Plot: With an inventive and alluring concept, this work is well-conceived and properly paced. With its appealing blend of fiction and fact, it will especially delight war and history buffs.
Prose/Style: The prose and the dialogue are clear and effective; there are many action-packed and high stakes moments, such as in the bombings and in the Italian excursions.
Originality: This novel-within-a-novel feels original and fresh, with fictionalized subject matter inspired by real events.
Character Development/Execution: General Patton, wounded and captured by the Germans, is finely characterized. Additional historical figures are both lively and authentic.
Date Submitted: May 29, 2021
Author Curtis Stephen Burdick confesses that his work of fiction, Rescuing General Patton, “pays nostalgic homage to films such as The Eagle Has Landed, The Dirty Dozen, Where Eagles Dare, even Saving Private Ryan” in the book’s Afterward. Then in the work’s acknowledgements, Burdick informs us how this story was initially drafted as a screenplay. These factors are necessary to fully appreciate Burdick’s book because he wrote it in such a way that the reader can easily visualize this story as a film. In the best sense of the term, Rescuing General Patton is cinematic.
Even without reading the book, though, its concept alone is both intriguing and enticing. What would happen, if in the middle of World War II, one of America’s most celebrated military leaders – namely General George S. Patton – had been captured by the German army? Scary, right? One trembles to imagine how that war would have turned out, had the German intelligence been able to pick that human brain trust.
Burdick builds his story around just such a frightening possibility. Although Patton is captured by the Germans, he’s able to change into a dead American soldier’s uniform before falling into the German army’s hands. The story’s tension is created by the race to rescue Patton before the German army figures out his identity.
The mission to find and bring back Patton is left in the hands of Major Peter Pizzio. Pizzio is a great character. He’s a real non-conformist. He also has no filter and puts a foot in his mouth again and again by expressing his criticisms of the American military out loud – not carrying who hears it. Pizzio is also a damn good soldier, which is why higher ups peg him for this big job, despite his faults. When Pizzio and Patton are finally in the same room together, the reader quickly picks up on how each man is cut from the same cloth. Their stubbornness, which oftentimes makes them difficult to deal with interpersonally, also helps make them great soldiers. Pizzio’s unbridled
mouth might keep him always on the verge of a court martial, but his leadership skills are such that any Ranger under his command will do whatever he asks.
Burdick writes this book as a type of book within a book, if you will. It’s Burdick’s fictitious author, John Harding, that writes a book about Patton’s rescue. He (the author character) bases his story on information he obtains from Julia Patton Walton, General Patton’s granddaughter.
What transpires is gritty, earthy and real. The reader should be forewarned that these military characters speak just as you might expect them to talk, with plenty of uninhibited profanity. There’s also a whole lot of blood and guts described. Then again, this story is set in a war, which – sadly – oftentimes brings out the worst in humankind.
One of the best aspects of this book is how apolitical it is. This was, after all, back during a time when most Americans were on the same page, at least when it came to knowing who our enemies were during World War II. Although Pizzio may have had his strong qualms with the American military organization, he had no reservations about doing anything necessary to help the American forces defeat their enemies.
Even if you don’t particularly like war stories, Curtis Stephen Burdick’s book Rescuing General Patton is an exciting, movie-like read, which is difficult to put down.
LOVEREADING EXPERT REVIEW OF RESCUING GENERAL PATTON
Highly entertaining for those who are familiar with General Patton, or those who, like myself, were introduced to him for the first time here.
‘Rescuing General Patton’ by Curtis Stephen Burdick is a historical fiction with mystery at it’s heart. As stated in the prologue, General George S. Patton, renowned for his strategy during the course of the second world war, is reassigned without post, a cover-up for other action, but whether it is for an undercover command or something else? This plot reveals everything. I liked the concept of the novel, Akin in nature but not necessarily in topic to 'A Room Made of Leaves' by Kate Grenville, this book takes a historical figure and embellishes history in order to create an enticing and engrossing read with a believable feel. At 197 pages, I enjoyed this book in a single sitting, immersed in the storyline and eager to learn whether General Patton would be successfully rescued. I feel ‘Rescuing General Patton’ would appeal to historical fiction fans broadly, and fans of WW2 fiction specifically. A very well-written and well researched book, as you need to know your history to adapt it in this way, I found that this book was an engrossing read full of twists, thrills, tension and action. Highly entertaining for those who are familiar with General Patton, or those who, like myself, were introduced to him for the first time here.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Official Review: Rescuing General Patton
Post by Abacus » 13 Nov 2020, 16:31
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Rescuing General Patton" by Curtis Stephen Burdick.]
4 out of 4 starsShare This Review
Curtis Burdick has written a stunning fictional story infusing the characters with total authenticity. I imagined I was standing in a room with General Eisenhower and General Bradley and felt their emotional response to startling news about General George S. Patton.
A military historian, John Harding, was signing copies of his latest book when an older woman introduced herself as Julia Patton Walton, General Patton's granddaughter. Julia gave John a package that she had received from her mother and asked him to read it. John read about a classified event that happened to General Patton in 1943 and was a tightly kept secret for the last fifty years.
In 1943, the Germans were being run out of Italy through the Peloritani Coastal Mountains in Sicily. General Patton was not happy and called an "URGENT" briefing at the 7th Army headquarters of division and brigade commanders who were exhausted from a month of continuous combat. General Patton was angry that the Germans were getting away, he thought they should be imprisoned or killed, or the US troops would reencounter them after they regrouped.
