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Ordinary Heroes

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,308 ratings  ·  402 reviews
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 Davi ...more
Mass Market Paperback, US / CAN Edition, 494 pages
Published October 2006 by Warner Books (first published November 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,308 ratings  ·  402 reviews


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Freda Malone
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Wilbur Seymore
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
It has been a while since I read this book, but I remeber it. It is a gripping story of a son who reads old reports and letters his father compiled whilst serving in WW2. The bravery that his father showed in the heat of battle and the origins of his mother's strange habits makes the protagonist think long and hard about his life and the choices he has made. In the end it is a good book and you don't want to put it down until you see how it ends.
Paul Falk
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read by Scott Turow and I must admit, I really lucked out. As the story progressed, the momentum continued to build like a snowball going down a hill. There was no putting the book down. I didn't know that anyone could capture my emotions the way he did as I continued to read on. There were times when I was too repulsed to continue to read any further but I couldn't stop.
I was already too involved.

The secret life of David Dubin, a JAG officer during World War II, was
...more
Lewis Kang'ethe Ngugi
So today as I was reading the last few chapters in a restaurant and in my commute, I was filled with anxiety, shock, joy, fear and to make it even simpler, I connected with David at times. This book is a work of art! I started reading it in 2017 and reached like an eighth and then stayed more than a year without reading it. When I came back to read, everything cane back. The story had stuck with me. To those who died in World War II, we are grateful for fighting the atrocities caused by Hitler. ...more
Checkman
3.5 Stars
This book resonated with me. Having lost my father last August (08/16/16) the plot had a bit more punch then it would have say in April of last year. When the story begins the narrator has just lost his father. A few days later he is sorting through his dad's effects and he comes across documents indicating that his father's experience in world War II might have been more than he had been told. He embarks on a self appointed mission to find out the "truth" about his father's World War I
...more
Larry Bassett
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 th
...more
Correen
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it

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.
Nancy Mills
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great WWII tale of combat, courage and possible espionage. Listened to the audiobook and greatly enjoyed it, very well written and moves along fast.
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

...more
Pam Carrie
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
David Highton
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cleverly constructed and compelling book from Scott Turow, very different from his legal thrillers. Stewart Dubinsky discovers WWII papers after his father's death which lead him to doggedly pursue the gripping story of his father's war - an horrific description of combat in the Battle of Bulge as the Germans encircled US troops with many casualties, but also his experiences as a military lawyer. In particular his interaction with a rogue OSS officer and the profound impact it has on his fathe ...more
Larry Hinman
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Lianda Ludwig
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: legal-mystery
Scott Turow is definitely one of my favorite writers. Although there is a legal aspect to this book, it is so much more. It's the story of how an adult son discovers his father's life after he passes away. My parents were veterans of World War 2, and knowing how neither would talk about their experiences, this book gave me a different perspective of their lives at the time.
Well written, character driven, and with a great story, this book was very moving.
Bryan
Easy review: Best novel I've ever read

