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On Desperate Ground

ISBN: 978-1-4829-8506-1
Review Date:

On Desperate Ground, a fiction by James Benn, told the story of a last ditch effort for Germany to stay in the war. Colonel Johann Faust, who had nothing to lose, headed up a command that was tasked to stage Soviet attacks on the Americans and vice versa, provoking the two giants against each other. Should he be successful, the author fancied, Germany just might be able to achieve a negotiated peace with the Western Allies, and perhaps even join arms with them to continue the fight against the Soviets. From a historical perspective, this premise was as fantastic as the real life German dream for such a scenario, but as a novel, it was wildly entertaining. Amidst the sea of unnecessary technical terms and weapon designations there were the well developed the main characters of Dieter Neukirk, Elsa Klein, and Matthew Mackenzie, each holding their own with their complex backgrounds and motivations. As the story developed, I slowly grew to know each of them. Without spoiling the plot, I would only note that I had also appreciated how the author achieved closure to the story as well.

I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Barry Press did a fine job with the reading, throwing in a little bit of various German, American Southern, and other accents to spice up his performance.

I had picked up the audio book edition of On Desperate Ground to save for a rainy week, which usually translated to long hours spent on my commute. As the rain continued to fall for the Nth consecutive day outside, and as I thought back about the book while typing up this review, I could not help but to be glad that I picked such a fun title to balance out such a gloomy week.

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