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There have been many tellings of the Patton story over the years - not least the major motion picture carrying the man's name. This doesn't really stray too far from anything that I have already seen or read. It offers a dose of intrigue and gossip to hook the reader in - small side stories about Rommel, Eisenhower, FDR, Churchill, Stalin and so on. It does a good job of teasing out personality traits - both good and bad.
This being said the premise for the book is about a conspiracy to kill General Patton - this really doesn't develop until much later in the telling. I felt a bit conned by that. Really this is just a biography, plus the biographer has a personal theory about the circumstances of the death.
Without giving any spoilers at all I can tell you now that Gen Patton was a leading war figure - which gave many a reason to kill him. He was an inspirational figure, a charismatic leader and successful on the battlefield - why wouldn't his enemies want him dead? Add to this, he was outspoken, he caused political embarrassment to his nation through clumsiness, and he offended his allies. So they had reason to want him 'removed'. In addition he worked in one of the most dangerous places and times of the 20th Century - mainland Europe circa 1944 and 1945. Who, in such a place and time, did not have near misses - was not subject to friendly fire, and did not dodge death repeatedly? Particularly when, as was Patton's way, the individual was so keen to prove their bravery or put themselves in the way of visible harm?
The intrigue the authors offer could be explained by any number of interpretations that don't necessarily mean that Patton was assassinated.
Did many people want Patton to die? Oh - certainly - but that's not a new book.
So while I did enjoy the book - I felt it was slightly misleading, and the conspiracy was far from compelling. I would not have bought another biography about Patton and this didn't take me really anywhere that a previous Patton biography didn't.
Buy this if you don't have a Patton biography. Don't bother if you do, or unless you really must digest everything you can about the man.
What did you love best about Killing Patton?
The story was very engaging. A lot of very interesting history tidbits. Where do they get this stuff? I loved it.
Any additional comments?
I was so disappointed in Bill O'Reilly's performance. At times I wondered if he had even READ the material before. His delivery was consistently poor throughout. At times he slurred. There were mispronunciations and numerous things that just should not have passed quality control. Is there no one that has the spine to say to Bill "Hey, can we back up and take that paragraph again?"
19 of 23 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I would hire a professional reader!
What was one of the most memorable moments of Killing Patton?
I had never heard the allegations that Wild Bill Donovan played a significant role in the death.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bill O'Reilly?
There are dozens of great, good or even adequate narrators on Audible products who would do a better job.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
Bill O'Reilly's performance showed a lack of preparation. It was NOT a workmanlike effort, and it sometimes seemed that this was the first time O'Reilly had read this material! He made me suspect that he didn't participate much in the writing of the book other than to lend his name. He mispronounced common English words, and he hadn't a clue how to pronounce the German words and names. I was embarrassed for him!
18 of 22 people found this review helpful