Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive.
This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors.
A born and raised Texan, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training, where he and his fellow SEALs discovered what it took to join the most elite of the American special forces, to a fight in the desolate hills of Afghanistan for which they never could have been prepared. His account of his squadmates' heroism and mutual support renders an experience for which two of his squadmates were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism that is both heartrending and life-affirming. In this rich chronicle of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers a powerful narrative of modern war.
©2007 Marcus Luttrell (P)2012 Hachette
I've read quite a few histoy/military history books so far, and this ranks right up there as one of the best tales to date. Dick Couch's 'Warrior Elite' edges this one out as the best so far, and I mention it becuae there is a relation betwen the two books. In this story, Marcus Latrell, USN SEAL, talks about his training with BUD/S class 228, the same class that Mr. Couch expertly documented in his book.
The novel begins a bit slow, and the readers attempt at a 'texas good ole boy' accent is distracting, but once the story shifts to Operation Red Wing, the pace picks up. If you want to be inspired, truely inspired, then read this AND 'Warrior Elite'. Navy SEALS are not just the toughest, best trained fighting division in the world, they are also an ultra rare breed of men. Their stories are simply amazing.
Don't pay too much attention to the complaints about either the narrator or the author's conservative politics. The reader may bother some, but I listened to this book straight through over the course of several flights out west, and loved it -- the only time I took it out was literally at TSA. As for his political views - he is a Navy SEAL, from Texas, right? Seriously - the narration is fine, and the authors occasional politics asides are amusing and endearing even to a liberal like as me, Well worth the credit.
Yes, because it tells a great story of what happened during Operation Red Wings. However, there is a LOT of Navy recruiting going on during the book. I understand Marcus is proud, and rightfully so. But I can not help but wonder if during the editing by the Navy if it was recommended to amp up the bravado.
The fake Texas accent put on by Kevin Collins was horrible. I got use to it about a 1/3 of the way into the book. There were times when he was talking about his fellow Seals screaming out that Collins cocked it up pretty good. The dramatic flare in points was less than desirable.
I listened to the book in 2 days. Once you got past the Seals training, which was necessary to understand the relationships, the actual story of Operation Red Wings was captivating.
On a personal note. What Marcus Lattrel and the rest of his Seal brothers endured and went through was saddening. There are highs and lows in the story and it makes you understand A. What it takes to be a Seal. B. What those heroes went through on the top on that mountain.
Listen to the Authoritarians
The guy who reads this book, with his psycho-pathological over-enunciation of every word, is the most distracting, horrifying thing that could happen to an otherwise interesting book. How anyone could enjoy this is beyond me. I would honestly rather listen to a cute-voiced 5 year old read this than this clown. He's just soooooo terrible. Marcus, for the love of god, have it re-recorded by a normal person.
DIFFERENT READER!!!!!! Without the fake over-exaggerated accent. I can BARELY listen. I've heard amazing things about this book, which is the only reason I even trying to push through this nightmare reader.
I will never buy any other book in which BOZO the psycho-pathological over-enunciator reads. It's just so unbelievably bad.
Loved the whole thing
His voice inflection
I have to admit I did cry couple of times
This is one of the best books I've ever read !!! So stop Reading the reviews and get it. If there is only one book you ever read, let it be this one !!!
I didn't dislike him as much as some of the other reviewers but a lot of parts were over emphasized. The "Hooyah Instructor Reno" drove me insane though.
When they announced to his mom that he was safe I got the ol "cutting onions" experience.
I really disliked the assumption that every "liberal" hates our troops and wants them all put in jail. I found it to be far off base and not true at all. Some people in this country are going to always dislike our armed forces, but to paint an entire group (if you can even call "liberals" that, as if people are all the same) with such a wide brush was annoying and small minded. All in all though this was a good book by an incredibly heroic man.
Anybody. Mickey Mouse, perhaps? Bugs Bunny? His narration was so painful, that I couldn't get past the first hour of the audio book.
Oh, Lord, no!!!!!
The story of Marcus Latrell is an inspiration. The narrators voice is annoying. Can't wait for the movie.
His voice with it's high pitch and drawl was annoying and didn't make me think it was a Seal telling his story.
I wanted to see the movie version of this book after hearing the author on the radio state that the movie was very true to the story except for one unnecessary scene of him stabbing one of his capturers which never happened.
And the reviews on Audible were all so good I could hardly wait to listen to the book. Even if I am the only person who disagrees, I still found it impossible to listen to the narrator. Nor was I interested in the entire biography of Mr. Luttrell and his political views. Somewhere in the training for SEALS it seems they lose the ability to remember that ( A) they volunteered to do this work (B) that everything they got and became is because the American people provided it to them and they got the best of everything and (C) their unique and limited experience of the world does not reflect REALITY for the rest of the universe.
The title of this book is misleading as it implies it is the story of Operation Redwing. I fast forwarded and fast forwarded and never got to the story but did get to the end of my patience listening to Mr. Collins imitating a "good old country boy from Texas." Golly and gee whiz, I want another book Audible, you can keep this one.
For the ease, and availability I would say the audio version is slightly better than the actual read. I travel a lot, so I have quite a bit of sit and wait time as well as windshield time, and I like the audio book better for this reason. I download it on my phone and listen to it at my convenience, when and where I want, not when I have time to get out the book that I don't have space for in my already overfilled travel bag.
The intensity and the true emotion behind the story is breathtaking and tear jerking. This book will take you through an absolute emotional rollercoaster.
Marcus. Being that the story is told from a first person perspective, there truly is not another choice.
The book will move anyone from start to finish. The entire story is moving, and is one of the books that becomes addicting and hard to get away from. The battle on Murphy's Ridge is the most intense, and the bodies of Mikey and Danny arriving at Bagram Air Force Base was the most sad and emotional. I think the most moving though was when Marcus was helped up the mountain into the protection of the waiting Army Rangers and Green Beret's.
This story has inspired me to look at everyday differently. I no longer am in the Armed Forces, and I thank God that I never saw combat, but I got from this book, to not take your family and friends for granted. You never know what tomorrow brings. It also shows you that the body is amazing, and will go well beyond the limits you believe that you have, if your life truly depends on it. Great Listen!!! SEMPER FIDELIS
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