Five months after being deployed to Iraq, Lima Company's 1st Platoon became one of the first American forces to enter Fallujah, where they encountered some of the most intense hand-to-hand combat since World War II. Civilians were used as human shields or as bait to lure soldiers into buildings rigged with explosives; suicide bombers approached from every corner hoping to die and take Americans with them; radical insurgents, high on adrenaline, fought to the death.
Award-winning author and historian Patrick O'Donnell stood shoulder to shoulder with Lima Company's 1st Platoon as they fought through the streets of Fallujah, their casualties mounting. This is their story.
©2006 Patrick K. O'Donnell; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Clearly reflects valor and courage." (Kirkus Reviews)
"This is, being real, a more than harrowing tale." (Roanoke Times)
"[O'Donnell's] most important accomplishment among many is to put a human face on the troops....[An] excellent book." (New York Post)
At first I felt as though this was an overly long 'newsweek' article.
I soon grew attached to the men who were going through an expereince I can't even imagine.
This book has stuck with me and has reminded me of the importance of the fight these men are engaged in.
It has also reminded me of how lucky I am to live in the United States and how important it is to 'live well'.
Some of the accents the reader attempts are terrible. It would have been better if he had just read the words. It would have been great if Blackstone audio could have produced it with a full cast.
If you're interested in a first hand account (by an author who was actually with the soldiers he writes about) then I can't recommend this book highly enough.
I learned as much from this as I did from 'One Bullet Away'.
A very moving account of the incredible job that our troops are doing in Iraq. I had no idea about how well the guys are trained and the level of dedication, self sacrifice, and brotherhood in the marines. It made me very proud of the incredible job that our troops are doing under almost impossible odds. It also make me even more proud to be an American.
I consider myself aware. I know what the troops sacrifice; life, emotional damage, phisical imparement, etc. But I never thought of the bonds they share with one another. This is a story of brotherhood, a story of friendship, a story of loss for the men of Lima company... and gain for the rest of us. If you do not consider yourself patriotic, this story will change you.
I've read almost all the other books on the subject, and my only mistake is that I should have started with this one. It's well written, serious, and unblinking. It deliveres what it promises....you'll go shoulder to shoulder with REAL guys who go into a hellish and bizarro world we want to disbelieve. It's like the U.S. Marines against the international All-Stars of terrorism. This book and others like it show me that bad politics has left these guys oddly supported by the general public, but somehow unrecognized. We know they're out there, we see the yellow ribbon decals, but then you read this and you get claustrophobic with the insanity of Anti-American insurgents. These aren't armed citizens our soldiers are up against....the enemy comes highly trained, hopped up on adrenaline, armed to the teeth, and enthusiastically suicidal. These insurgents believe human life is cheap and disposable.....a U.S. Marines does not.
I have read hundreds of books on combat and I rank this one in the top 10. Patrick O'Donnel is consistently good with his oral histories. He comes as close as a journalist can to capturing the essense of combat at the platoon and squad level. We owe it to our valiant, current combat veterens to listen to this book and understand the best we can their sacrifice. The reader of the book also did an outstanding job. Now if the new President would just take the time to read or listen to this book and honor our military by better understanding how outstanding is their performance in protecting us.
Whatever your position on the Iraq war, Patrick O'Donnel has brought us an amazing telling of the battle for Fallujah. Embedded with the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 1st Marine Regiment, O'Donnel risked his life to bring us these first hand stories. If you support the war you will be inspired by the stories. If you oppose the war, you will come to appreciate what the Marines are doing and the personal sacrifices they are making.
The prose is not the most elegant, but O'Donnel has done a great job compiling the words of the direct participants. The reader is rewarded immediately and the greater telling and analysis of the conflict that is Irag can be told more fully later.
The reading is excellent.
The first half of this book is excellent; the stories lucid and the audio quality pleasing. The second half suffers from fragmentation of the material and a distinct departure of editorial control; however, the quality doesn't fall to 'unlistenable'. Pick up this audiobook if you are looking for the immediacy of we-were-there reportage.
I enjoyed this book and its gripping account of the battle for Fallujah. I would have liked, however, for the author to have spent a little more time placing the operations and tactics of these soldiers within the bigger picture of the strategy for the battle. I also had a difficult time fully differentiating between the people in the story.
All that said, it was a very interesting book and a good portrayal of the close quarters, hand-to-hand urban combat that went on in Iraq for the first time since Vietnam.
Simply a great book.
Even if the reader is not a former Marine or military veteran, the book is written in such a fashion to take both the initiated and uninitiated into the heart of each scene.
It is obvious the author came to be one of the men - or as close as an outsider could - giving the book both the validity of a first person account as well as his view as a first rate historian.
It was told by the young men that live it in their own words and feelings!
They made you Feel the Hurt or War and the Loss of Your Buddies!
All of them touch me in some way or another!
Anytime they entered another House to clear out the Scum that waited to ambush them!
It is a MUST READ for any American Who Thinks They Know Anything about Iraq!
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