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A Game of Birds and Wolves


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About the Author

Simon Parkin is an award-winning British writer and journalist. He is a contributing writer for the New Yorker, game critic for the Observer newspaper, and a regular contributor to the Guardian's Long Read. He is the recipient of two awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and his work has been featured in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He lives on the south coast of England.


"A thoroughly absorbing book, drawing upon archives and oral histories. It reads like a thriller, with its accounts of nerve-wracking battles, extreme weather, icebergs, and ships sunk in a matter of minutes."--The Wall Street Journal
"In this engaging history...Parkin paints a vivid picture of training sessions in which seasoned sailors chafed at being tutored by 'an inexperienced girl, ' and captures each maneuver in the ensuing sea battles with zeal."--The New Yorker
"Simon Parkin's book rips along at full sail and is full of personality and personalities. Above all, it brings a barely known aspect of the sea war out into the light. Which isa triumph in itself."--Sunday Express (U.K.)
"Parkin does a masterful job of evoking the sweep of this vital piece of naval history in both broad strokes and the telling detail. Every war buff will want to read this book. And anyone interested in strategy would be wise to read it as well."--New York Journal of Books
"Parkin's book is extensively researched, well written, and tells an engrossing story of a little-known topic."--Science
"Through assiduous research and well-paced narrative, Simon Parkin has given us an extraordinary, little-known story from World War II. . . . A Game of Birds and Wolves is a work of nonfiction that reads in part like a thriller."--Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
"Like a well-designed game, A Game of Birds and Wolves is fun, informative and intense."--BookPage
"A vivid glimpse of a little-known World War II effort...Parkin weaves this history together like a novel, switching back and forth among various characters and storylines to reveal a fascinating fight for freedom; both for Britain and the young women who defied contemporary norms to serve their country."--Library Journal
"In a riveting, intricately researched book, Simon Parkin tells the previously unknown story behind the Allied victory in the Atlantic during World War II. It's an underdog's tale-not only of British supply fleets trying to outrun German U-boats, but also of the women game designers who made that victory possible."--Ian Bogost, Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Contributing writer at The Atlantic, and author of Play Anything
"This stirring history...redresses a balance: none in this doughty sisterhood has ever been publicly honoured."--Nature
"A stunning book of an unknown part of the largely forgotten Battle of the Atlantic, which is a must to read."--Niall Kilgour, CB, former Rear Admiral, Submarines and President of the Submariners Association
"History writing at its best."--Booklist
, starred review
"With novelistic flair, Parkin transforms material gathered from research, interviews, and unpublished accounts into a highly readable book that celebrates the ingenuity of a British naval "reject" and the accomplishments of the formerly faceless women never officially rewarded for their contribution to the Allied defeat of Germany. A lively, sharp WWII history."--Kirkus Reviews
"A fascinating story, wonderfully well-told on a little known but hugely important aspect of naval warfare. The characters of the main players, notably the Wrens are beautifully and colourfully put across."--Admiral Sir Michael Layard KCB, CBE, former Second Sea Lord
"This is the riveting true story of war, amazing women, and one of the most important games in history. Read it here before some film producer makes a mess of it."--Tom Mouat MBE, Simulation and Modelling Technology School, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom
"A hugely enjoyable and exciting book. It is fascinating to read about this little-known aspect of the war which made such a massive difference to the outcome. A compelling and important new story, lucidly and humanely told."--Roland Philipps, author of A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean
"A magnificent look at a war game that mattered most: how to out fox the Nazi's dreaded U-boats. Told with poetic mastery, Simon Parkin's A Game of Birds and Wolves unveils the story of Operation Raspberry, how eight young women and a retired naval captain found the key to winning the Battle of the Atlantic on a giant board game played on a linoleum floor."--Annie Jacobsen, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Pentagon's Brain

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