In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.
In this vivid account of the U.S. Army's legendary 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.
At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush. Barely surviving the attack, Parnell's men now realized that they faced the most professional and seasoned force of light infantry the U.S. Army had encountered since the end of World War II.
What followed was 16 months of close combat, over the course of which the platoon became Parnell's family: from Staff Sergeant Greg Greeson, the wise, chain-smoking veteran who never lost his cool; to Specialist Robert Pinholt, a buttoned-down conservative with the heart of a warrior and the mind of an economist; to Staff Sergeant Phil Baldwin, the platoon's voice of calm and reason, a man who sacrificed everything following the events of 9/11 - career, home, financial stability - to serve his country. But the cost of battle was high for these men: Over 80 percent were wounded in action, putting their casualty rate among the highest since Gettysburg, and not all of them made it home.
A searing and unforgettable story of friendship in battle, Outlaw Platoon brings to life the intensity and raw emotion of those 16 months, showing how the fight reshaped the lives of Parnell and his men and how the love and faith they found in one another ultimately kept them alive.
This audiobook is enhanced with a downloadable PDF containing photographs from the hardcover edition.
©2012 Sean Parnell (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
I want to start off by saying that I have several hundred audio books and have enjoyed most and loved some. I always make sure to rate books that I listen to using the star system, however I have never sat down and composed a full review. This book moved me in ways that I find hard to express. There were times in this book that I was incredibly angry, times when I was happy for the guys of Outlaw Platoon, and times that caused me to tear up. War brings out the best and worst of humanity, it shows us what kind of people that we share the planet with. This book was by far the best audio book that I have ever listened to. I have to mention that there are some parts of the book that I found to be very disturbing, although the very nature of war has a way of being very disturbing at times. The lengths that the enemy will go to to inflict pain into coalition forces is savage. The camaraderie and brotherhood of Outlaw Platoon is absolutely amazing. I do not have the time to review books like I should, but this book moved me in so many ways that I though that it was important to do so. This may sound strange to some but this book made me wonder why I did not enlist to serve our country, I am still young enough to do so and it is always in the back of my mind. Again I cannot stress enough that everyone should listen or read this book, this book really deserves a sixth star rather than just five. I hope this review is helpful to those considering this book. Brad Thor gives this book a great review over on Amazon.com and is worth reading. Also be sure to download the companion to this book, it includes a map that makes it easier to understand the area that Outlaw Platoon patrolled.
Yes. Great narrative arch, character development. Lt. Parnell starts out gung ho but insecure, develops into mature veteran. The same happens with most of the platoon. They are excited like kids winning a football game after their first battle, but as the months drag and the casualties mount they became seasoned professionals. There is a lot of suffering and loss but they keep in the fight. These men are in a direct line from those who fought with Washington, in the Civil War, and who won WWII, and the men who fought the thankless Viet Nam War. It's inspiring and poignant.
When the Army finally gets serious and wipes out about 30 of the enemy in a ground attack supported by AC-130's, Apaches, and a B1 bomber.
Very good at depicting Lt. Parnell going from a brand new lieutenant to a tired but dedicated veteran, and voices of the other men in the platoon.
How hardened and professional the enemy are, and the duplicity of the Pakistanis.
For anyone who enjoys reading about small unit combat and the bravery of American soldiers and Marines, this is a great book.
You may be familiar with Platoon Leader by James R. McDonough, the story of an Army Infantry Officer forward deployed in Vietnam. Outlaw Platoon is much the same book, set in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan in 2006. Mr. Parnell's service in the army as leader of an infantry platoon in the 10th Mountain Division is portrayed brilliantly by Ray Porter.
The story covers his initial deployment and assignment as platoon leader and the 16 months that followed, in which his unit saw combat against an enemy that is more cunning and dangerous than they are given credit for. Through several firefights the grit, pain, and loss of combat are described in forceful detail by Mr. Porter's professional vocal talents and Mr. Parnell's skilled writing.
This is highly recommended listening for anyone interested in the difficulties of leading men under fire, the torture of modern combat, or the philadelphos-style love only found in cohesive, well-led combat units. I expect this will be required reading in more than a few West Point classrooms in the near future, if it isn't already.
I'm not a big fan of war stories however this book was gripping and was so well written, Ray Porter really brought the book to life with his narration & portrayal of each character in the book, Ray Porter is an excellent narrator separating each character without being overly dramatic, he did a perfect job! Listening to audio books (which I do almost continuously) if you have a great book with a bad narrator it ruins the whole thing, I've left many untouched because the narration was so terrible, it's also the same with a great narrator and terrible writing, but these came together perfectly, I'd highly recommend this book and Ray Porter to anyone!
I don't know what to say other than this is just an awesome book. The story was so gripping, and by the end I felt like I was part of the platoon as I got to know them all so well.
I have read or listened to so many books over the years that relate to warfare and those who were involved, and having served my own country for 8 years, it will always be a topic of choice. I have never seen a book that just sucked me in so much. The writing style and characterisation was fantastic. To hear Sean's thought patterns during combat, and showing how much your mind can wander from the action to thoughts of home in a matter of a seconds was enthralling.
I cannot recommend this book enough. 5 stars all round.
I really enjoyed the apparently honest review of the strengths and weaknesses of a combat unit and the individuals that make up those units. They are still humans being asked to do superhuman things.
He brought emotions and character voices to the story. This helped me distinguish between the main characters and to feel like I was getting to know them.
The brotherhood of facing courage and fear under fire.
I loved this book.
This book illuminates the fact that this country STILL produces great YOUNG citizens and warriors, despite not being considered the Greatest generation, etc. From my foxhole, this young leader and his Soldiers ARE the best generation, because what they are doing is relevant. My only complaint is that non-infantry Soldiers were characterized as lazy and unexposed to regular danger. Perhaps this is true, to some extent, but I know more than a few non combat arms soldiers what have been seriously injured or killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the taliban has little sympathy for anyone wearing an American flag; moreover, when they are killed, they are just as dead as our infantry, armor, and artillery brothers
Enjoyed this book. If you like real stories of war and sacrifice, you will find it here. These men paid a heavy price.
This is a great story about men at war in Afghan.
The combat scenes are outstanding.
A great reader who makes you feel like you are there.
The whole story was moving for me.
This is a great story, and a great read by Ray Porter. (I think he might have also read Ghost in The Wires as well.) This is the kind of book you wish there was a part 3 and 4 too. I highly recommend listening to this book if you are interested in this subject matter. It makes you think as well as laugh out loud.
"A GREAT BOOK COULD READ OVER AGAIN AND AGAIN"
A fantastic book in the series,i have read all previous books and i think this is another great read the auther has really bought together modern day terrorist issues into the book gripping at times and great characters and a fantastic narator reading the book definatly a 10 out of 10 book and would highly reccomend it cant wait for the the next read.
"A typical day in Afghanistan."
A typical account of US military action in Afghanistan. The book is easy listening and is one that I would recommend to anyone who wishes to understand the operating environment faced by thousand of coalition forces in Afghanistan. Frustration, joy, desperation, elation...they are all there!
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