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Roberts Ridge: A True Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan | [Malcolm MacPherson]

Roberts Ridge: A True Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan

For the U.S. Navy's elite team of SEALs, the mission seemed straightforward enough: to take control of a towering, 10,240-foot mountain peak called Takur Ghar, a key post in their plan to smash Taliban al Qaeda in eastern Afghanistan.
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Publisher's Summary

For the U.S. Navy's elite team of SEALs, the mission seemed straightforward enough: to take control of a towering, 10,240-foot mountain peak called Takur Ghar, a key post in their plan to smash Taliban al Qaeda in eastern Afghanistan. But the enemy was waiting, and when the Special Forces chopper was shredded by enemy fire, a red-haired SEAL named Neil Roberts was thrown from the aircraft. Roberts's fellow SEALs were determined to bring him out - no matter what the cost.

This harrowing true account based on stunning eyewitness testimony and painstaking research captures in dramatic detail the 17-hour battle fought by a few dozen warriors against near impossible odds to save one of their own.

©2005 Malcolm MacPherson; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Well told and frightening as well as true, this is a book that bridges the breach between the increasingly professional American military and a civilian culture possessing little knowledge or experience of the military." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (186 )
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4.2 (103 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeffery martinez, GA, USA 01-27-09
    Jeffery martinez, GA, USA 01-27-09
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    "It's an Account....."

    This story is simply an accounting of events that when assembled offer a good perspective on the prominent aspects of a recent conflict. The last half hour is a good summary of the total span of the events. Do not go into this story thinking that your going to get something other than a cold hard retelling from several perspectives of how the event took place. The author likely made use of interviews that were already conducted by a War College investigator. In the end it is a first rate accounting, complete with a human perspective of the soldiers. It most certainly was presented in a balanced manner. When the same mistake is repeated, even in a combat situation, there is no way to sugar-coat the reality. But, as it is clearly mentioned, this is part of the essence of combat....chance circumstances and/or the "fog" of war. I find that with war stories, because the subject can be infused with emotional perspectives, many reviewers let this color their reading of the story, and misinterpret the story. This story is clearly as reliable as combat accounting can get. Take it for what it is, and enjoy it. Otherwise......

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron san antonio, TX, USA 06-06-09
    Aaron san antonio, TX, USA 06-06-09
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    "Excellent audiobook, horrid narration"

    From someone who IS military (not someone who has "read a lot" about the military) this book was exceptional. It was hard to hear in a way, because from a hindsight perspective there were so many things that went wrong (which is what "After Action Reviews" are for), it IS tough to believe it all happened. The book separates perspectives, which I could see where someone would find that confusing from a book/story standpoint, but that separation does an exceptional job of portraying what actually happens on the real battlefield. Incomplete and missing information, poor/missing communication, and snap decisions are a part of the real battlefield. There is an element of time included in the book, which in my opinion, is invaluable to portray how quickly things can happen & go wrong (even with preparation). The personal stories of the individuals involved added a nice aspect to the book, and were honorable...but were bastardized by the narrator's decision to attempt bad accents. I would include it on a "must read" list for all in the service as well as anyone interested, not just from the fact that it is a courageous story, but by far more important, a much better depiction of how a real battlefield dynamic can develop (and unravel). I would recommend it to any/all the overly judgmental "sideline sitters" and intellectuals who like think they can criticize our military for any "on the ground" decision...but they won't read it. It does not portray our soldiers in a disrespectful manner, and at no time did I feel attacked/insulted during the book.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Call 03-01-14
    M. Call 03-01-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I am not often critical but..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Joe Barrett’s performances?

    Yes, if he promised to just read the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not often critical of books and narrators and I realize that it was probably not Joe Barrett's idea to try the accents, but they were bad. After a few chapters I found myself thinking I wish I was reading this book and not listening. The sad part is that it is a very well done book, and the bad performance by the narrator is bringing the book down. If you can get past the bad accents by the narrator it is worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AJ 09-28-13
    AJ 09-28-13
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    "Good Story, Awful Performance by Reader"

    This book chronicles a harrowing 17 hour event on a remote Afghan hilltop. Unfortunately, the reader's performance was dreadful. His attempt at various accents throughout the book was awful and quite distracting. Another performance tragedy was awkward pronunciation of common military terms. This is one of the rare selections that does not benefit from the audiobook format and would be best left as a traditional paper book. I feel somewhat guilty leaving such a harsh review considering the event and men this book is based upon, but the reading performance made listening to the entire book a disappointing chore.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States 11-18-12
    Charles LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States 11-18-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Roberts Ridge."

    This is a great Book. I would recommend it to anyone. I love true stories and this is a great one. This tells you how things can go terribly wrong in a short period of time and how men pull together to survive those times. It is a must Book to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 11-05-14
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 11-05-14 Member Since 2010

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Leave No One Behind"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Roberts Ridge to be better than the print version?

    The audio edition of Roberts Ridge was okay. I've never read, Roberts Ridge, before. Therefore, I can't provide a creditable answer.

