This is the story of team leader Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of Operation Redwing and the desperate battle that led to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. More than anything, this is the story of how his teammates stood beside him until he was the last one left - blasted unconscious by a rocket grenade, blown over a cliff, but still armed and breathing.
Over the next four days, badly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell fought off six al Qaeda assassins who were sent to finish him, then crawled for seven miles through the mountains before he was taken in by a Pashtun tribe that risked everything to protect him from the Taliban.
In this moving chronicle of courage, Marcus Luttrell offers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare.
©2007 Marcus Luttrell; (P)2007 Hachette Audio
Lone Survivor is a fascinating story about a little-known arena of
the war on terrorism. As Americans,we should all be better-informed
about such things, if only to be more supportive to the soldiers who
are willing to make such horrendous sacrifices so that we can continue to enjoy our freedoms.
Kevin T. Collins' narration was absolutely superb, and exactly the voice one
would have expected Luttrell to have. Let's hope we hear many more
books read by him.
That said, I was sorry that this book was abridged, as the complexity and length
of the hillside battle would have been better-appreciated in more
detail. Although the author's decision to release the goatherds will
undoubtedly haunt him for the rest of his life, it's a shame
that he reduced a generous and righteous act to a simplistic rant
about liberals(even though I don't disagree). The bravery and
patriotism of these men was less-than-well-served by the somewhat sophomoric
way the authors chose to tell the story. One wonders what the editor
But I absolutely enjoyed the book, and the Kevin T.
Collins narration was just perfect.
There is not enough ways to thank Marcus and all the others that put their lives on the line for the American people. I admire them greatly and tell that to every soldier in uniform that I meet. I have several family members serving in Iraq, all with tremendous stories of heroism and survival that they tell.
But this book is more than just a heroic war story. It revealed the intense moral conflict Marcus struggled with over whether to “execute” the goat herders for his own safety or to do the “Christian” thing and release them. I cannot imagine having to make this kind of decision. For that reason alone, that he faced that dilemma and made a decision, I consider him a hero. And I am certainly not one that believes I could judge him no matter which way he decided. I will recommend this book to all my college students in hopes they will get a glimpse of what it really means to be on the “front line.”
But I do have one discomforting issue with the way this story is told. This writer sometimes comes off to me as a mindless parrot spouting off silly military and Christian propaganda slogans. I understand in every war each side portrays the other as heartless, pagan, warmongers. We dehumanize them and they do it to us. That way we’re not killing people, just inhuman scum. Some of the naive comments about the atrocities of the enemy and the syrupy “God and Country” speeches read like WW2 American propaganda stories. Surely Vietnam taught us that the American public can handle the tough moral issues that are interwoven into any conflict. Surely we know this conflict, this war, is not going to be won by trying to kill all the bad guys and argue over whose god is the strongest. As we kill the terrorists we need to come to grips with the causes of this conflict and try not to let history repeat itself. Sure, that’ll happen!
I’ve never written a review before, but I felt compelled to do so after listening to the Lone Survivor. I thank God everyday for men like Marcus and his brothers in arms. It’s these men and women that make our country stand strong. I’m so proud of our military and I would like to thank them & their families for their sacrifices.
This book is definitely high on my list of favorites. It’s wonderfully written from beginning to end. You really connect with Axe, Micky, Marcus, and Danny. I felt such sorrow when they were killed, and so proud of Marcus for never giving up.
I highly recommend this book!!
I enjoyed this listen very much. Marcus is an impressive human and this is a great story about the people who put it on the line for all of us here in the USA. My only knock is he doesn't understand liberals at all and his politics full of hate for his fellow americans, That made me sad for him. Remember Marcus you fight for your buddies first, then Family, then Texas and then all of us. ALL of us, not just the conservatives you greatly admire like President Bush. Remember liberals are Americans no more or less than you are an American.
You should have killed the goat herders and that is coming from a liberal. I hope you read this review, I'm darn proud of you and your fallen friends and patriots!
I have read stories that spoke of the incredibly tough training that Navy Seals go through - stuff that makes Marine Corps boot camp look like a Sunday School picnic.
This is the first story I've read that showed the fruit of that training in a real under fire situation. The courage and toughness - both mental and physical - displayed by the Seal team in this book is impressive, even to this Marine, who isn't easily impressed. Just as impressive were the Afghani villagers who risked everything - more than pretty much any of us would - to protect the Lone Survivor until he could be rescued.
This book works very well in terms of a cultural geographical text and a combat survival story. Add in an element of how the writer's faith in God helped him in interesting ways through the ordeal, and it's a story that can be enjoyed on multiple levels. This one goes on my list to listen to again.
This is the author's first book and he gets your attention from the beginning. There are several parts/phases which appear to be written by a novice, but the story is terrific. He and his fellow soldiers deserve all the honor this country can provide....no matter what your opinion on this war may be. What he and the others went through should not go un-noticed. His appearance on TV when the book was released worked. I wanted to read more.
We live our lives in comfort and complain of stress while waiting in traffic. These soldiers would switch with us in a heart beat.
Great story of courageousness, honor, and what the next generation can provide. Certainly not what you see at rallies.
To think this is a true story is nothing short of astonishing. Few stories have recounted such dramatic heroism and raw courage by the elite soldiers of our armed forces. Marcus Luttrell and his comrads fight "for real" against odds that we usually only see in fictional stories. It's no wonder Hollywood producers were themselves fighting for the rights to the movie, due out in 2009.
Most of the book felt like an "edge-of-your-seat" suspense drama--I couldn't put it down. Luttrell and his team portray virtues we often aspire to---perseverence and courage in the face of unbeatable odds and danger, unwavering loyalty to each other and country, and tenacious effort in training to be the very best at their craft. Can't wait for the movie!
This is one of those stories that might be better as an audio book than reading the book. Outstanding narration. The first part describes the selection process and arduous training for the SEALS. The account of Operation Red Wing was phenomenal. These four men showed such determination, loyalty to each other and courage against insurmountable odds. One member of the team is the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan. The author is not bashful about sharing his insight into the political meddling into war operations,rules of engagement and the sad consequences.
The best education I've received is Self education.
Cry. It is hard not to because of what Marcus and his team went through.
I will read the actual book now. Didn't realize that this was the abridged version.
"Unsurprsingly, very (middle) American"
Being English it's hard to get past the way this was (ghost?) written for its target market. Littered with references to the almighty and the superiority of America. Which is fair enough, but a bit hard to get past if you're from the south of England like I am!
It couldn't really, it was right for the material.
It is a great story, the guys involved were very brave, and it raises moral and military questions
Probably one for the American listeners, others might want to watch the movie instead.
"I wish I'd got an unabridged version"
I have attended a talk by Marcus Luttrell, and I think Kevin T Collins does a great job of replicating the voice while talking with clear diction so after a few minutes I could really imagine that it was Luttrell I was listening to.
That said, there's more to the story and background of Luttrell than is presented in this version, so an unabridged version would appeal to me too. I'd like to hear more about the Why? aspect of the things that happen here, beyond the sheer patriotism and determination to succeed, but what is presented is a great story.
I have seen various criticisms of the paperback version on Amazon, but I think this is a fair representation of the thoughts of a man who lived through something that most of us cannot really imagine without his own testimony. You may disagree with him, but this seems honestly enough presented.
The one thing that I miss in audiobook format, and it would be great if it could be arranged, is some form of graphic download of a map, or photo, or diagrams of the geography involved. It's hard to get a sense of the distances covered, or the relationship of the towns or army bases or hills and mountains. So although there is a lengthy description of a fight and falling down hills, I don't really have an appreciation for where the places are that the various things happened.
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