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Spitfire

A Very British Love Story
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
Length: 15 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)

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Summary

The Sunday Times nonfiction best seller. 

Achtung, Spitfire!

The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today?

In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany’s domination of Europe looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn’t planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend - the Spitfire.

Best-selling author John Nichol’s passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates and the people who flew and loved them carries the listener beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire’s deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit.

Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping firsthand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers; and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the listener on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.

©2018 John Nichol (P)2018 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane." (Patrick Bishop, best-selling author of Fighter Boys)

"A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine. By focusing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story. And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service." (Rowland White, best-selling author of Vulcan 607

"As the RAF marks its centenary, Nichol has created a thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes." (Jon Dennis, Mail on Sunday magazine)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story but...

I've listened to quite a few books on here now. Circa 50+ and I find that it always makes a difference who is narrating the book. Sadly in this case although I like the story and the way it is written the narration is somewhat annoying after a while. It's a shame because it spoilt what should have been a book I would usually enjoy as the subject interests me a great deal.

Narration could improve drastically in my opinion.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent book, poor narration

would have been 5 stars save for the poor narration. It was grating at times...

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating

As the author warns at the beginning of the book this is not a blow by blow account of WW2 but series of anecdotes from the people whose lives were involved with the Spitfire aircraft. All these stories make for a fascinating listen and I look forward to buying the authors book on the Lancaster when it’s released.

Narration was well done.

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One word....

Superb..... But according too Audible I have to use 15 words... Lol. Stunning great read then. 😉👍

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beautiful

it was wonderful being transported to the lives of those that gave so much......with the spitfire glueing it all together.

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Brilliant

The text is highly engaging and I love the way the author has incorporated a lot of first hand records of some of the pilots.

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Thrilling unexpectily emotional.

Excellently, the human side of flight in the wars. Really interesting insight to the personal accounts of these legends.

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An important work that also entertains.

Capturing the thoughts and feelings of those who flew and otherwise served is of vital importance. As the author demonstrated repeatedly, those memories are fragile and will soon be lost forever. The act of recording the incredible people who played such a role in perhaps the most significant event in human history should be applauded. I would urge everyone to share it. Keep the spirit alive, inspire and turn dusty history into something real and relateable .

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spitfire

A different kind of book,very brave people indeed, everybody loves the spitfire.RAF greatest airplane undoubtedly

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Such an amazing story

the way this book is written makes you believe it is fiction at first even though you know it isn't. the readers performance is fantastic! I know I will come back to this book again.

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  • Voracious reader
  • 02-10-19

Not the story but the teller

Narration is not easy. In this case its not very easy to listen to. The narrator has an expressive voice and it should all work but, he pauses in the oddest places. The narative style meant I jumped out of the story constantly. At one stage the narrator does an Australia accent which was ill advised. The story itself is 'alright' - lots of descriptions of dog fights which are reminiscent of a biggles book. A few years ago there was an excellent exhibition at the science museum on spitfires, which showed there is a fascinating story behind them. Unfortunately this book is not it.