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Bailout Over Normandy: A Flyboy's Adventures with the French Resistance and Other Escapes in Occupied France

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  • Posted September 2, 2012

    I love this book. It will no doubt be received as the finest exa

    I love this book. It will no doubt be received as the finest example of the classic World War II evade and escape story. Only recently discovered, "Bailout over Normandy" is a 1940s masterpiece with a heart and soul unlike anything that's been published.

    Ted Fahrenwald's style is immediately engaging and suggests influences by Samuel Clemens and Will Rogers. The 1940s vernacular that runs through the narrative gives it a real and appealing credibility. It reads so true to the time because it came from that time; Fahrenwald wrote it as the war ended. Consequently it is unpolluted by hindsight or any of the nonsense so often imposed by modern sensitivities. Casemate's editors--who were presented with the manuscript nearly seventy years after it was written--are to be commended for preserving it as Fahrenwald created it.

    It takes only a couple of pages for the reader's internal narrator to synchronize with the colorful timing and tempo of Fahrenwald's voice. From that point the book reaches full speed and never lets up. Although the story is laced through-and-through with death and danger, Fahrenwald finds humor and irony at every turn. A loveable rapscallion, he makes fun of the Germans, the Maquis, his own countrymen and himself. This reader guffawed out loud at several points. Nevertheless, Fahrenwald understands the tragedy that is the war. His observations--often quite sensitive--underscore that point.

    Exercising a charisma that borders on genius, Fahrenwald charms friend and foe alike through his dramatic adventure. But the story is more than entertainment. It is also a unique contemporaneous treasure that historians, linguists and social experts will study for years to come.

    The actual (physical) book is very well made. The paper stock is weighty and the print is very readable. The photos, although they are hardly high resolution, do a nice job of putting faces to many of the names in the book.

    I very highly recommend Bailout over Normandy.

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