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Extended Audio Sample Peace: A Novel, by Richard Bausch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (453 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Bausch Narrator: Michael Kramer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2008 ISBN: 9781400177684
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Italy, near Cassino. The terrible winter of 1944. A dismal icy rain, continuing unabated for days. Guided by a seventy-year-old Italian man in rope-soled shoes, three American soldiers are sent on a reconnaissance mission up the side of a steep hill that they discover, before very long, to be a mountain. And the old man’s indeterminate loyalties only add to the terror and confusion that engulf them on that mountain, where they are confronted with the horror of their own time—and then set upon by a sniper. 

Taut and propulsive—with its spare language, its punishing landscape, and the keenly drawn portraits of the three young soldiers at its center—Peace is a feat of economy, compression, and imagination, a brutal and unmistakably contemporary meditation on the corrosiveness of violence, the human cost of war, and the redemptive power of mercy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brilliant.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Embedded in a landscape at once bleak and beautiful, Peace, like other classic war stories, discloses in the sparest language the spiritual darkness of war.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Perfect…Bausch slips you so smoothly and unnervingly into the world of these young soldiers on patrol that you won’t quite know how you got there…His narrative moves like a cat on the hunt: supple and strong, without an ounce of energy wasted.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A spare and haunting meditation on the confusing and contradictory choices wars inflict on those who fight them.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “An abrupt and chilling act of violence opens Bauch’s eleventh novel, marking the beginning of a bleak but compelling meditation on the moral dimensions of warfare.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy Blue | 12/31/2013

    " Peace was not my typical genre of book. For me it was too tense the entire way through, so I didn't enjoy it. That's not to say that it wasn't well written, for it was. I read to escape, and this was more realism than I like. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 12/16/2013

    " A brief but moving book about a US soldier in Italy at the end of WW II. Says more than any book I remember about war and ordinary people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shona | 10/20/2013

    " The plot centered on a small group of soldiers in Italy during WWII. They are told to go up a mountain on a reconaissance mission. It's snowing and brutally cold and they argue about whether or not to report an earlier shooting in which one of them kills a German soldier and a civilian. I thought the writing was excellent. It was almost difficult at times to continue as these soldiers go through so much - they struggle with the weather, with a sniper and their own internal struggles about what is morally right, especially in war. It's almost like you can't imagine them going back home and living ordinary lives after this experience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara Naugle | 10/7/2013

    " A war story. I actually didn't make it to the end. It just wasnt my genre. Every once in a while I read something i wouldnt normally reach for. sometimes it works. Sometimes It doesnt. This time it didnt. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathyred | 8/9/2013

    " Spare but evocative language pulls you into the horrors of war, all compressed into one small incident in Italy during the winter. Slight book, heavy themes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 7/5/2013

    " Wonderfully written, marvelously spare, but a bit too smooth at the end. That's not a function of brevity. J.L. Karr's A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY is equally brief, but you close that book thinking it's perfect. This one is close..... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phyllis | 6/16/2013

    " Excellent writing and YOU ARE THERE in WWII (I think that was the war!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 3/29/2013

    " A day or 2 in the lives of 3 soldiers during WWII. Very detailed, descriptive, insightful "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Thomas Hamilton | 2/26/2013

    " Overwritten, unrealistic and shoddily researched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobby J | 2/23/2013

    " A thrilling story of the trust 3 American soldiers put in an ancient Italian man to guide them over a mountain and avoid a sniper's position. Can the old man be trusted? Do the Americans have a choice? Held me right to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Weston | 2/17/2013

    " Read on a snowy Spring weekend in Patagonia - very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clifford | 11/13/2012

    " This is an elegant short novel about "doing the right thing" set in WW II Italy. See Perpetual Folly for my full review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ally | 9/16/2012

    " Short and powerful book. I liked the idea that it was set over a couple days. Could almost feel the cold in my fingers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ninon | 8/12/2012

    " I liked this, but it didn't leave me with book lust. I was expedting something akin to "Soldier of the Great War" and was left hanging. That said, it is well- written with beautiful characters - and a very fast read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elvira | 2/19/2012

    " Great piece of literature. There is no way to describe it - Bausch is just very very good. I don't normally read war books but this held my attention even when things got brutal at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louie Verile JR. | 2/15/2012

    " great, hard hitting and it goes fast. First book in awhile that I cared about characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanette | 11/10/2011

    " Wow! I read this entire book in one sitting with just a couple of pee breaks and a banana snack! Sometimes the books with the fewest words are the most profound. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colin N. | 7/21/2011

    " Fantastic WWII novella. Beautifully written, suspenseful, lovely and tragic. One of the best things I've read all year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 5/12/2011

    " This short novel of unadorned language has pages that will haunt me for days. The plot is simple. Three soldiers are sent on a recon mission up a mountain to search for Nazi soldiers. What transpires, though, is a study of war and morality. A powerful novel "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 2/27/2011

    " Moving account of three soldiers and a partisan in a WWII setting. Humanity in all its complexity becomes the theme. The details of the protagonist's suffering shows the life of the soldier in a cold and hostile never land of arbitrary death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 2/22/2011

    " An unrelenting pace makes one feel every physical pain and emotion as a small group of men hike up a darkened hill looking for the enemy in Italy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlie | 1/5/2011

    " Excellent story set in Italy during WWII. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brendan | 12/22/2010

    " Probably not being fair to this one, but it was just too short and too, well, vague to say more. It's like a long Hemingway story. Which for me is not a compliment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geoffrey | 11/8/2010

    "
    I might be the last person to discover Richard Bausch but I read this in a sitting and loved it. What should I read next from him.

    Also, the jacket on the paperback - not the one pictured here - is stunning. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 11/7/2010

    " Read on a snowy Spring weekend in Patagonia - very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harry | 10/10/2010

    " Best short story/novella (171p) that I've read in a while.
    Very real and haunting story of a small group of American soldiers on a purposeless mission in 1944 Italy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey | 8/13/2010

    " Beautifully written, evocative and thoughtful piece of work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 6/29/2010

    " Brief, eloquent and ultimately so sad, this tale has been told time and again, in different time and place settings. A wonderful antidote and flip-side to the Red Badge of Courage. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 6/11/2010

    " Exceptional writing. Wish I could give it 3.5 stars. I felt like I was right there on the mountain with the soldiers turning pages as quietly as possible not to be discovered by the enemy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 6/9/2010

    " I read this in one sitting. The horrors of war.....you can actually feel the pain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ally | 3/12/2010

    " Short and powerful book. I liked the idea that it was set over a couple days. Could almost feel the cold in my fingers. "

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About the Author
Author Richard Bausch

Richard Bausch is the author of numerous novels and short story collections. He is a recipient of many awards, including the PEN/Malamud Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Rea Award for the Short Story. He is currently professor of English at Chapman University in Orange, California.