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Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,073 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
Tom Hanks introduces the ?remarkable?(Publishers Weekly) 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. The crack unit was called upon for ever
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published 2007)
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Oct 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-two
AHHH I was crying by the end of this book.

My review:
Feb 09, 2009 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
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Dec 08, 2011 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
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
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gary Grubb
I am always interested in war stories. And I know these men fought hard, lost buddies, saw horrible atrocities, and carry life-long memories of things they'd likely rather not be carrying. The book means well. All these men are worthy of being remembered. Having made that clear, I must say that this read was very repetitive for me. Far too many instances in which both Bill and Babe repeated the same things over and over again... as if they were not sure I understood what they were saying or feel ...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
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-other
This was an amazing book! I felt like I got to know Bill and Babe a little better! This book takes you through both of their experiences through the war told in little stories. I felt like I was sitting down with them just having a conversation. These were 2 amazing men that will always be heroes in my eyes. I also loved how much of what they said was depicted in the mini-series Band of Brothers. It is a credit to the accuracy of the series which I absolutely loved. I found out from the book tha ...more
Aug 20, 2012 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.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-favs
“Every day for six months, all we wanted was to get those silver parachute wings. You put on your wings and you bloused your boots up. That was it. Everyone knew you were the best of the best. You were different from any other soldier. Those wings made you different, and you never took them off.” - Bill Guarnere

I'm absolutely amazed by Easy Company - and the 101st Airborne, in general! The quote above summarizes the greatness of the Airborne Infantry. These boys were proud, they were going to fi
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a book about Babe and Bill, that happens to also cover some of the battles from Normandy and beyond.

It is very much mostly about their relationship and much less about the war, which I really wasn't expecting.

I think it dealt far too much about the HBO series Band of Brothers, and not enough about these 2 men. You can tell they are close, but it is very difficult to get that clear image of them and how they truly interact. They hang out, and drink, and think about the guys that didn't m
Jeanie Wallenstein
Another take on the work, pain, relationships coming out of E Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne. These guys are brutally honest, down to earth people who are, on one hand, just like you and me, on the other, carrying memories unimaginable. In their own words, we get to know these guys and what they thing about what they went through. Next up: Winters' book!

read to Jacq
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
So fun and lovely and great, although it felt pretty rushed. It was a good decision to let Guarnere and Heffron speak conversationally, as though the book were a series of verbal conversations or interviews with the questions edited out. (I think this may well have been how it was written, since Guarnere repeatedly addresses his interlocutor as "kid.")
Julie Akeman
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never tire of reading about Bastogne. This was perfect reading after Band of Brothers, if you haven't read either one you should. Appreciate what these guys went through. Amazing stories and while there was tragedy they had humor as well, it got them through stuff. We can learn alot from Easy Company.
Scott Stevens
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. You get insights beyond the book and miniseries. The stories go form pre-war to the making of the miniseries.
Florence Spurlin
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Amazing. This book really just drops the reader right into WWII
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing soldiers!

Bill and Babe represent the typical line soldier from WWII with the added compliments of bravery and brotherhood. Remembrances to all who served.
Fred Lombardo
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly excellent book. I love the story of these 2 brave men and the obvious affection they have for each other and their fellow paratroopers. The writing captures these two favored sons of Philadelphia in all their inflections of speech and their emotions come through the stories. It's as if you were sitting with them as they regale you with their memories. If you have an interest in Easy Company, read this.
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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...
“It's a different generation, kid. Back then, people interacted with each other, they were patriotic, they cared about their community, shared what little they had. Today everybody's separate.” 2 likes
“I put my hand on Bill's shoulder and told him, yeah the sacrifice was worth it. He said, 'Yeah, I think so, too.” 1 likes
More quotes…