If you read the summary and it is of any interest to you, read this book
If you enjoy historical fiction, read this book
If WWII is a subject that interests you, read this book
Dom Perry
I thought the beginning was kind of slow, but other than that, this was a great book! The attention to detail is exquisite and some of the events described in this book will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. The twist with Gita was a nice touch and the ending was amazingly done.
Maria
Jan 02, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Jill Bautista
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I just got to 52 pages, and I have no idea where the story was heading.
Craig Monson
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whether through authorial ambition, seriousness of purpose, artistic determination, (or whatever), Turow seems consistently emboldened to avoid popping out books, like so many sausages, following a successful, kitchen-tested recipe that might grow increasingly familiar. Ordinary Heroes stands notably apart from its predecessors as something of a surprise, one that some Turow fans may find less palatable: a war story. The book’s pronounced romantic, barely-secondary plot offers something quite di ...more
Cheryl Ann Wills
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A tremendously well written book that kept me from work! The story was so real, the characters to believable, the plot so intriguing. The insight into the hearts of people involved in war was intuitive. Sprinkled throughout were basic truths about God, life and war that made me pause. I 'read' the audio version. The narrator's various voices, inflections, accents made it real and every bit as good as a fully dramatized version. He kept me awake while driving; most audio books knock me out when i ...more
Patricia
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clearly a 5*****!!! What a remarkable change for Scott Turow.... (Exceptional Writing ) Knowing the story is probable TRUE, how HORRIBLE it would have been, I just can't imagine...
Tania
Nov 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
The narrative of Ordinary Heroes is gripping from the start - a journalist son looks into his deceased father's mysterious military past, hoping to find answers as to why he could never quite forge the father-son relationship that he so wanted. We soon begin this journey - hopping from the present day Midwest to Northern Europe during World War II. Here we find David Dubin, Spencer's father, taking part in WWII and all its glory and terribleness. Dubin is a lawyer for the army, who soon finds hi ...more
Tatiana
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
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
...more
Simon
Oct 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: american
At times I got drawn into thinking I was reading a better book. The overall plot structure is good, albeit parallel in large part with Band of Brothers. Occasionally there seems wisdom, but it seems wisdom that has been learnt from a manual. As a Brit, I don't mind the Americans winning the war interpretation, though I do mind the British accents that seem to have been learnt from watching Passport to Pimlico. It falls short in characterisation and the filling. One, there is too much of it (was ...more
Paula Dembeck
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this novel Scott Turow turns his writing away from the courtroom and his legal thrillers to a very different kind of book set on the battlefields of World War II. Stewart Dubinski, a retired journalist, is going through his father’s papers. David Dubin (his father, sensitive to his Jewish heritage, had changed his name), had died recently and Stewart was not looking forward to wading through all the files in his office. In the back of his mind was the uneasy distant relationship he had with h ...more
Kay
May 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Only a man
Shelves: fiction
I purchased this book when it was first published in 2005 but had put off reading it. Since I do like the author and have read all his books, I felt it was time.
It's been 25 yrs. since I read a book about war, but I do remember how I would get caught up in the plot and characters and by the end how emotional I would be. I loved the patriotism, sadness, romance and overall feeling a good fictional war book would be. Sure they may not be an accurate account of war but it would make me feel good a
...more
Karl Jorgenson
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Turow steps away from Kindle County lawyers for this stand-alone and creates a WWII thriller, in structure the retelling by the protagonist's son upon the father's death (why chose that approach? Why pop in and out of the 1944 story with, 'I read my father's manuscript until midnight, then dropped into a troubled sleep,' before jumping back in time for the next chapter? I don't get it; it has an old-timey feel, like the author can't be responsible for graphic portrayals of war and needs to pass ...more
M.
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-novels
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
Jeanne
Nov 06, 2007 rated it did not like it
This is the story of David Dubin, as told by his son, Stewart Dubinsky, as well as David himself. Dubin served as a JAG lawyer during World War II. Through his letters and his narrative, Dubin takes us to the war itself, as well as a world of intrigue, and yes, romance. Interspersed is Stewart's own commentary (which is sometimes full of surprise) on his father's adventures.

This is long, long, long and boring, boring, boring. How could Scott Turow do this to me? The king of the legal thriller ha
...more
Deb Cutler
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Derek
May 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
I had never read Scott Turow's work before but he carries a reputation as being one of the best writers in the legal thriller genre. However Turow fails stupendously at his attempt to create a legal thriller set during the Battle of the Bulge. Turow tries to address race and segregation. The characters were lazy and unimaginative. Of course the resistance fighter is beautiful and charming as we've come to see in hundreds of movies. Turow needs to stick to what works. This is a shame because this ...more
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Scott Turow is the author of ten bestselling works of fiction, including IDENTICAL, INNOCENT, PRESUMED INNOCENT, and THE BURDEN OF PROOF, and two nonfiction books, including ONE L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has fre ...more

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