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Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,647 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Tom Hanks introduces the rousing story of two inseparable friends and soldiers portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron were among the first paratroopers of the U.S. Army-members of an elite unit of the 101st Airborne Division called Easy Company. Arguably the bravest, most efficient, physically fit, and tigh
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy
Oct 24, 2009 Wendy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Band of Brother's followers, history buffs, WWII buffs
I don't understand when people say things like, "Not very well written.." when it is very obvious that the 'memoir' in question is by someone who is not a writer or a novelist.

Yes, memoirs are 'helped' along by someone who knows what they are doing. But to take the 'voice' out, and make sure that there are no grammatical errors, or stuff like that would take away from the charm that these two Philly natives add to their story.

'Disappointing' too, is another adjective that I don't get when appl
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Alicia
Jan 26, 2011 Alicia rated it really liked it
John and I and our two teenagers watched Band of Brothers a few months ago. It was hard to watch, but really, really good. I picked up this book at a rummage sale soon afterwards and my oldest daughter (she's almost 18) tore right through it and insisted that I read it too. I finally did. These guys and what they went through is rough - there's messy and uncensored stuff here - beautiful, heartfelt stuff too. It's part of our story as a country, as human beings, and I think we need to get more c ...more
Teija
Feb 09, 2009 Teija rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a bit of an Easy Company junkie, and I've come to take quite a liking to the stories of Bill Guarnere in particular (the man has a way with words!) so a whole book by him and Heffron and I was more than excited to pick it up. There's a lot of new material in this book, from their own experience -- stuff that didn't make it into Band of Brothers, or Beyond Band of Brothers, or any of the other collections that have come out about the Easy men -- and once again it was a pleasure to be able to ...more
Allan
Jun 28, 2014 Allan rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
This was an Audible Daily Deal, aptly on sale on D Day, June 6th, and told the stories of two US paratroopers from 'Easy Company' of 101st Airborne, Bill Guarnere and Babe Hefron, from their growing up on the streets of South Philadelphia during the Great Depression, to their being immortalised in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers', but focussing unsurprisingly on their service during some of the bloodiest battles in Europe in World War 2.

I was fascinated as a child by my grandfather's reminiscen
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Audrey
Oct 27, 2009 Audrey rated it really liked it
So, so good. A few weeks ago, I watched the HBO series "Band of Brothers", about the 101st Airborne Division during WWII, and LOVED it. It was like 11 hours long, but as soon as it was over I popped the first disc in to watch it again (Just for the record, I've been working on some super-secret Christmas presents that are fairly time intensive, so I watch a lot of TV while I'm working on them. I try not to watch that much normally.). Anyway, I loved it. So I was looking at the show's Wikipedia p ...more
Max-ray
Feb 27, 2013 Max-ray rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of WWII stories, I've read most of Ambrose's books on the subject. When I was younger, I read many books that focused on the "Big Picture"; the General's strategies, where the front lines were drawn, the weaponry and units involved. All a Top Down view of war.

