I liked this story okay since it had a very interesting permise.
However, I had two pretty major complaints. The main character (the man who gets burned at the very beginning of the story), is basically full of self loathing, incredibly pessimistic, and kind of brings you down. Everyone else in the story helped balance his intense (albeit understandably considering the drastic change to his life) negativity. I almost stopped the story from that alone, however, I hoped that the story ended on a happy note so I kept listening.
My second major complaint is the narrator. He read so incredibly slow that I'm sure the story could've been a little as 12 hours long. I use the Audible app to listen to my audiobooks so I was able to speed up his narration speed. Most of the time, I listened to his story at 1.5 speed, but all other times, I listened to it at twice the narration speed. It was disappointing.
This story was something I found interesting and the author did a good job of portraying the hardships and turmoil the group faced that day. It's interesting to read an account of someone who has survived such a challenge.
However, though I usually love the idea of a book being narrated by the author, this is not one that was well done. He just reads much too slowly and in an almost complete monotone. I had to force myself to keep listening, though I'm sure if I was visually reading the book, I wouldn't have been able to put it down.
I wanted to read this book because so many people had told me how great it was. However, I must have been naive to expect the story to be written as a narrative versus as a sort of long conversation with the writer. The book is full of very far right Conservative, anti-Liberal rhetoric, which, these days, I'm getting a bit tired of all the political hate, from both sides. I understand that should maybe be expected from some military guys but I felt it severely distracted from the story. I appreciate and agree the sacrifice anyone in the military makes needs to be remembered, which is part of why I wanted to read the book. But the author so clearly expected the "liberal media" to criticize him that his criticism of the very far left Liberals (though he seemed to expect this of all liberals) and defense of his and the military's actions pervaded the entire book. I ended up being taken out of the story every time he would do this, even though I agree there are sometimes necessary evils and tough choices made in the time of war.
It was interesting to hear about some of what the SEALs have to go through for training. However, this also felt more like Navy advertising versus being a part of the book. Yes, it was good to give the back story and idea of the mindset and personalities of the SEALs, but it was a little more than the first 1/3 of the book which just seemed unnecessary. It is amazing what Marcus Luttrell and his team went through and great to know there are people out there who will fight so hard to save a complete stranger, especially at high risk to themselves.
The narrator really wasn't that great. He over enunciated every word and spoke just far too slowly. I listened to the entire audiobook at an accelerated speed. The first third at 2X speed and the part that was actually about the operation at about 1.5X and had absolutely no problem listening to the story. It helped the narration sound more normal, especially since, like I said, the book was written more as a conversation Marcus Luttrell was having with someone versus a retelling.
I've read the full, unabridged version of this novel before and loved it. However, I didn't want to devote so much time to reading such a lengthy book again.
I chose this version of the audiobook unwisely. The narrator's voice is so affected and pretentious that it completely detaches from the story. Listen to the sample and then imagine listening to that for more than 55 hours. I couldn't do it for more than 15 minutes. I'm going to purchase the other version since the narrator's accent is more how I would imagine and like the narrator of such a great book to be.
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