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Ordinary Heroes

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,309 ratings  ·  283 reviews
Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancée, and learns of his father's co ...more
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2005)
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Freda Malone
Save for the preface of this intensely written novel, I can honestly say without a doubt it was one of the most horrific fictional tales I’ve read about WWII. Much of the facts were present as the writer clearly explains the research he did before publishing this novel. It was enlightening chaotic! So much of WWII was confusing as it was with most wars that came ‘before’ and ‘after’. I still get nauseous when I hear about prisoners of any war, unjustly starved, tortured, and killed, just for bei ...more
Larry Bassett
This is my first time to read Scott Turow and I understand that this book is a departure from his normal writing of mystery/thrillers. He has written several nonfiction books including one on the death penalty and another on his first year at Harvard Law School as well as this historical fiction offering. There is a contingent of lawyers who have added writing fiction books to their achievements. Turow is a skilled writer and he puts his legal knowledge to good use.

Turow appears to give away the

The horrors of war, the limitations of law, the contradictions of society. Life is not as it appears. Turow writes of human values, of law, an of human nature. He develops his characters well and tells interesting stories, and is worth reading.
Bookmarks Magazine

Retired reporter Stewart Dubinsky last made an appearance in Presumed Innocent (1987). Here, the self-lacerating Dubinsky delves deep into his family's wartime history__one loosely based on Turow's father's experiences. For critics, the question is whether a legal-thriller writer can succeed in another genre__and the answers vary. Out of the courtroom, Turow remains an effective storyteller whose characters (Gita in particular) and details of war create immediacy and intrigue. However, his usual

Larry Hinman
Scott Turow's novels are thoughtful and illuminating explorations of the inter lives of men of my generation. Some might say that this would make them very short novels, but not so! This particular novel is, at least geographically, far from Turow's usual locale of Kindle County. (I assume he chose that name before Amazon;s use of it.)

One small example: the main character, in the middle of trying to sort things out in his own life, is tailing with his best friend: "...trusting Biddy [his friend
I've never read this author. I'm impressed - good for those who enjoy this type of WW2 espionage-ish thriller; the characterizations are realistic and the story engrossing, better than the usual.
I can’t explain how I connect music to books. I heard The Fray’s “How to Save a Life” on the radio in the car this afternoon and it took me back to when I was reading Ordinary Heroes. The more I thought on the link, the more Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” also came to me as associated with it. Hmm.

It’s been years (2006, I think) since I read Scott Turow’s WWII novel about a son’s journey into his father’s and mother’s pasts through letters and other written artifacts. Unlike a lot of the reviewers
Pam Carrie
Scott Turow's descriptions of the physical and mental pain faced by WWII soldiers reminded me that all wartime soldiers must come home with varying degrees of post-traumatic stress syndrome. It is difficult for some and impossible for others to assimilate back to the "normal" world.

