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The Last Heroes

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June 1941. Answerable only to FDR, Wild Bill Donovan handpicks his young and daring members of the OSS, assembling them under a thin camouflage of diplomacy and then dispersing them throughout the world to conduct covert operations.And no operation is more critical than the one run by fighter ace Dick Canidy and his half-German wild-card friend, Eric Fulmar. Their mission: June 1941. Answerable only to FDR, Wild Bill Donovan handpicks his young and daring members of the OSS, assembling them under a thin camouflage of diplomacy and then dispersing them throughout the world to conduct covert operations.And no operation is more critical than the one run by fighter ace Dick Canidy and his half-German wild-card friend, Eric Fulmar. Their mission: Secure the rare ore that will power a top-secret weapon coveted on both sides of the Atlantic, the atomic bomb...


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June 1941. Answerable only to FDR, Wild Bill Donovan handpicks his young and daring members of the OSS, assembling them under a thin camouflage of diplomacy and then dispersing them throughout the world to conduct covert operations.And no operation is more critical than the one run by fighter ace Dick Canidy and his half-German wild-card friend, Eric Fulmar. Their mission: June 1941. Answerable only to FDR, Wild Bill Donovan handpicks his young and daring members of the OSS, assembling them under a thin camouflage of diplomacy and then dispersing them throughout the world to conduct covert operations.And no operation is more critical than the one run by fighter ace Dick Canidy and his half-German wild-card friend, Eric Fulmar. Their mission: Secure the rare ore that will power a top-secret weapon coveted on both sides of the Atlantic, the atomic bomb...

30 review for The Last Heroes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Soldier Spies A pretty entertaining look at the engagement of talented youth into the growing conflict before the U.S. joined the war and their appropriation by the early precursor to the CIA, “Wild Bill” Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services. The story concentrates on the adventures of two friends enamored with becoming ace fighter pilots in between bouts of womanizing. Joe takes up the work of a contracted mercenary in Burma with Chang Kai-shek’s opposition to Japanese invasion, fighting with Soldier Spies A pretty entertaining look at the engagement of talented youth into the growing conflict before the U.S. joined the war and their appropriation by the early precursor to the CIA, “Wild Bill” Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services. The story concentrates on the adventures of two friends enamored with becoming ace fighter pilots in between bouts of womanizing. Joe takes up the work of a contracted mercenary in Burma with Chang Kai-shek’s opposition to Japanese invasion, fighting with the fabled “Flying Tigers.” Dick gets tapped to exploit his friendship with a German-American who is evading the draft in Germany by hanging out with a sheik in Morocco in order to nab an engineer being sought for his special knowledge of uranium mining in Africa. The Manhattan Project is just beginning, and both the U.S. and Germany are competing to get enough of the U235 isotope that the theorists project can make a nuke. The novel is kind of fun with its weaving of action in far-flung locales around the personal lives of a few characters on a fateful stage at a major turning point in history. I was disappointed, however, in how incomplete the plot was without proceeding in the series. I enjoyed a long time ago four in his series “The Corps”, which is about the early war in the Pacific after Perl Harbor, so this was a satisfying return to an author who can spin a decent yarn out of important history.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bob Richard

    Unlike other W.E.B. Griffin books that I have read this book got off to a very slow start. Other than that if you like Griffin you will like this book, but certainly not one of his best.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    When World War II breaks out in Europe, President Franklin Roosevelt task World War I hero and now banker with setting up an intelligence agency there. Under cover of diplomatic work, pilot Richard Canady becomes an agent searching for the Nazi version of the atom bomb. He uses a German pilot friend in this task.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    I'd give this 2 1/2 stars if the system would allow it. This book isn't particularly deep or impressive, but as a break from college studies, it was nice. Overall, the plot reads like a really long intro chapter, as there's no greater story arc. Just a few guys getting sent into various parts of a war. Hopefully the rest of the series will flesh it out more. I'd give this 2 1/2 stars if the system would allow it. This book isn't particularly deep or impressive, but as a break from college studies, it was nice. Overall, the plot reads like a really long intro chapter, as there's no greater story arc. Just a few guys getting sent into various parts of a war. Hopefully the rest of the series will flesh it out more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Morris

