As a former CSDG-1 member having served on many of the boat in the book and some others for a total of 6 boats and 2 sub-tenders. I made some spec-op including the Big One. Story done pretty well.
There were several moments where I found myself listening to this book thinking.. "That can't be right". After hearing about K-129 hitting the bottom at 200 knots I started doing some armchair research and very little of this book stands up to even basic scrutiny. It's an interesting story but belongs somewhere between "The Hunt for Red October" (fact based fiction) and "The DaVinci Code" (somewhat historically inspired fiction).
As a retired submarine sonar technician there were several things in this book that made me wonder whether Reed was ever on a submarine. He makes a few mistakes about how submarines operate that no one who had earned their dolphins would ever make, even if they had been off the boats for many years. The book "Blind Man's Bluff" tells the story of submarine intelligence operations much better, although it does not have the specific details that Reed shares here.
This book in my opinion gives way too much technical detail on tracking submarines prior to the satellite era.
I am a technically oriented person who thrives on nauticle engineering concepts and I found my mind wandering while listening due to the level if detail which I believe would bore most readers.
Even though I did not like the content, the presentation was very good.
Yes, very good
If you want techical detail of tracking submarines especially during the early 60's and the Cuban Missle Crisis, then this book is for you
Wove the technology and events (both in the subs and political) together to make a good story.
Information on the use of technology that I was not aware of previously.
Retired and Ready for Adventure. Just your everyday Grandfatherly, slightly overweight, bald headed, book affectionado! Enjoy documentary videos, Tom Clancy novels and Shaun Connery movies. Weakness for fast women, slow airplanes and challenging ski slopes. Ran out of money with lots of retirement to go; so I am committed to the Walter Mitty life. Did not say that was by choice. Enjoy.
I am reasonably new to this format, but with a littlle limited experience, I do have some comments.
Finally realizing what Walker's treachery had cost us.
Authentic, military, historic.
It was called a "Cold War" but real people died. Good people - Brave people!
Know I can see more clearly; Where we were and what we were doing.
Excellent narration and a fine story combined to provide a great listening experience. The story captivated me while listening and made me look forward to my next quiet moment. It was a great way to learn a bit about our history while being treated to an entertaining experience.
I purchased this book to learn more about the topic of submarines and their part in the Cold War. To that extent the book stays on topic but I am left with serious questions as to it's accuracy. There are so many errors in minor areas, i.e. while riding to meet with President Kennedy the author refers to "a dark, lowering sky in Washington, DC", but while meeting with the President he refers to rays of sunshine streaming into the White House windows?!!
The above minor error is indicative of at least a couple of dozen other similar errors though out the story. The problem with them is that it makes the technical and historical accuracy of the book questionable. I have absolutely no knowledge of submarines, their operation, or of the technology used to track them. I'm also in the dark with reference to the historical events involving submarines in the Cuban Missile crisis. My main reason for listening to this book was to gain ACCURATE knowledge in those areas, at the end I'm left with as many questions as answers.
The reviews of this book published in Amazon.com's website delve into technical difficulties in great detail. If you are listening to this book as a learning experience I urge you to read through those reviews.
All said, the book is interesting, held my attention, and stimulated further interest. So it certainly isn't all bad. Tom Weiner does a good job reading the book, especially since the writing style doesn't necessarily flow easily.
Retired US Navy Submariner. Served in 2 Diesel boats, 2 fast attacks and 2 SSBNs Retired as Master Chief. Worked in civilian Nuclear power plants as a second career.
As somrone who served on a couple of the boats in this book. I was able to connect.
the author really knows subs. the narrator actually pronounced "submariner" correctly
The detailed description of the development of technology that went into signals analysis in order to track the Russian Subs, as well as the details of several specific missions and situations.
Three memorable moments come to mind (and they are all extensive parts of the book): the development of Project Boresight; the implementation of Project Boresight during the Cuban Missle Crisis; the wire tapping operations in the Sea of Okhotsk.
The narrarator did fine. When a single narrorator attempts to change his voice to sound like multiple characters, it gets a bit comical. But the narration was well read, easy to listen to, and very clear.
There were a few points that were frustrating because the author's research seemed a bit off on some points. Particularly with regard to the Russian submarine K-129. I strongly recommend Red Star Rouge for a detailed history of that submarine and the US recover of the submarine. Other history books (some of them autobiography's by individuals actually involved in different aspects) have confirmed that some of Red November's information on the K-129 was not entirely accurate (e.g., in From The Shadows, Robert Gates himself writes that he presented the Russians with the bell from the conning tower of the K-129. Gates could not have done that unless the US had gotten more of the sub than Red November indicates the US recovered.)