not be compared to anything that I know of. Truth is often stranger than fiction.
This was done beautifully with a full cast. I usually don't like sound effects in my audio books but it was done with style and class. There were many times I laughed out loud at the British dry humor. I also felt emotional about the deaths from war.
It was easy enough to do that is was just over an hour long. I didn't know where that hour went it had me so engrossed listening to the story.
I love that the story is coming from one of the officers writing to a mother of one of his comrades who died and served with him ......the letter is written ten years after, to the mother. I can't imagine a mother not knowing about her son because no one bothered to contact her that he had died in the service of his country. Yes this is fictionalized about that time but it none the less shows that we are all human, Thank you Audibe for this wonderful gift.
Moving story and performance: hope in midst of war
The story, language, dialect, performances and sound really evoked the confusion, fear, comradery, despair, strength, and bravery of the men and the time in the midst of the horror of the war. And then the hope and the humanity. The sharing of pain across lines, the release of joy and laughter -- such an amazing moment during the Christmas of 1914.
So difficult to say. The tension of the machine gun being prepared combined with the uncertainty of what the Germans were doing as they came with lanterns? The burying of Beecher? The reading of his letter? So many choices.
Zac. He remained grounded, thoughtful and strong in the midst of a dehumanizing time.
The performance of the character Swinburn was amazing -- such a complicated personality. And I really enjoyed the character Zac and that performance as well. Charles Olivier captured elements of the war of which I'd been unaware, and I really enjoyed the language. Well done!
- M. Laird