    What can I say? Vintage WEB Griffin. There is no better military fiction.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abibliofob

    I think it's the fifth or sixth time i read The last Heroes by W.E.B. Griffin, he is one of my absolute favorite authors. In this series we get to follow a wide variety of characters through there lifes during the second world war and we get to follow the creation of OSS, the organisation that later became CIA. The book starts with a couple of navy airmen who leaves the service to go to China and the Flying Tigers as well as we see how Roosevelt tasks Wild Bill Donovan with the creation of a bra I think it's the fifth or sixth time i read The last Heroes by W.E.B. Griffin, he is one of my absolute favorite authors. In this series we get to follow a wide variety of characters through there lifes during the second world war and we get to follow the creation of OSS, the organisation that later became CIA. The book starts with a couple of navy airmen who leaves the service to go to China and the Flying Tigers as well as we see how Roosevelt tasks Wild Bill Donovan with the creation of a brand new intelligence organisation. In this series we get to see all about the family life of the people involved as well as there situation in the military. We also get to follow along in the power game inbetween the different services in the US. The books are filled with action and drama and a great big helping of humor and peculiar situations. I have great fun reading these books every time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Ward

    The Last Heroes: The Men At War Series (Office of Strategic Services, Book I) by W.E.B. Griffin (Jove 1985) (Fiction – Military). In June 1941, FDR and “Wild Bill” Donovan create the most audacious intelligence gathering organization on earth with the stroke of a pen. This is the story of those men. My rating: 7/10, finished 1986.

  8. 4 out of 5

    George Siehl

    W.E.B. Griffin, author of two outstanding series of WW II military novels, The Brotherhood of War and The Corps, here writes under the name Alex Baldwin to begin a parallel series on the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to explore the intelligence/espionage aspects of WWII. This book, "The Last Heroes" is the first in the series called Men at War: the series' publication dates to the early 1980's. His character structure is to begin with the story of one individual then add interacting charact W.E.B. Griffin, author of two outstanding series of WW II military novels, The Brotherhood of War and The Corps, here writes under the name Alex Baldwin to begin a parallel series on the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to explore the intelligence/espionage aspects of WWII. This book, "The Last Heroes" is the first in the series called Men at War: the series' publication dates to the early 1980's. His character structure is to begin with the story of one individual then add interacting characters in snowball fashion. Each character brings with him, or her, connections to other people, organizations, or interests that through their interactions move the plot forward. Coincidence is a heavy player in the prior series, and in this book. Another engaging feature is the faux military and civilian documents which add the feel of authenticity while also advancing the story line. The driver of this opening book, at least, is the need to find a supply of uranium 235 which was essential to the development of America's nuclear weapon. The author borrows freely from real world figures to staff his novels, here using FDR, Bill Donovan, first head of the OSS, General MacArthur, and others to great advantage while furthering that feeling of authenticity. The initial fictional character is Richard Canidy, an MIT engineering graduate and current Navy flight instructor. A worldly young man, he looks forward to completing his military obligation in 1942 and accepting an engineering position with Boeing. His wealthy fellow instructor and friend, Ed Bitter, is a by-the-book Naval Academy grad looking forward to a naval career and achieving admiral rank. The interaction of these two provides for some comic moments and elements of character development. Through circumstances, Canidy becomes involved first in serving as a volunteer Flying Tiger for the Chinese Air Force, then in a mission to Africa for the OSS. Africa is where the world's largest supply of the needed uranium variety is located. A childhood friend of Canidy's, Eric Fulmer, a mischief prone half-German individual winds up in Morocco as friend of a local young nobleman. He hopes to remain there to avoid being drafted by either the Germans or the Americans. Eric becomes involved in Canidy's African OSS quest. This book sets the stage for a series that could be as captivating as the two other series have been, but is on its own a very satisfying tale of intrigue and adventure.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Veljko

