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The Wolves at the Door

The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy
Narrated by: Patrice O’Neill
Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: History, American
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

The remarkable story of one of WWII's greatest spies.

Virginia Hall left her comfortable Baltimore roots in 1931 to follow a dream of becoming a Foreign Service Officer.

After watching Hitler roll over Poland and France, she enlisted to work for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret espionage and sabotage organization. She was soon deployed to occupied France where, if captured, imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Gestapo was all but assured. Against such an ominous backdrop, Hall managed to locate drop zones for money and weapons, helped escaped POWs and downed Allied airmen flee to England, and secured safe houses for agents. And she did it all on one leg: Virginia Hall had lost her left leg before the war in a hunting accident.

Soon, wanted posters appeared throughout France, offering a reward for her capture. By winter of 1942, Hall had to flee France via the only route possible: A hike on foot through the frozen Pyrnes Mountains into neutral Spain. Upon her return to England, the American espionage organization, the Office of Special Services, recruited her and sent her back to France disguised as an old peasant woman. While there, she was responsible for killing 150 German soldiers and capturing 500 others. Sabotaging communications and transportation links and directing resistance activities, her work helped change the course of the war. This is the true story of Virginia Hall.

©2005 Judith Pearson (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Inappropriate narration

This is a remarkable story of a most extraordinary woman, however the tone, emphasis and overall performance of the narrator would suggest we’re listening to ‘Little Ginny’s Day Out With The Pixies’ and even then a toddler would feel patronised.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Datoms
  • Datoms
  • 02-11-15

Amazing story, somewhat blunted by narration

This is a thrilling narrative. At least, I think it is. I found the narration to be too matter of fact or light or something. It would be perfect for Jane Austen; it did not work for true spies and nazi atrocities. Plus, much of the story takes place in France, so having the French names mispronounced was incredibly distracting. Surely that is something the narrators could be better prepared for by the producers?

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Penni Khandi
  • Penni Khandi
  • 19-06-14

The narrator is ruining the book for me

What disappointed you about The Wolves at the Door?

I think the story may be interesting but the narrator is SO BAD that I can not listen to it. She sounds like she is reading Nancy Drew to 10 year-olds. It is so overy dramatic I am expecting her to say "OK childeren, can you say Nazi". I am barely into the first chapter of what may be a good book but I can not get past this narrator's inflection.

Has The Wolves at the Door turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I will make sure I never read anything with this narrator

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I am disappointed that I can't finish the book and insulted that the reading is so condescending.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • johnnyoak
  • 21-02-16

A truly inspirational story

I cannot lie that I am very impressed with the woman this biography centers on. She overcomes extreme personal challenges of a physical nature and exemplifies heroism. The book provides enough historical background to make the story relevant with even just a basic understanding of the second world war. That said, I have a better than working knowledge of WWII and there were many interesting points that I was personally unaware of.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Rosemary
  • Rosemary
  • 07-08-18

America’s Greatest Female Spy

This is a wonderful biography about Virginia Hall, an unsung WWII spy.
What courage she possessed!

Her story should be required reading for all Americans.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Karen
  • Karen
  • 30-07-17

Wonderful History Lesson

This was an amazing review of WWII history for me. I enjoyed the story very much. The narration, however, was wrong for the tone of the narrative. This narrator would be better suited for narrating juvenile fiction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony
  • 13-01-16

Splendid book, fascinating, couldn't put it down.

Reader was hard to understand at times. But the story was wonderful. Perhaps if a man had read the book it would have work to the stories advantage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DonnaMarie113
  • 23-10-19

A Different & Unique Slice of WW2

I could have listened for hours and hours longer. I can only imagine the details left out for brevity and stories not told. And this is just a fraction of an individual's remarkable life. Additionally, the narration of this very personal story was superb.

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  • Genevieve Polkowske
  • 03-10-19

Anxious to see the movie!! What a brave woman’!!

A fantastic heroine
She needs to be known to everyone. It has to be made into a film.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J T A
  • 30-09-19

very few MAKE it happen. She would be one


history is not & may never be herstory. gender was huge - & +

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A. Smolinski
  • A. Smolinski
  • 22-09-19

fascinating

Overall, this is a fascinating story about an extraordinary women devoted to freedom. There are so many elements to grab on to: her disability, the fact that she was a female spy when that was an anomaly, the history of WWII, and for a native Marylander, the Baltimore connection. While the writing could be clunky at times, it was never so for long. The only detractir for me was the narrator: her sing-songy voice was not a great match to the content and too lulling for a gripping story like this.