    The narrator, Joe Barrett, wasn't the easiest narrator to listen to. I can't say that he was a monotone but was close to being one. He pronounced the words clearly but if his voice had had more emotion, the listen would have been much better. His voice didn't vary too much, he just plodded along.

    The narrator can make or break a book. They are important to audible customers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The head of the recon mission, member of SEAL Team Six, code name, Slab. His determination, energy, caring, a don't quit attitude, his ability to shelve his fear, his code of honor; Leave No Man Behind and his leadership skills, served him well and what the other men needed, in order to successfully gain the acquistion of Takur Ghar Mountain. Slab did not have control over the men, all of the soldier's were able to voice an opinion, whereby an action could be done.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, the narration made the listen difficult but the true story and 17 hour fight, kept me coming back.


    Any additional comments?

    Listening and learning about the mission, Anaconda, was something new that I now know about the war in Afghanistan. This genre of book has never been a favorite of mine, except in the last year and continues. I do listen to other kinds of books because I do enjoy listening to different genres and I need a break from the intensity of such books, especially the true accounts.

    The courage that our warrior's give, to keep America safe, is astonishing to me. I thank them everyday for believing that their country needs and depends on them for our freedom.

    This story did keep me on the edge of my seat during the battle that ensued. Excitement when the Taliban al Queda would be made to withdraw during the fight.

    Knowing that our troops have the ability to call in air support, when required and most of the time getting what they need. The Battle of Anaconda was one of those times.

    I would encourage others to purchase the book but only if your interests like listening to this type of book. Listen before buying or buy and listen to it.Then, if you want to return it, no problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DS 11-23-12
    DS 11-23-12 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

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    "FOG OF WAR"

    This book, with a brilliant combination of writing and reading, conveyed (to me at least) the fog of war and confusion of battle more vividly than I've ever experienced before. So compelling, I listened to the whole thing in 2 days (a long plane and car journey helped) not bad for a 24 hour book. I ended up proud of our guys, our military capability, and out determination to leave no one behind. But also hoping we can figure out better communication devices in the near future. A great read (listen) that I heartily recommend to anyone with the stomach for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Caboolture, Australia 10-18-12
    Glenn Caboolture, Australia 10-18-12 Member Since 2011
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    "The Best Account of a Tragic Episode of Operation"
    What made the experience of listening to Roberts Ridge the most enjoyable?

    It is expertly researched and narrated skillfully


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Roberts Ridge?

    The sequence of events when the crew of the downed helicopter try to get out of the wreck under heavy enemy fire.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to another of Joe Barrett's performances. His skillful reading of this book guarantees that I will be listening to him again


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Roberts Ridge, Tragedy and Triumph in the War on Terror


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damien Sunnybank Hills, Australia 08-16-12
    Damien Sunnybank Hills, Australia 08-16-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A new fact every listen"
    Where does Roberts Ridge rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Over a year after purchase....I still come back to this book. A very powerful and unnerving account of what it means to be on the front line and a member of the elite in war. A very fast paced account of just what can go wrong at the highest levels when needing support when you are an elite unit sent out to do what you see as your duty. For the members involved and their families, this is a very human story. A story of guys that wanted to be the best , achieved that , sometimes at great personal cost, at other times at soaring personal achievement and then found when it came to "brass tacks" that they are let down. Flaws in the technology that they depend on to work and personal hubris of command, ultimately lead to an absolute disaster that should never have been. For men that don't comprehend the meaning of "give up" or "leave them behind" , this was their ultimate challenge. One they chose to respond to with what they had at hand. On a small mountain top in the middle of nowhere. They made their mark at great cost.


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The human touch of this is jarring


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Monty 06-09-12
    M. Monty 06-09-12 Member Since 2011

    MaxM Technology

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    "Another Great American Hero(s) Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Roberts Ridge to be better than the print version?

    Audio: its easier for me to finish audio editions of books.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Roberts Ridge?

    The account of the fist helo going down and how the medics worked on the wounded despite the incoming rounds of 7.62 and RPGs.


    Have you listened to any of Joe Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The account of how the one of the teams fought the physical climb up the side of a mountain before encountering resistance from the enemy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Stephen
    London, United Kingdom
    10/14/10
    Overall
    "Riveting Read"

    'Robert's Ridge' is an absolutely gripping read. The structure of the book is broken down into sections within chapters with each section describing the same events as seen through the eyes of each member of the rescue teams during events covered in the chapter. This is not confusing and instead has the effect of brilliantly describing the often fast paced events during combat that make this book a real nail-biter which you won't want to put down.

    'Robert's Ridge' offers some of the best writing I've seen and suits the subject matter perfectly. If this wasn't a true story, you'd think you were reading a Tom Clancy novel! The writing also offers depth in telling the reader something of the personal histories of many of the more major characters with often touching and sometimes poignant stories about who they are. Thus, the reader is introduced to the essence of many of the people involved which serves to strengthen the powerful narrative.

    Suffice to say that this title will leave you amazed at its vivid depiction of fast-paced life and death events that occurred atop this distant mountain peak in Afghanistan.

    Top listen, get it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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