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Ordinary Heroesby Scott Turow
Synopses & Reviews
Stewart Dubinsky knew his father, David, had served in World War II, but had been told very little about his experiences. When he finds, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancée and learns of David's court-martial, Stewart is driven to uncover the truth about this enigmatic, distant man he never knew.
Using military archives, old letters, and David's own notes, he discovers that David, a JAG lawyer, had pursued a maverick U.S. officer in Europe, fallen in love with a beautiful resistance fighter, and fought in the war's deadliest conflicts. In reconstructing the terrible events and agonizing choices his father faced on the battlefield, in the courtroom, and in love, Stewart gains a closer understanding of his father's secret past and of the brutal nature of war itself.
"When retired newspaperman Stewart Dubinsky (last seen in 1987's Presumed Innocent) discovers letters his deceased father wrote during his tour of duty in WWII, a host of family secrets come to light. In Turow's ambitious, fascinating page-turner, a 'ferocious curiosity' compels the divorced Dubinsky to study his 'remote, circumspect' father's papers, which include love letters written to a fiance the family had never heard of, and a lengthy manuscript, which his father wrote in prison and which includes the shocking disclosure of his father's court-martial for assisting in the escape of OSS officer Robert Martin, a suspected spy. The manuscript, hidden from everyone but the attorney defending him, tells of Capt. David Dubin's investigation into Martin's activities and of both men's entanglements with fierce, secretive comrade Gita Lodz. From optimistic soldier to disenchanted veteran, Dubin — who, via the manuscript, becomes the book's de facto narrator — describes the years of violence he endured and of a love triangle that exacted a heavy emotional toll. Dubinsky's investigations prove revelatory at first, and life-altering at last. Turow makes the leap from courtroom to battlefield effortlessly." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A]s engrossing as any of Turow's legal thrillers. Without diminishing his page-turning narrative momentum, Turow extends his literary range." Kirkus Reviews
"While Turow's fans might prefer the lively verbal skirmishes that suffuse his legal fare, the author's action sequences (like that white-knuckle free fall onto the battlefront) do plenty to quicken the pulse." Booklist
"Ordinary Heroes works best through vivid, anecdotal descriptions....Even when expressed stiltedly...these memories have immediacy. The author's anguish about war is unmistakably real." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[S]earing....An extraordinary, unforgettable novel, which Turow notes was inspired by his own father's military experiences. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"Turow's seventh novel is immensely satisfying on all levels....A first-rate mystery is meant to keep you guessing, but the enigmas and sorrows at the heart of Ordinary Heroes do more: They keep you thinking and feeling." Newsday
"Turow has written a superb historical novel that is as vivid and powerful as his previous books. It has rich characters, an authentic feel and enough twists and turns to keep you turning the page....[A] great book." St. Petersburg Times
"I found it moving and exciting. The powerful inner core of the book defeated my criticisms. Ordinary Heroes is terrific reading..." Chicago Sun-Times
"Turow gave Presumed Innocent, his ice-cold masterpiece, one of the most shattering kickers in thriller history. While Ordinary Heroes is perfectly serviceable entertainment, he lacks that kind of control of this material or milieu. (Grade: B-)" Entertainment Weekly
"Turow spins an engrossing tale of intrigue, espionage, love and betrayal, loosely based on his father's accounts of the war....This is not one of Turow's traditional legal thrillers, but he lives up to his reputation as a spell-binding teller of tales." Charlotte Observer
"Once past this bland conceit, this flawed yet moving story of love and war steadily builds momentum, at least until a startling revelation near the end renders the final pages gratuitously superfluous." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
"This novel provides a showcase for Turow's storytelling skills: he juggles the narratives, shifting back and forth in time with assurance; he is alert as always to character; the plot moves." Joseph Kanon, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] complex, absorbing novel about a past in which heroes are often mistaken for villains, and nothing is what the protagonist thinks....Readers of Turow's thrillers will find plenty to pull them into this more ambitious narrative." Hartford Courant
In reconstructing the terrible events and agonizing choices his father faced on the battlefield, in the courtroom, and in love, Stewart Dubinsky gains a closer understanding of his past, of his father's character, and of the brutal nature of war itself.
About the Author
Scott Turow is the world-famous author of six bestselling novels about the law, from Presumed Innocent (1987) to Reversible Errors (2002), and of the nonfiction works One L (1988) and Ultimate Punishment (2003), all published by FSG. He lives with his family outside Chicago, where he is a partner in the firm of Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal.
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