What I have come to enjoy so much more are the stories of the men in the trenches, the Privates, Seargents and Leutenants in a battle. These guys have no idea what is going on from a General's point of view. All they know is that
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Jonelle
Oct 22, 2007 Jonelle rated it it was amazing
I am only half way through, I already know this book will get the 5 stars.
I've met both Bill and Babe and have listened to Bill tell some of these stories, and now as I read this, I can hear his voice, picture the cigarette between his fingers as he claps his hands and says his, "bing-bang-boom" or does that whistle thing as he tells certain stories. I can hear Babe's quieter voice--I was in Holland for the 60th anniversary of Market Garden and was with a group with (Bill and) Babe as he descri
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Kelsey
Apr 24, 2009 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
What I loved the most about these books was that I could relate so well because I had already seen the series. It was awesome to be able to read through Babe and Bill's stories and think back on how it was portrayed by HBO. And I think they did a really great job, to be honest. And both of the guys had nothing but praise for Tom Hanks, Steven Speilberg, and especially Robin Laing and Frank John Hughes, the two that played them It was so cool, in the prologue and the epilogue, to see how Bill and ...more
Devon
Feb 05, 2009 Devon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favorites
I am in love with this book. Honestly, you would be hard pressed to find a book that was written with so much emotion and...gah, there are no words. Babe and Bill are excellent at telling stories that make your heart race on the same page with stories that make tears come to your eyes. (But not actually cry, because let's just face it...my heart is made of stone.) When I wasn't laughing or feeling like I needed a good cry I was saying "ohmygodohmygod" over and over again. I've read Band of Broth ...more
Grace
Dec 08, 2011 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent story about two men and their friends in the 101st Airborne. The story is told by William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron of "Band of Brothers" fame. At times it was hilariously funny, at others it was exceedingly sad. The book was extremely interesting and held my attention the entire way through. The men told of their experiences beginning with their childhood growing up in Philadelphia during the depression, through the time of their enlistment with the 10 ...more
Judy
If you are a fan of the book or miniseries Band of Brothers, then this is a must read. For me, one of the most compelling soldiers that served in Easy Company was Bill Guarnere, and I loved hearing about his experiences in his voice. It was always clear that he and Babe Heffron became good friends right away, and it is just wonderful to know that they stayed best friends this whole time. I'm quite sure proximity helped as they both returned to South Philadelphia, but it really is a testament to ...more
Abby Jones
Dec 03, 2014 Abby Jones rated it really liked it
I stumbled on this little treasure at Half-Price Bookstore and read it on Black Friday instead of going shopping. Anytime I watch Band of Brothers I tend to get a little obsessed. This is the third book I've read about Easy Company. There are also some interviews on YouTube that I'm working through. This book focuses on only two members of Easy Company: Wild Bill and Babe. They grew up only blocks from each other without ever meeting and served together in Market Garden and the Battle of the Bul ...more
Luke
Jul 07, 2008 Luke rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is interested in WWII or American Heroes
I had watch Band of Brothers on HBO and also read the book by Stephen Ambrose a long time ago. This book, which is biographical and written by two of the men featured in the Band of Brothers mini-series, is stunning, thought provoking and amazing in detail from the memories of these two men, who do not think of themselves as heroes, but regular men who helped fight in WWII. I hope that when I reach 80+ years old my memories of past events will be as vivid and sharp as theirs. After reading this, ...more
Relstuart
Sep 09, 2012 Relstuart rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading this dual biography of two boys from the same town that didn't meet each other until the war started and they ended up being best friends. Having seen Band of Brothers here these two veterans relate what happened in their experience with the Screaming Eagles. They reference the show occasionally as they were consulted during production. And they give some additional details.

I enjoyed their brief description of what life was like growing up lower middle class in America an
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Martin
Sep 08, 2015 Martin rated it really liked it
I love this book. A fun oral history of the war by two of the guys whose history is portrayed in the series "Band of Brothers". A Great ripping yarn.

Note: the book is not corrected for facts and many of the things the two guys say about stories not their own are myths or legends. But it shows you how they thought at the time, so its good to read anyway.
Hyacintha Ingleford
May 25, 2011 Hyacintha Ingleford rated it really liked it
Mature (very) but extremely good. The vibrant first-person narratives from wonderful story-tellers with unique lexicons are enormously delightful and the characters incredibly endearing, despite their many faults. The memoirs of grueling war experiences are never easy to read, but for a history buff they were fascinating and the unexpectedly moving and beautiful last few chapters are especially rewarding. Consider yourself warned, it is, I would say, a very mature PG 13. But none-the-less, quite ...more
Kissmekate
Aug 21, 2012 Kissmekate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, excellent history lesson. This candid eyewitness account does so much more than any boring textbook can. It's not a glorification of war, but a wonderful memorial to Easy Company which must have been a rather special bunch of guys. It was hard stuff at times, but well balanced with some very hilarious scene (Bill's attempted escape from the hospital comes to mind). A really great read I'll happily pick up again some time.
Adam
Jul 30, 2014 Adam rated it really liked it
This memoir by two of the "Band of Brothers" veterans is not only a great companion to the book and the series, but is a great reflection on war and life after the war by two charming and engaging narrators.

When I was eighteen or nineteen years old, I was worrying about finishing a paper for my Freshman Seminar and my biggest fear was that my roommate would bring a girl to our room the night I was studying for finals. The men in Easy Company were being air-dropped into war zones and hunkering d
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Beth
Jun 08, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the 70th anniversary of the June 6 Normandy Landings in 1944, Audible offered this memoir by William "Wild Bill" Guarnere & Edward "Babe" Heffron as a Daily Deal. I snapped it up and hardly put it down over the next two days.

Dick Hill delivers a masterful performance in narrating the sometimes humorous, mostly harrowing memories of their time in Easy Company, 101st Airborne, from basic training to D-Day, the liberation of Holland, the Battle of the Bulge, and post-war adjustment.

