For the first time, the full and complete story of the B-17 Flying Fortress Susan Ruth is shared in unbelievable detail. Author Steve Snyder's story of his father, Lieutenant Howard Snyder, and the Susan Ruth crew, provides in-depth details about many aspects of World War II few understand or know about. This includes: separation for young families as men went off to war; training before heading to foreign soil; military combat operations; underground and resistance and what Lt. Snyder did when he joined it; and German atrocities toward captured crew and civilians.
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A Great Story Diminished by Audible
Story: The first person account of B-17 Flying Fortress Susan Ruth's Aircraft Commander, Lieutenant Howard Snyder. It is told through notes home and various diaries and other accounts and as such is not easy reading (or listening in this case) but is none the less compelling because of that. Anytime you are dealing with a real person and a real account of extraordinary events, I find it is usually worth the effort. This audio book did try my patience extremely and was no fault of the author or narrator. (See Performance Below)
Performance: Richard Rieman did a good job, albeit a little stiffly. The thing that almost ruined this audio book for me was that they would repeat ENTIRE paragraphs almost every chapter, so you would listen to the same thing over and over. It could be (I am speculating here and giving them the benefit of the doubt) that these sections were the block quote sections that started a given section, and as such if you were reading it, you would have just skimmed over it when you hit that section in the printed version. Not having the printed version, I do not know. But the effect was that it sounded like they had an audio intern doing the editing. AUDIBLE - You really should listen to your own finished products once in a while.
Overall: A very interesting and accurate 1st person account of life and death in the 8th Air Force in WWII. Very poor production caused whole passages to be repeated almost every chapter and almost caused me to stop listening. I'm glad I didn't because it really is a remarkable story of a bunch of remarkable people.
This audio book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
- Michael Richards
This was a very informative book regarding the USAAF during WWII and I think many people would benefit from the history provided. I was given many new things to think about as I listened.
While this book was informative it lacked the emotional strength I was expecting. Part of this could have been what Snyder was working with as he tried to remain as true to life as possible. There was obviously a lot of research that went into compiling this narrative and I would be interested in trying more historical stories from the author.
Rieman's voice was perfect for this type of historical book. It is just what I associate with WWII in my head, so it worked really well for this tale.
The story would have had more of an impact on me had it focused more around a handful of characters and less on the overall involvement of the USAAF in the war. That said, I think that some shorter books or maybe a short book compiling some of the letters from individual airmen on the Susan Ruth would help me appreciate the story more. It would be nice to have more information about the crew than was given in this book.
The quotes at the beginning of every chapter (which I assume are in the written version as well) were very destracting. Maybe that would work if reading the physical book, but for audio it really didn't work well.
Rieman's narration was really good. The only part that I didn't particularly like were the various voices used for the men and women quoted in the book.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.