Without any confirmation, I realized the author was one of the "real" Seals in Uncommon Valor as I watched it. He was either a real Seal or the best actor I had ever seen. It seemed clear that he really believed everything he said in the movie.
His book provides a clear picture of the type of men that become seals, how they do it, and the type of challenges they face in the name of protecting freedom.
The book differs from some others that I have read on the subject in that it is from the perspective of someone who has been deeply involved in the training program with definite opinions on the direction of the program and is able to communicate that clearly to a layperson. And he has a good sense of humor throughout.
I can say that, I for one, will sleep better at night knowing that men like Lt. Rourke are working through the night to keep us safe.
LCDR Denver writes what he knows. He tells a powerful story, but in an open, down-to-earth way. Many people see Navy SEALs are larger than life, and I believe that view is justified. The author maintains a lot of mystique, but also manages to make the SEALs seem like everyday guys. I've read too many books about SEALs that focus on the hardcore nature of their training and their lives. LCDR Denver allows the listener/reader to see the man behind the title.
The chapter where he writes about his wife was amazing. (This comes back to seeing the man behind the title.) It's clear that her support has made him stronger, and he makes it clear that it isn't just his wife. The Team's Wives/Girlfriends Network is there to take care of things back home, allowing the men to keep their focus on staying alive in a war zone. It was great to see him acknowledge that, rather than making it seem that SEALs are so tough that they don't need help.
The one issue I had with the book is that LCDR Denver's inflection never changes. He has the same tone when speaking about being in a firefight, how much he loves his wife, and training the next group of wanna-be SEALs.
Lover of life and lover of books! I read/listen to a wide range (many) but my favorite non fiction are self-help and autobiographies.
Since I was a child I always admired tried and true 'warriors' and those successful in their chosen career path, regardless if business, sports, writing, or warrior.
If you enjoy listening and learning about the behind the scenes or the making of special ops then this is a book for you. I enjoyed how Rorke described what led him to being a seal and more important the perseverance it took to become a seal. Then the same drive which put him into a leadership role. I enjoyed the part when he outlined the importance of being a leader versus the 'doer'. Similar to the management statement in other books - if you are doing then you are not leading. Let others do so you can lead. If you are doing, then why do I need you as a leader.
Rorke describes some of the characteristics of the fallen heroes that he served with and knew. Additionally, he outlines in brief some of what goes on in the lives of the spouses and the difficulties they face.
There are two points that jumped out at me.
1. As he described the making of the movie - Uncommon Valor - many of the scenes now make sense since he outlined the 'true' part that went into making each aspect of the movie and why the movie is so important in telling the story of special ops.
2. Toward the end of the book he outlined the politics of what is taking place in recruiting seals and it is apparent he isn't in favor of some of the changes.
Both of these items moved the book up one notch for ranking. Overall, I enjoyed the book but it wouldn't have been a 4 star except these two vital parts which tells the positive character of Rorke. As others noted, his narration ability is not the best but it isn't the worst that I heard when an author decides to narrate his own book.
This isn't a book I would recommend to everyone since not everyone enjoys learning or listening to books about warriors. However, if you want to read a book about character building, leadership, and more important some of the how, then this is for you.
The first person narration of the action.... Yo know he was there by listening to his voice.
That it motivates one to get up early and hit the bloody GYM..... That's 100000 times lighter than what these people have to endure on a daily basis!
BUDs training and HELL WEEK
They already made it, ACT OF VALOR. Loved it too.....
Love Rohr and what he did to become who he is
Loved the way he shared so much of his inner story about himself, how it made him feel, what it was really like to participate and all the challenges it took just to do that. Phenomenol story of a great hero.
there were many favorite scenes, the start of his training and where he went thru hell week, what it was like to be a part of real brotherhood and how they built it up to be so special and dying for each other...nothing was lost
I had very extreme reactions...I did laugh, cry, Awed Alot and was flabergasted by the intensity of they had to do
You won't regret this book..it was written by a guy with a huge honest heart!
Marcus Luttrell - Lone Survivor
The confidence he has, you feel it.
I just want to say thank you!