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Publisher's Summary

A true story of men and women pitted against the sea during World War II - and an unforgettable portrait of the determination of the human spirit.

On May 19, 1942, a U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico stalked its prey 50 miles away from New Orleans. Captained by 29-year-old Iron Cross recipient Erich Würdemann, the submarine set its sights on the freighter Heredia with 59 souls onboard. Most of the crew were merchant seamen, but there were also a handful of civilians, including the Downs family, consisting of the parents, Ray Sr. and Ina; along with their two children, eight-year-old Ray Jr., nicknamed "Sonny", and 11-year-old Lucille. Fast asleep in their berths, the Downs family had no notice that two torpedoes were heading their way. When the ship exploded, Ina and Lucille became separated from Ray Sr. and Sonny.

An inspiring historical narrative, So Close to Home tells the story of the Downs family as they struggled against sharks, hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration in their effort to survive the aftermath of this deadly attack off the American coast.

©2016 Michael J. Tougias (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about So Close to Home

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Couldn't Stop Listening

What did you love best about So Close to Home?

This book ranks among some of the best thrillers/intrigue novels, but being a work of non-fiction added even more punch to the story. Not only a story about a family's survival, but lots of associated history.

What was one of the most memorable moments of So Close to Home?

The recounting of the survivors of the Laconia sinking who were then rescued by the U-boats. How they were treated not as war time captors, but as fellow humans.

What about Elijah Alexander’s performance did you like?

The narrator did an excellent job. A perfect blend of facts, emotion, and sincerity.

5 people found this helpful

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True story

Excellent audiobook! This one drew me in & affected me like no other, so far. One of the first narrators that I truly enjoyed, also. Just amazing.

2 people found this helpful

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Needs consistency in pronunciation

The narrator had a hard time being consistent with the pronunciation of names and places. And it wasn’t just with foreign words. The least he could have done was pronounce the names of cities in the U.S. correctly. The way he pronounced St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra was especially irritating for a Floridian.

1 person found this helpful

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Poorly written

Story has a lot of potential but written in a boring style. No personality, all telling no showing. Narrator has a nice voice but gives an inaccurate accent when personal voice is needed within quotes.
I didn’t last long. I felt like I was in a museum.

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It's worth listening to

This was actually two stories in one. One story is of the family, and the other was about the U-boat war along the US coasts. Since this was a free book, I decided to give it a listen. It was good, but not riveting, so I only gave it four stars. Still, the reader was good, and the story interesting.

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Incredible Account of Survival during WWII

I really enjoyed this. It kept my attention the whole time - I didn't want to stop listening. It gives insight into the boats that the Germans used, and how as one captain seemed bent on killing, regardless, another actually had a heart. He was just in the wrong "job".
The family had a wonderful relationship with each other. Their bond had helped them during this horrible drama. A very well written and narrated true story.
Thank you.

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Excellent listen

I found it difficult to stop listening to go to sleep. Very interesting true story and informative of events during the war

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Info of U Boats not taught on school

Very intriguing. Enjoyed immensely.
Anything I write will compromise your enjoyment and listening adventure.

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not as advertised, but great book!

This book was not as the information claims. I decided to listen to the book based on the description, but I probably never would have had the description been accurate. That would have been a shame as the book was a very good telling of a small aspect of world war two. I have tried to be interested in learning more about the war but those books are so dry. This one was a delightful find that educated me on the history of U-boats a little bit about the Russian front, and still told a nice story about the families aboard one of the ships that was sunk. listen to it for the reasons that you would based on the description but be ready to learn in addition to being entertained.

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Annoying

Story was interesting, but it was written and narrated like an episode of Father Knows Best. Too sentimental and needed more objective reporting.

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