I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.
His honesty about his own personal failings with his grandfather while aiding refugees in Rwanda is character and humanity rarely written about outside of the most personal journals. I've had moments like that in my own life, but never had the courage to share it with anyone. Greitens' story is powerful and compelling.
If you read Sole Survivor and were a bit disappointed with the arrogance, religious overtones, and lack of believability, and were left longing for an honest accounting of what makes a true warrior, this book is not to be missed. Simply one of the most amazing soldier stories I've read (and I'm partial to the genre).
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (True) -- This is the personal memoir of a remarkable young man named Eric Greitens. He attended Oxford and excelled scholastically, and he also traveled to many poverty-stricken countries to aid children and victims of genocide or war. His impression was always the same...we're here too late, why are we handing out food when we should have stopped this from happening in the first place? He also adopted an attitude of "If not me, then who?" He reached a point in his life where he had three paths before him. He could stay and teach at Oxford, work for a Fortune 500 company making megabucks or join the Navy. He chose the latter.
A major portion of the book is Eric's going through boot camp and training to become a Navy SEAL. It's detailed and fascinating. You will spend lots of time listening to what goes on during Hell Week, which is the grueling final test which must be passed before becoming a SEAL. All I can say is Wow! After graduation, you will hear of multiple SEAL missions in which he participated, most of which were in Afghanistan trying to capture high-ranking members of terrorist groups.
The end of the book is a very short bit about the organization Eric has formed to help veterans. The book definitely sends some important messages and will leave you thinking about them.
PERFORMANCE - The author narrates his own memoir and it was good to hear Eric's voice. He does a good job, but personally I would have preferred a professional narrator.
OVERALL (Actual rating 4.5) This is a great book. I'm not rating it a 5 because I was anxious for the SEAL part to start and was less interested in his college years and humanitarian efforts. There's a little bit of profanity, but not much. Eric describes the sad conditions he finds overseas and speaks frankly about his military missions, but I didn't find anything overly gross or depressing. I'd recommend this book for guys over about age 15. Females probably won't be interested in the subject matter till they're older.
The publisher's review explains the story but the author / narrator through sharing his story tells of self made opportunites to make a difference in the life of others by being the best he could be as a compassionate aide and an aggresive leader. Like the author the story is balanced in several ways. His life divided into two time frames, both of which are compelling listening. There is sadness and humour, friends and enemies, east and west, unity and division. The more I listened, the more I learnt about my self and my own values.
Not because the author asks that of us, but because his motivations and actions are stimulants to our sense of self worth.
The author is currently leading a path that I cannot wait to read about some time in the future. He has the heart of a warrior who was born to protect, always with the velvet glove of compassion but balanced by the fist of aggression.
As a narrator, the author is excellent. The self acknowledgement of his achievements is not boastful but realistic. At all times he balances those successes with his respect and love for those who shared his journey, especially his brothers in arms.
A story I could read or listen to again.
This important story is told with insight and conviction. It gives me great hope for our warriors to return from deployment, not as just damaged byproducts, but as contributors to what makes this country great.
Navy Seal books.. Must read them all. Go Navy!
what a great story of compassion and determination to help the human cause in every way.
Absolutely, this book was entertaining, thoughtful and well written. Made me think about the role of compassion and force and how they can be used together despite their apparently opposing nature.
Having the book narrated by the author really brought it to life, especially the stories about SEAL training.
Deals with heavy themes of combat, violence, hardship, etc.