    Well this is standard Griffin fare, and I must say I won't be reading any more of his works. I love the idea of his books but I do not like the execution. I often criticize authors for sacrificing character development for action rampages in their books, with Mr.Griffin it goes the other way. 90 percent of his books are mostly character and story driven with little to no action. And I would not mind that, I actually welcome it, but the books fall flat. For book that spend so much time with chara Well this is standard Griffin fare, and I must say I won't be reading any more of his works. I love the idea of his books but I do not like the execution. I often criticize authors for sacrificing character development for action rampages in their books, with Mr.Griffin it goes the other way. 90 percent of his books are mostly character and story driven with little to no action. And I would not mind that, I actually welcome it, but the books fall flat. For book that spend so much time with characters they mostly are flat, merry sue, cookie cardboard cutouts. They are all handsome, smart, intelligent , amazing in whatever they do, women get wet just by the sight of them... I mean there is not much room to grow, and where there are it never happens. They mostly stay the same thought the whole series. Women are there for sex, okay everyone loves sex, but you could at least spend some time developing them if they are going to be part of the story and have connectionto main cast. Then when he goes to make real romance it is stupidly done. Characters fall in love,marry, engage, decide to spend the rest of their lives in couple of chapter or in couple hundred pages. These series are long and there are a lot of books, yet author spends little to no time developing real relationships, romantic or friendly ones. There are also hundreds of pages and dozens of unnecessary characters and side stories that you want to scream! They have nothing to do with main plot line or characters ( whomever they may be, also a thing I do not like, no main mc in real sense of the word) yet we spend whole chapters reading about them. They bring not single thing to the story overall, they are there for the bigger page count I guess. Also author tends to repeat himself a lot, and show every miniscule scene. I do not need to read 30 pages to get the idea that Germans are going to marocco to do mischief. It can be stated in couple of pages or sentences. I don't know I really wanted to like these books and others but I just couldn't kepp reading after first couple of books. I wouldn't really recommend these books, I mean if you really have nothing to do with your life give em a go, maybe you will like them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    George

    Unlike other W.E.B. Griffin books, this book got off to a very slow start...in fact, it might be a slow start to a seven book series. It chronicles the beginning of the OSS with Wild Bill Donovan, with a salute to the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) and some preparation for the Manhattan Project and the Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. As usual, there is a considerable amount of "soap opera." Our heroes are impressed into the OSS and begin their work. The dialogue is quint Unlike other W.E.B. Griffin books, this book got off to a very slow start...in fact, it might be a slow start to a seven book series. It chronicles the beginning of the OSS with Wild Bill Donovan, with a salute to the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) and some preparation for the Manhattan Project and the Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. As usual, there is a considerable amount of "soap opera." Our heroes are impressed into the OSS and begin their work. The dialogue is quintessential Griffin...he reads to you every written document so that it becomes conversation. I'm amazed that the POTUS and MacArthur are personally involved with some wet behind the ears Lieutenants...but Griffin can write anything he wants. On to book #2.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cheryle

    June 1941. Answerable only to FDR, Wild Bill Donovan handpicks his young and daring members of the OSS, assembling them under a thin camouflage of diplomacy and then dispersing them throughout the world to conduct covert operations. And no operation is more critical than the one run by fighter ace Dick Canidy and his half-German wild-card friend, Eric Fulmar. Their mission: Secure the rare ore that will power a top-secret weapon coveted on both sides of the Atlantic, the atomic bomb...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dwight Quarles Jr

    Slow start to this book. Focuses on one family and few very close friends of the family's impact on WW2. One of the rare America is great books that does occasionally (but not often) question some of the motives and choices made by the leaders of the time. It is the first part of long series so its possible the second book picks up faster and better but it has the same rating so I am not sure Slow start to this book. Focuses on one family and few very close friends of the family's impact on WW2. One of the rare America is great books that does occasionally (but not often) question some of the motives and choices made by the leaders of the time. It is the first part of long series so its possible the second book picks up faster and better but it has the same rating so I am not sure

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Definite fan of many of Griffin's series...recently came to the "Men at War" group by reading some of the later books, so I've gone to the entry-level of the series...lots of exposition as a way to introduce the characters & the set up of the OSS organization as Donovan goes about the establishment work...decent! Definite fan of many of Griffin's series...recently came to the "Men at War" group by reading some of the later books, so I've gone to the entry-level of the series...lots of exposition as a way to introduce the characters & the set up of the OSS organization as Donovan goes about the establishment work...decent!

