Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow
A Novel

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Stewart Dubinsky knew his father had served in World War II. And he'd been told how David Dubin (as his father had Americanized the name that Stewart later reclaimed) had rescued Stewart's mother from the horror of the Balingen concentration camp. But when he discovers, after his father's death, a packet of wartime letters to a former fiancée, and learns of his father's court-martial and imprisonment, he is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history and driven to uncover the truth about this enigmatic, distant man who'd always refused to talk about his war.

As he pieces together his father's past through military archives, letters, and, finally, notes from a memoir his father wrote while in prison, secretly preserved by the officer who defended him, Stewart starts to assemble a dramatic and baffling chain of events. He learns how Dubin, a JAG lawyer attached to Patton's Third Army and desperate for combat experience, got more than he bargained for when he was ordered to arrest Robert Martin, a wayward OSS officer who, despite his spectacular bravery with the French Resistance, appeared to be acting on orders other than his commanders'. In pursuit of Martin, Dubin and his sergeant are parachuted into Bastogne just as the Battle of the Bulge reaches its apex. Pressed into the leadership of a desperately depleted rifle company, the men are forced to abandon their quest for Martin and his fiery, maddeningly elusive comrade, Gita, as they fight for their lives through carnage and chaos the likes of which Dubin could never have imagined.

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 past, of his father's character, and of the brutal nature of war itself.


About Scott Turow

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Scott Turow is the author of nine best-selling works of fiction including Innocent, Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof, and two non-fiction books including One L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than 25 languages, sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into film and television projects. He frequently contributes essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Playboy, and The Atlantic.
Published April 1, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 626 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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It seems that during the war, Stewart’s father had been engaged to another woman (to whom the letters are addressed), that he had been court-martialed and imprisoned for assisting a potential spy’s escape and that Stewart’s mother and father had kept the truth from their children.

Sep 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

The New York Times

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So it's a pleasure - and a relief - to report that Turow, like his protagonist when he makes a risky parachute drop, lands on his feet.

Nov 06 2005 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

The Guardian

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Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow Picador £16.99, pp320 Since Presumed Innocent in 1987, Scott Turow has continued to produce intelligent, thoughtful novels set among the lawyers of the fictional Kindle County.

Feb 25 2006 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

The Guardian

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Turow further has Dubin wonder whether the war is even worth fighting: "It is hard to understand how war - at least this war - has been worthwhile.

Feb 18 2006 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

Book Reporter

Stewart Dubinsky, retired Kindle County journalist, opens ORDINARY HEROES with this observation as he mourns the passing of his father, David Dubin, at the age of 88.

Jan 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

As David slogs through the snow of Bastogne between encounters with Martin and Gita—harrowing chunks of the novel have nothing to do with their triangle—it's unclear what genre Turow is attempting.

Nov 02 2005 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

For those readers accustomed to legal fireworks ignited by Scott Turow in such works as PRESUMED INNOCENT or BURDEN OF PROOF, ORDINARY HEROES may prove a surprise since although law plays a part in the narrative, the emphasis is on war.

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Joyce Carol Oates, author, High Lonesome: Stories 1966-2006I never visit beaches except to walk or run, but I do travel frequently, and, on long air-flights especially, take along a duffel bag of bound galleys of upcoming books to read, or read into, in search of a book, and an author, I will wa...

May 23 2006 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel


It was Shakespeare who first spoke of those happy few, that band of brothers Turow asks us to consider what ordinary people do when confronted by the horror of war while, at the same time, being confronted equally by the need to act, to do something.

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Historical Novel Society

After his death Stewart sorts through his deceased father’s papers and discovers that David Dubin (sensitive about his Jewish origins, he dropped the last syllable from his name, but his son reinstated it) had been the subject of a court martial and imprisoned.

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Ordinary Heroes, Scott Turow's seventh novel, abandons the legal world he has mined since 1987's smart, genre-defining Presumed Innocent in favor of World War II-era Europe and a tale of espionage and self-discovery.

Nov 28 2005 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

When divorced, middle-aged crime reporter Stewart Dubinsky discovers letters his late father wrote during World War II, he’s compelled to probe his father’s past.

Aug 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Heroes: A Novel

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