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Operation Mincemeat Audiobook

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War II

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Agent Zigzag, the thrilling true story of the greatest and most successful wartime deception ever attempted. One April morning in 1943, a sardine fisherman spotted the corpse of a British solder floating in the sea off the coast of Spain and set in train a course of events that would change the course of the Second World War.

Operation Mincemeat was the most successful wartime deception ever attempted and certainly the strangest. It hoodwinked the Nazi espionage chiefs, sent German troops hurtling in the wrong direction, and saved thousands of lives by deploying a secret agent who was different in one crucial respect, from any spy before or since: he was dead.

His mission: to convince the Germans that instead of attacking Sicily, the Allied armies planned to invade Greece. The brainchild of an eccentric RAF officer and a brilliant Jewish barrister, the great hoax involved an extraordinary cast of characters including a famous forensic pathologist, a gold-prospector, an investor, a beautiful secret service secretary, a submarine captain, three novelists, a transvestite English spymaster, an irascible admiral who loved fly-fishing, and a dead Welsh tramp.

Using fraud, imagination and seduction, Churchill's team of spies spun a web of deceit so elaborate and so convincing that they began to believe it themselves. The deception started in a windowless basement beneath Whitehall. It travelled from London to Spain to Germany. And it ended up on Hitler's desk. Ben Macintyre, bestselling author of AGENT ZIGZAG, weaves together private documents, photographs, memories, letters and diaries as well as newly released material from the intelligence files of MI5 and Naval Intelligence, to tell for the first time the full story of Operation Mincemeat.

©2010 Ben Macintyre (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

'A rollicking read for all those who enjoy a spy story so fanciful that Ian Fleming - himself an officer in Montagu's wartime department - would never have dared to invent it' Max Hastings'. (Sunday Times)

'Ben Macintyre, also the author of the acclaimed AGENT ZIGZAG, is fast becoming a one-man industry in these updated tales of cunning, bravery and skulduggery. With his mix of meticulous research and a good hack's eye for narrative, it is hard to think of a better guide to keep beckoning us back to that fascinating world'. (Observer)

'Even more spellbinding than his previous story of wartime espionage, AGENT ZIGZAG, with a cast-list every bit as dotty and colourful ... Macintyre is a master of the thumbnail character sketch.' (Mail on Sunday)

'Astonishing ... sheds riveting new light on this breathtaking plan.' (Daily Mail)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (242 )
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4.4 (125 )
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Performance
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  •  
    james 30/01/2011
    james 30/01/2011 Member Since 2009
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    "The Full Story of "The Man Who Never Was.""

    We all know the story of 'The Man Who Never Was' - an imaginative ploy to trick the Germans late in WWII.

    'Operation Mincemeat' is to 'The Man Who Never Was' in the same wau that the musical 'Wicked' is to 'The Wizard Of Oz'. I thought I knew the story of the deception, but as it turned out, I didn't know jack.

    'The Man Who Never Was' was written in post-War Britain with too many secrets needing to remain secret. It edits much of the truth and recasts far too many characters. The subsequent film does what films do and rewrites the story for a Hollywood mindset.

    'Operation Mincemeat' is a comprehensive telling of the story. That means it may be a little longer than it otherwise needs to be, but at the end, every imaginable question you have will have been addressed, crossreferenced and reiterated.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Whitehaven, United Kingdom 11/03/2012
    Brian Whitehaven, United Kingdom 11/03/2012 Member Since 2011
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    "Just Brilliant"

    From start to finish I enjoyed every minute. the story, the people in it, and the best of it is, it's all true a great listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom 18/01/2011
    Sara Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom 18/01/2011
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    "Espionage at its best."

    This book reads like a far-fetched, 'Boys Own' war-novel and keeps you interested from start to finish. It is well researched, well written and adopts a great pace. Each extraordinary character is introduced with their background, reputation and contribution clearly described and incorporated into the fascinating story of Operation Mincemeat. The historical importance of this operation is undeniable and this book brings the story to the reader/listener with an honest documenting of the combination of skill, legerdemain, nerve and blind luck that led to its success. If you like mystery novels, historical documentaries or action & adventure books, then this is a combination of all three and you should really enjoy it. Well done to the author for a widely researched, well written and exciting book. It is a high-quality production with excellent narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick 24/10/2010
    Nick 24/10/2010
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    "Excellent listen"

    After being recommended to me this has been one of the most enjoyable audiobooks i have purchased. The story is great and the narrator really brings the characters to life.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crispin 18/09/2015
    Crispin 18/09/2015 Member Since 2014

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Very thorough recreation of events"

    This is quite a fun little adventure that if it wasn't true would probably be unbelievable. The Nazi's come across as quite gullible considering the fate of the whole war is at stake. The Brits are a bunch of comedians, I love the myopic racing driver (Horsfall) entrusted with the delivery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 20/07/2015
    Alex 20/07/2015 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent true story"
    What made the experience of listening to Operation Mincemeat the most enjoyable?

