Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends
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Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,604 ratings  ·  114 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...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Wendy
Oct 24, 2009 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Alicia
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
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
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...more
Audrey
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
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...more
Jonelle
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...more
Kelsey
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
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
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
Luke
Jul 07, 2008 Luke rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Hyacintha Ingleford
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
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.
Beth
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...more
Thomas
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...more
John Nevola
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 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Phyrman21
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.
Randy Watkins
In Memoriam of Edward "Babe" Heffron (May 16, 1923 - December 1, 2013) and in Honor of Will Bill Guarnere both of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division!

My kids and their neighborhood buddies found this book at a neighborhood yard sale several months ago and gave it to me. I'm a Band of Brothers fan so I really enjoyed reading the accounts of Wild Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron. Their accounts went along with the movie series. The author did a gre...more
Tom
Truly enjoyed this book. Robert Pike had interviewed borth Wild Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron about their experiences in Easy Company, 506th of the 101st Airborne.

He starts out their stories as they are growing up in South Philadelphia prior to WWII. Wild Bill begins as he was an origonal member of Easy Company from the get go. Babe comes in a little later as a replacement who is taken under Guarnere's wing as a fellow South Philly boy.

We follow their tale from D-Day to the showing of the "Band...more
K.M. Weiland
When I read Band of Brothers a few years ago, it was easily my favorite non-fiction book of the year. All things considered, I think I liked this one even better. I opened it almost hesitantly, not at all sure I was going to enjoy the co-writing technique applied. I would have rathered a book apiece from Guarnere and Heffron. But, as it turns out, the co-writing is half the charm, fun, and power of this book.

Seeing the events of Easy Company's participation in WWII from two perspectives was enli...more
Reds_reads
I've added this to my autobiography/memoir shelf, but really this book is not that formal. This is the story of Bill and Babe, two WWII paratroopers, in their own words. The main focus is on their WWII experiences, but there is also much information about their pre-war lives, and some about events post-WWII. The voices of the men come over brilliantly, the tone is quite conversational which makes this a very easy read.

Minus points? Just that occasionally the personal straight-talking style slip...more
Lexie__a
J'ai beaucoup aimé ce livre. Je trouve qu'il reflète totalement le caractère de Guarnere et Babe. Je suis passée sans cesse du rire aux larmes. Il s'agit là d'un témoignage vraiment touchant et montrant encore plus à quel point leur amitié est précieuse. J'ai aussi pu constater de façon plus prononcée la volonté de Bill à protéger ses camarades et à toujours prendre soin d'eux. C'est un homme très érudit, qui comme le raconte Winters dans son livre s'est formé par lui même en lisant ou s'instrui...more
Kari
I was warned ahead of time that this book is more graphic than the other Band of Brothers books I've read. While I agree with that statement I don't think it should make anyone apprehensive about picking it up. It was very realistic of war, which is where the graphic parts come in. Truthfully, I felt it depicted what war really is: horrible. I liked seeing a new perspective on the unit though. These two veterans are hilarious, and while they're brutally honest, they're also fascinating in their...more
Relstuart
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...more
Alison
How do you review a book like this? It was amazing; it was hard to read; it was easy to read; it made me laugh; it depressed me. It was am amazing book--it felt like you were talking with someone, instead of sitting down and reading it in a book.
Merry Farmer
Reading the memoirs of these two amazing men is like sitting down with Grandpa and listening to him tell stories of the war. Except in this case, I now have a total crush on Bill Guarnere! What amazing men they were.
Carly Rose
Pfc. Edward J. "Babe" Heffron and Staff Sergeant "Wild Bill" Guarnere dictated their journeys from South Philadelphia to the European Theatre as men in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army with the help of journalist Robyn Post. These men - who refused to accept the label of hero - opened up about their individual struggles and experiences fighting in WWII. Despite all the death and horrors they had seen first-hand, the posi...more
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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
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