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Connolly

    I really did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I did enjoy exploring the story and history of this but not this particular telling. Truth in advertising I listened to this as an audio book and it may be the actor that read it. It felt like he was reading a phone book or technical manual.

  15. 4 out of 5

    T.A.

    More “Winds of War” than LeCarre or Guadalcanal Diary, this favors dialogue and personal relationships more than action and suspense. It’s more like creative non-fiction in some ways. However the moments it does bring to life are entertaining and the aviation details were a pleasant surprise for this reader.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I usually give his books 4 stars, but this one felt all along like he was introducing the characters, and the storylines seemed disparate. I'm hoping they start to braid together in the next book, so I'm staying loyal to this series and Griffin for now. I expect I'll be rewarded. I usually give his books 4 stars, but this one felt all along like he was introducing the characters, and the storylines seemed disparate. I'm hoping they start to braid together in the next book, so I'm staying loyal to this series and Griffin for now. I expect I'll be rewarded.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Inez Marroquin

    Quick read of derring do! liked the story but really would have liked it connected to or set within similar world events as his other books. This in order portray a single world vision.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan Dorsey

    Purchased this book because it was billed as an action / espionage novel. There was very little action. Most of the book read like an introduction to the cast of characters. It was enjoyable and I’m tempted now to read the next book in the series (hoping there might be more action or espionage.)

  19. 4 out of 5

    minz

    It just wandered around a couple of pilots stories from before the war started to the beginning of the war. It kind of read like a short story with each little section a progression of the story but not really building to the single impact.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Floyd E. Gilreath

    Great read with the history of the start of WW11 The story give you a look at the other side of military and how the clandestine side of the military is different than what most people assume.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peter Nielsen

    The first in the Men At War series that I never did read until just now and I'm glad that I finally found it and read! Griffin will be missed as this book filled in some holes I have wondered about. A very good story teller with all of his series!! The first in the Men At War series that I never did read until just now and I'm glad that I finally found it and read! Griffin will be missed as this book filled in some holes I have wondered about. A very good story teller with all of his series!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Decent read - interesting premise.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jim Ave

    Interesting story but it was not complete. It ended without a real end.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judge

    An alright read that takes a VERY long time to get going. Very much a setup book for the rest of the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    I greatly enjoyed “The Corps” series. This was a great start to the “Men at War” series. An enjoyable read, with lots of new characters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Larry West

    This, being the first in the series. was a setup to the next books in the series. It took a long time to get started and not a lot of action.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Main

    Started out good, but then seemed to run out of steam. Good story though.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert Richard

    Unlike other W.E.B. Griffin books that I have read this book got off to a very slow start. Other than that if you like Griffin you will like this book, but certainly not one of his best.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dennis McClure

    I love this author. Forgive me. I have loved him for years, and I was ecstatic that he write one more series. So I will read all of this one too. Will my friends enjoy it as much as I do? Who knows. But I have to recommend it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Bratell

    Griffin keeps turning up as a recommended author if you have read Dean R. Koontz, Larry Bond or Tom Clancy and I decided to take a look at what he is writing. Since most books belong to long series I had to go back far in time to find the start of one. This is the first book in the series "Men at War". It reminds me of Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and then I haven't actually read that book, only seen the mini series. There are lots of characters. They are all related to each other or friends, o Griffin keeps turning up as a recommended author if you have read Dean R. Koontz, Larry Bond or Tom Clancy and I decided to take a look at what he is writing. Since most books belong to long series I had to go back far in time to find the start of one. This is the first book in the series "Men at War". It reminds me of Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and then I haven't actually read that book, only seen the mini series. There are lots of characters. They are all related to each other or friends, or at worst a friend of a friend. The book starts rather interestingly with two fighter pilots bantering and flying, but then the next chapter is about someone else, and the next chapter about a third person and so on until you have no idea who anyone is anymore. The Last Heroes is well written to a degree, but the story, or maybe it's storytelling is just not there. In all fairness this is an early book. With some luck Griffin got similar feedback at the time and improved later on. I will probably give him another chance since the books seem easy and fast to read, but this book was really not good.

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