As Stuart Dubinsky uncovers the journal kept by his father, David Dubin, he is amazed to learn about a part of his parents' lives that they never discussed. The wartime horrors and twisted political affiliations that
I picked this one up at my local library only because it was time for a bit of fiction, and Turow has been a safe bet, previously. I was surprised, and it turns out pleasantly so, to find that this was less a legal thriller than a story of wartime valor and intrigue. This one could be worth listening to a second time, just because it was such a pleasant experience.
This is a war story, but more than that it is the story of one man’s quest to better understand his father and in the process he comes to understand himself and humanity better as well. I like the way Mr. Turow weaves the questions who are we and why do we do the things we do to each other through the experiences of his characters. Although portions of this book highlight how cruel human beings can be, it also poses questions that left me thinking we can improve, and indeed excel beyond our wild ...more
Deb Cutler
In my opinion this book was compelling and managed to illustrate some of the complexities of a World War II. The plot worked well to introduce an "ordinary" person to the extraordinarily horrible aspects of the Nazi concentration camps. Many of us have read books by survivors and historians, but for sheer gut wrenching, rip-your-eyes-open introduction of the reality (or at least the feeling of reality) of the concentration camps, this book stands out. The plot held my interest and the characters ...more
Sheri faulk
Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancée, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history and driven to uncover the truth a ...more
Like most war veterans, David Dubin never told his children anything about his time in the service, the horrors he witnessed. Now, he’s dead. While cleaning out a closet of his father’s old clothes, Stewart, his son, finds love letters and eventually a manuscript from the 1940s. His father loved a woman other than his mother. His father was nominated for a Silver Star during WWII. A court-martial was empowered to determine if David Dubin should be imprisoned. What else doesn’t Stewart know about ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Julie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie by: Dave
An engrossing story set in WWII era. A work of fiction but also much historical fact. The atrocities of the Nazi regime and the concentration camps are horrific but are written of with compassion. The lives of the main characters are truly heroic during the raging battles in Europe and go on to lead very ordinary lives in the aftermath. This book is extremely well written and gives great insight to those who fought and lived through this time period.
As historic fiction about World War II, the story succeeds. The battles were real and the descriptions authentic. They put the reader in the midst of the danger and the carnage. The arrogance of the commanding officers is exposed as are the petty prejudices of the soldiers as well as their fear of combat and death.
Some of the information is based on facts and can be documented; some is made up out of whole cloth. There was a race to build a weapon that could split the atom and cause a level of
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Stewart Dubinsky knew his father. David, had served in World War II, but had told very little about his experiences. When he finds, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancee and learns of David's court-martial, Stewart is driven to uncover the truth about the enigmatic distant man he never knew. Using military archives, old letters, and David's own notes, he discovers that David, a JAG lawyer, had pursued a maverick U.S. officer in Europe, fallen in love w
Note: this is fiction - but feels like nonfiction.
Started a bit slow, but I really got into it when he parachuted into Bastogne and was suddenly emersed in war. The double storyline was cool and nicely woven. For a while I wondered why so much time was spent on the woman, but you find that out near the end and it makes sense. Nice story. Narrator did a great job too.
This would make a good movie, but as a book I found it a bit hard-going. Stewart Dubinsky is a journalist who, after reading letters written by his father during WWII referring to his court-martial that Stewart never knew about, investigates his father's war career. The following story takes place during the last phase of the European advances by the Allies, and is the best part of the book. I found the actual historical commentary of the battles and the strategies a bit dry compared to the fath ...more
Robert Fritz
Ordinary Heroes is a wonderfully written book about a time period when my own father was in WWII in the same locale where much of the action takes place... right before, during, and after the Battle of the Bulge. Turow takes an ordinary man and allows us to see fighting through his eyes. Many times when he has his main character mulling over events, it felt extremely true to life... I felt that I would be pondering the same questions. I realized early in reading it, that this is a book that I wo ...more
Holly Robinson
WWII historical fiction with a different view of the war than most - this from a JAG officer sent on a mission that gets him in the middle of some horrific action. It's different than most of Turow's writing but I liked the story line and it didn't really have any points that dragged. The story starts in 2004 with the son of the JAG officer trying to find out more about his father's story. The pieces come together in letters and his father's own writings. This could have created a difficult stor ...more
Doreen Fritz
In a sharp departure from his usual fare, Turow explores the era of WWII and the relationships between son and parents in this novel. After his father's death, Stephen Dubinski is going through his dad's closet when he finds a box of letters from a former fiancé and reads about a military court-martial that he (Stephen) had not known about. His mother is unwilling to talk about the war years other than to say that his father (David Dubin) had rescued her from the Balingen concentration camp at t ...more
The middle and latter parts of this World War II tale take place at the scenes of the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of German concentration camps a few months later. It is a father-son story, with the father never talking to his children or anyone else about his wartime experiences as an officer in the U.S. Army. The reader isn’t let in on his secret and completely valid reason until his son figures it out at the very end of the story. It is a well-told story with a cast of interesting ...more
Finely crafted characters, historically accurate storyline, and a complex plot all work together to make this a marvelous read. I often thought of my father-in-law, as this book was told from the perspective of a son as well as through the letters written by the father. My father-in-law told innumerable stories about his war experiences, it was central to who he was as a person. There is much to be learned about life through these ordinary heroes. I applaude and appreciate Scott Turow for writin ...more
Read like the story of a man's journey to understand his father's World War II experiences. The switching between present day, recollected past and historical events unfolding became a difficult mental aerobics. Then I realized that this was actually a work of fiction, so there was no reason to torture me trying to understand who's point of view and when the events occurred. I was also totally saddened that this wasn't history. Even if it was factionalized, I wanted it to be based o actual event ...more
Finding this Turow book on a bookshelf while on vacation, I could not help but wonder why I had not read it already. After I started reading, I thought I might have read it, but as I went on, it seemed I had not? World War Two story of a Jag officer, David Dubin, who finds himself on the European front chasing Robert Martin, an OSS runabout. The book is 'written' by Dubin's son after his death as the son wants to find out why his father was court-martialed. The story contains all of the flair an ...more
Florence Millo
Stewart Dubinsky, a middle-aged reporter, knew his father served in Europe during WWII, but the war was a subject off-limits in the Dubinski household. Upon is father's death, Dubinski discovers that his father had been court-martialed and imprisoned, and sets out to find the decades-old answers. The story that follows is an emotional and painfully realistic drama of the horrors of war in the European theater.

In early 1944, and Dubinsky's father, David Dubin, is a young lawyer assigned to the U
Jan C
Excellently read by Edward Herrmann.

A little different type of story for Scott Turow. Most of his books take place in court rooms. Here one of the main characters is a lawyer, actually a JAG (Judge Advocate General) lawyer in WWII. Much of the story is told through a flashback method. After his father dies, Stuart Dubinsky (also featured in Presumed Innocent) tries to find out about him. Learns that he was court martialled, sentenced to hang, commuted. Stuart wants to find out about this. Turns
Catherine Hurst
I've always enjoyed Scott Turow's legal thrillers, but this book tells a different kind of story. The narrator, a retired reporter, discovers a cache of letters when his father dies, and uses them as a starting point to research his father's World War II experiences. Most of it takes place on the battlefields of Europe in the last year of the war, and the contrast of the narrator's research process combined with the vivid recreation of the war from one soldier's point of view make a riveting nov ...more
This book is two stories interleaved. The first, but probably secondary story as far as getting the reader absorbed, is the story a journalist takes in unravelling his father and mother’s lives in WWII. When Stewart Dubinsky discovers love letters written by his father to someone other than his mother during the War, he also find out about his father’s court marshal and imprisonment. He then starts to question the story he and his sister have always known of how his parents met – his father the ...more
Lynn Pribus
Turow made some comments n the last CD after this novel was done. He said his father had been a doctor at a field hospital near Boulonge during the Battle of the Bulge and the experiences affected his life. Unlike many vets, he did talk about his experiences. Turow said that the nearest character to his father is the doctor at the field hospital where Our Hero, David, is treated.

Turow also said that the letters David sent to his fiancee were very much based on letters his father had send his mot
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Scott F. Turow is an American author and a practicing lawyer. Turow has written eight fiction and two nonfiction books, which have been translated into over 20 languages and have sold over 25 million copies. Movies have been based on several of his books.

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“Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?” 37 likes
“This is life. You know the philosphers? The Present never stops. There's only the Present. You cheat life if you live in the Past.” 5 likes
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