The Great Big War

  • by Bob Nick Shields
  • Narrated by David Winograd
  • 2 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The war happened, but only Bobby Booclear remembers it. It lasted less than a day but, in less than six hours, an 11-year-old boy became a war criminal. In Westchester County, New York. It's that kind of story. And Bobby is, finally, telling his version of what happened on that day, in 1954. In a rousing tale filled with cap guns, spin-the-bottle, flavored ice cubes, water bombs, fireworks, and more hammy death scenes than your parents would ever let you watch when you were little, first-time author Bob Nick Shields re-creates a long-ago summer and the thrill of innocence in a funny and touching fictional account of what it was like to be a kid before every family had a television.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A charming little story

If you could sum up The Great Big War in three words, what would they be?

Relives childhood memories


What does David Winograd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

David's narration brings a different spin on the "voices" of the characters than one hears inside his/her own mind when just reading the dialog.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

War, Peace, and Koolaid


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- Robbi Perna, Ph.D. - Author and Lecturer

Charming stroll down memory lane

This is Bobby Booclear’s story. He remembers the day long war clearly and is finally telling his side. In a time when kids could play outside during daylight and girls weren’t allowed in war games, Bobby reenacts some of the great big screen death scenes of his time.

This is a tale of childhood days gone by. Bobby is a kid playing with his buddies from the apartment building. Based on the movie references in this book, perhaps it is the 1960s. There’s a field near the apartment building and the kids organize a war with two sides and objectives. Everyone has some sort of toy weapon. These kids take their play very seriously! That made me smile because it made me recall childhood games and how seriously we all would take them sometimes.

There’s only 2 women in this book. One is a kid just heading into puberty. A game of spin-the-bottle leaves Bobby feeling left out, poor dude. Then there is Bobby’s mom who makes all the kids tasty Kool-Aid ice cubes. While the men far out number the women in this book, they still contributed to the story.

I was charmed by Bobby because he takes his acting so seriously, especially his death scenes. In fact, there is a point later in the story where the death scenes are critiqued by the other boys. It was quite amusing!

I think due to my age (I’m in my 30s), some of the cultural references went over my head. Also, I have never lived in a big city or an apartment building. So some parts of this tale didn’t resonate as much with me as they might with other readers. Still, there was enough here in the story itself that I enjoyed hanging out with Bobby for a few hours.

I received this audiobook at no cost from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: David Winograd did a good job. He made a good Bobby Booclear, especially since the story is told from older Bobby’s voice as a long flashback to his childhood. I also enjoyed his serious warrior boy voices for when the kids were pretending to be generals or what not.
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- DabOfDarkness

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-29-2014
  • Publisher: Short on Time Books