    All the previously unreported details of the operation


    What other book might you compare Operation Mincemeat to, and why?

    Agent Zigzag due to period and detail.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Understated and appropriate.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Admiration for what was achieved.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J STAINES, United Kingdom 21/05/2015
    J STAINES, United Kingdom 21/05/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "A Successful Operation!"

    A story that sounds that it has been dreamt up by a film studio this is an tremendously entertaining look at one of the most remarkable events of World War 2. Well written and narrated this would appeal to not only World War 2 enthusiasts but also anyone who loves a good spy story!

    Moving along at a fast pace this book was over much to quickly and I would have happily listen to a book twice this length on the subject!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Titch MARLBOROUGH, United Kingdom 10/12/2013
    Titch MARLBOROUGH, United Kingdom 10/12/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "Fascinating detail"

    This is a well read/voiced book which is packed with an amazing amount of detail and background information. At times the level of detail feels a little over the top, but on reflection it really adds to the story. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in WW2 history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Stewart Neston, United Kingdom 13/04/2013
    William Stewart Neston, United Kingdom 13/04/2013 Member Since 2016

    I am a 57 year old truck driver & have been for some 20 odd years, I enjoy listening to Audiobooks to alleviate the boredom of driving miles

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    "A supurb story, More so because it is true."

    I have always been interested in history, especially the second world war and with new and interesting facts coming to light every year it is great to hear of things we might never have imagined...This is one such story it is a compelling, interesting and fact based review of an amazing plot to foil Hitler and it worked.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J 19/11/2016
    J 19/11/2016
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    "Great story.......wobbly narration."

    What a shame the accents wobble all over the place and spoil the whole thing......

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Sandy
    BUCKETTY, Australia
    19/11/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More than Mincemeat"

    John Lee always seems to read well. While this account is packed with interesting information, it was at times rambling, with some details repeated again and again. Perhaps it was Ben Macintyre's style of writing I found annoying. The task was no doubt difficult. There are still stories within stories, one mystery within another and many of these could be stand alone accounts. It may be this account reads better, as hard copy than having it read in audio format.
    If you are interested in WW11, have read and loved 'Catch 22', then this will flesh out a little more of what was going on in the Mediterranean.
    It is well worth a listen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    Auckland, New Zealand
    27/03/11
    Overall
    "History, journalism and war story all in one"

    MacIntyre has been criticised for rehashing a story previously told by others (both here and in Agent ZigZag) and while this is technically true I doubt anyone has written these most intriguing stories with as much style as MacIntyre. His writing flits from reportage to crime novel to historical document to romance in the space of a single page. The narrator, John Lee is superb, maintaining a good pace which enhances the tension of the story. Definitely worth buying, but you'll struggle to turn it off - make sure you have lots of vacation time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Garry
    Cannington, Australia
    21/04/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story"
    What made the experience of listening to Operation Mincemeat the most enjoyable?

    I found this story enjoyable as it would make such a great spy movie.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Operation Mincemeat?

    memorable, hmm, interesting question for this story for me I suppose to consider that a death can make a difference and save thousands of lives is well proven.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    enjoyable is all I can have


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither laugh or cry, but made a tad feeling that war could be fun. I do not mean this disrespectfully for the operation saved lives however, this was the nature of the spying game. I do not consider for one moment the British Agents did as the effort involved and risk would have been to the detriment of lives.


    Any additional comments?

    A good companion piece to Agent Zig Zag

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Geoffrey
    Hobart, Australia
    19/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much mince and not enough meat"
    What did you like best about Operation Mincemeat? What did you like least?

    The book gave an interesting insight into the thinking and motivation of the British Secret Service during war time.The author continually deviated from the story line by providing the most intricate decsriptions of the characters and of the locations where the action was happening.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Difficult to pick one out.


    How could the performance have been better?

    By introducing more first person narrative.


    Could you see Operation Mincemeat being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I think that Operation Mincemeat would probably make a good movie. It has an unusual plot with the potential for some quite animated drama. A certain amount of producer's licence would be required and the title would have to be ditched.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked this yarn, it had all the elements of a good spy story complete with double and even triple agents all being suckered by the crafty MI5. The only downside was the padding. This book could have been half as long if only half the characteres were given the full life story treatment and the others blended in as befitted the minor part they played.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Sydney, Australia
    10/05/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The devil is in the detail"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A little less detail. Some of the facts where just clouding the story and padding.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The chapters dealt with the subject and didn't fly off in tangents or repeat previous material over and over again.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    They were all good.


    Do you think Operation Mincemeat needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    I think this book should be made into a mini-series with all the facts. As they say, the facts are stranger than fiction. The 1956 movie was good, but Hollywood being the town it is, had to change the story slightly. Needs to be told proper now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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