This is a
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Anne
Jul 14, 2014 Anne rated it really liked it
I got this as an audible deal on D-day and enjoyed listening to the book. As a history teacher I love reading first hand accounts of events. I have been fascinated with the journey of Easy Company ever since Band of Brothers. A must read for any history buff.
Marcos Carmo filho
May 05, 2015 Marcos Carmo filho rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books

It took me much longer that I expected to finish Brothers in Battle. It was not because the book wasn't well written or because the story wasn't interesting. Rather, I just couldn't hear much without having to stop, either to think about what I heard or to gather myself. The story of what these men went through as members of the 506th Airborne Easy Company during World War 2 is just that powerful.


The book tells a little of how their life was before the war, how their training went, their war and

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N.
Sep 27, 2014 N. rated it really liked it
This was certainly an appropriate book to finish on the anniversary of 9/11. What these men did for us is almost incomprehensible to most people, many of whom take freedom for granted. I am forever grateful to “Wild Bill” and “Babe” and the millions of other men who fought for our freedom and the freedom of innocent people around the world. These soldiers are amazing men with true courage and determination; their story is one strewn with the moral fiber of the day. It is a rare first-person acco ...more
Thomas
Sep 12, 2008 Thomas rated it liked it
This book is a memoir from two of the Band of Brothers, Easy Company, as featured in the book by Stephen Ambrose and the HBO mini-series. It's written in the first person voice of the two men as if they were sitting down and telling you the stories.

It's an easy read, but a difficult book to get through. There are a number of historical inaccuracies that are not corrected by footnote or otherwise, but perhaps they aren't that noticeable if you aren't aware of some details of World War II. I suspe
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John Nevola
Oct 03, 2012 John Nevola rated it really liked it
Unfettered by political correctness, Robyn Post has compiled and organized a wonderful collection of memories from two of the fiercest fighters of Easy Company, the famed “Band of Brothers”. Two young men born and raised just blocks from each other in South Philly first became acquainted and then became lifelong friends through their shared experiences as United States Army Paratroopers. The comments and observations of both men are brutally honest, hard hitting and at times heart-wrenching. The ...more
Bryan
I can't get enough of the books written by, with or about the men of Easy Company. I've read other WWII accounts, and enjoyed most all of them. But the ability to conjure images from the miniseries Band of Brothers, both things they specifically covered or things they didn't, is an amazing bonus to these specific stories. By all accounts, the series was spot-on in its account. And while there are several pieces that are fictionalized for TV, after a couple dozen viewings and several of the books ...more
Chad
Jul 19, 2013 Chad rated it really liked it
Shelves: war
This book is written in two different ways, one less enjoyable than the other. In parts, the story is told by Guarnere, followed immediately by Heffron's point of view. This sometimes leads to repetition where they describe the same event from literally 10 feet apart. They do have their own personalities, that's for sure, and it is enjoyable to see that difference.

In other parts, the story is told as if in conversation, interacting, interjecting and sometimes correcting one another. These are th
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Chad Simons
May 08, 2014 Chad Simons rated it it was amazing
One of the better books written by specific characters from Easy Company, World War 2's Band of Brothers. Personal insight. Not so much a rehash of the familiar stories as it is how they felt with each experience. Told from their perspectives. I didn't find myself bored with this book at all, as I have been in areas of the other books that do not add anything additional to the familiar stories of these amazing soldiers.
Mark
Aug 15, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing
A must read for family members of war veterans, or anyone who wants an intimate look inside a combat veteran from the front lines. This book should be a must read for all high schoolers. The sentiments expressed and the tales shared easily apply to combat veterans across the generations - from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan. I'll be so bold to say that if you give this less than 5 stars, I question your patriotism.
Naber
Aug 30, 2015 Naber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazing story of Bill and Babe from the 101st airborn and their activity in WWII. Told from the inside perspective of soldiers who were in the thick of the action in Easy Company. They gave a taste as to what war was like and particularly their description of the Battle of the Bulge and the hardships the soldiers endured. I listened as audiobook which I think added to the story.
Sarah
Feb 03, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
What I appreciate most about this is that the author stayed true to the voices of Babe Heffron and Bill Guarnere. Each of them takes turns telling their stories and she left in many of their colloquialisms. This helped the stories flow without sounding like a textbook.

A very good read, even for the most studious of the Band of Brothers followers as Heffron and Guarnere share stories that have been left out of other works.
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William J. Guarnere is a former non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Guarnere was portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers by Frank John Hughes. Guarnere wrote Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tel ...more
More about William Guarnere...

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