A Bridge Too Far

  • by Cornelius Ryan
  • Narrated by Clive Chafer
  • 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The classic account of one of the most dramatic battles of World War II.
A Bridge Too Far is Cornelius Ryan’s masterly chronicle of the Battle of Arnhem, which marshaled the greatest armada of troop-carrying aircraft ever assembled and cost the Allies nearly twice as many casualties as D-day.
In this compelling work of history, Ryan narrates the Allied effort to end the war in Europe in 1944 by dropping the combined airborne forces of the American and British armies behind German lines to capture the crucial bridge across the Rhine at Arnhem.
Focusing on a vast cast of characters - from Dutch civilians to British and American strategists to common soldiers and commanders - Ryan brings to life one of the most daring and ill-fated operations of the war. A Bridge Too Far superbly recreates the terror, suspense, heroism, and tragedy of this epic operation, which ended in bitter defeat for the Allies.
About the author: Cornelius Ryan (1920–1974), born in Dublin, Ireland, became one of the preeminent war correspondents of his time, flying fourteen bombing missions with the US Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. He is the author of numerous books, including several classics of military history, which have appeared throughout the world in nineteen languages. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government in 1973.

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What the Critics Say

“I know of no other work of literature of World War II as moving, as awesome, and as accurate in its portrayal of human courage.” (General James M. Gavin)
“Ryan masters a spare, strong style to deliver a battle that has much of the majesty and beauty of classic tragedy. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great story much better than the movie

Where does A Bridge Too Far rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The research is good and goes so much further than the movie. The characters are complex and one has to remember that they are real. The inability of the allies to manage the campaign makes you wonder what would have happened if the German units were at full strength. The characterization of Field Marshall Montgomery is consistent with most books I've read. The inability of the allies to react nimbly was a result of too big a hierarchy; much like the Pentagon or many corporations. The inefficiency of the German military was unmatched. The saddest part of the book is the fate of the Dutch population who were simply in the way of Montgomery's unending need for glory. His "dagger thrust" strategy was tried and it failed despite the "90%" success.


How could the performance have been better?

Clive Chafer gives monotone delivery a bad name. Not awful but has the most creative and fantastic monotone ever heard. The story is too compelling to put you to sleep but his delivery reminds one of a flat landscape that uses a mouse's foot prints for mountains.


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- Michael

Listen to the book, watch the movie

The movie is referred to as "A Hour Too Long" and it is a long film (3hrs). The book though brings clarity and if you wish to watch the film, I suggest listening to this book; before, after or during it does not matter. Spoiler alert, the cavalry doesn't quite make it. What you do get from this book is a clear understanding of what happen, what went wrong and possibly a good answer to the question of why. This is the 'boys own adventure' to battle and even if you are not into history, is a good yarn. Characters, action, sacrifice and morals are on every page. A damn good listen.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-27-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.