Great characterization at all army ranks supports the wartime ambiance. The author highlights the sense of fighting against all odds, making decisions under immense pressure, and making deadly mistakes. The men tasked with suicide missions develop a feeling of grievance when field headquarters made mistakes.
There are some breathtaking scenes in Rescuing General Patton where the rangers parachute into German-occupied territory and land in a minefield. The rangers are not trained for parachuting and get one day for practice jumps, then a nighttime mission. The ranger captain loses some first-rate men, and others are needlessly injured; he is deep down angry with his superiors.
During the planning for General Patton's rescue, a scene between General Bradley and Captain Pizzio demonstrates the horror of war for those giving orders. Like the parachute jump into a minefield, brave soldiers get killed and maimed for no gain. General Bradley appeals to Captain Pizzio, "I can't even remember all the mistakes that have been made that I have made, that cost so many lives, thousands of lives. But the war doesn't stop for us to mourn."
There are very detailed descriptions of the weapons used in combat; anyone interested in armaments will be fascinated. The exciting pace of this story keeps you wanting to read and unable to put the book down.
I rate Rescuing General Patton 4 out of 4 stars for the exciting pace and military wartime ambiance. I do not rate it 3 out of 4 stars because it is brilliantly imaginative and great entertainment. I enjoyed reading about the army in combat and seeing the war from different perspectives. I detected no errors and believe it is professionally edited. There was nothing I disliked.
I recommend it to lovers of mystery, war stories, armaments, and historical fiction. There are profanities, typical of wartime situations, like "sonsofbitches" and "goddamn," but no sex. I believe it would be suitable for young adults.
Review #1: Review by Lex Allen
5 Stars - Congratulations on your 5-star review! Get your free 5-star seal!
Reviewed By Lex Allen for Readers’ Favorite
Truth: WWII Commander General George Patton slapped two soldiers being treated for combat fatigue or, as we know it now, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He didn’t believe in such things and considered the pair cowards. He was ordered to apologize to the entire 7th Army and subsequently removed from command to England, ostensibly to prepare for the invasion of Europe. German intelligence believed it was a ruse, certain he was actually preparing for the invasion of Europe. They were partially right. Perhaps, the “ruse” disguised a completely different “truth?”
When it comes to books in the military, action/adventure, science fiction, or thriller genres, I am an absolute stickler for verisimilitude (a sense of reality) in every facet of the story—from characters to descriptive scenes to equipment and motives the author has to convincingly convey reality. From page one I knew that Curtis Burdick flat knows his stuff! I actually thought for a moment that Burdick was writing a true story and wondering how I’d missed that in my military/history education. Burdick’s take on the historical characters of Generals Bradley and Patton is right on target, but no less believable than that of Major Peter Pizzio or any of the unforgettable characters in this story. For me, it brought back memories, both good and bad, of life in the military through peacetime and war; but for those who never served it is a rousing "lie" a la Stephen King’s definition of “good fiction.”
Curtis Burdick’s writing style is full of action and realistic dialog. He moves the story through several plot twists, jumping from Patton's captivity and interrogation scenes to those of Pizzio, Bradley, and battle scenes with smooth transitions that lend themselves perfectly to a “page-turning, can’t put the book down” reading experience. Not only do I recommend Rescuing General Patton for all readers and lovers of military/action-adventure fiction, but I can also guarantee that this is one of those rare books I’ll read again!
The following are comments from your reviewer and do NOT appear in your final review. Usually these are concerns your reviewer had that they did not want to put in your final review.
Mr. Burdick -
Just a quick note to personally congratulate you for writing "Rescuing General Patton." As you see in the review I loved the story and the reality of it all. If this doesn't win you an award, there's something very "unright" in the writing world.
Rescuing General Patton
by Curtis Stephen Burdick
book review by Joe Kilgore
"If you find the target and are unable to accomplish mission, kill the target. REPEAT kill the target. Target must not remain in enemy hands."
Hemingway is credited with saying, "All good books have one thing in common—they are truer than if they had really happened." That thought can definitely be ascribed to this World War II novel where fact and fiction cohabitate imaginatively in chapter after chapter. The literary conceit is simple enough: suppose the Germans had apprehended General Patton. However, the plot that follows is anything but simple, as the highest echelons of U.S. Command plan an incredibly desperate mission to simultaneously hide his capture from the world and rescue the fabled warrior.
As the plot develops, historical figures like Omar Bradley and Dwight D. Eisenhower mingle with fictional soldiers like the tough-as-nails Major Pizzio and Giuseppe, the Italian partisan committed to helping the Americans regardless of the cost. In both its savagery and heroism, war is depicted realistically as training exercises go catastrophically awry, firefights wreak havoc on enemies and allies alike, and sacrifice tops safety as the body count rises.
Author Burdick tells his tale with energy, passion, and authenticity. He keeps his foot on the pedal, and once begun, the pace never slackens. His characters are vividly drawn as flesh and blood human beings, not simply rehashed stereotypes. He has a researcher's eye for detail that manifests itself in spot-on descriptions of equipment, weapons, and aircraft of the era. The dialogue is salty and completely believable. Action and suspense sequences unfold cinematically. This is a novel one sees as well as reads, and it's one that readers will likely remember long after the last page has been turned.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review