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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 (230 )
5 star
 (102)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.5 (145 )
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Story
4.2 (141 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeffery martinez, GA, USA 01-27-09
    Jeffery martinez, GA, USA 01-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    8
    4
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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......

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron san antonio, TX, USA 06-06-09
    Aaron san antonio, TX, USA 06-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    110
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    2
    2
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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.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Call 03-01-14
    M. Call 03-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    36
    4
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    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    20
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    DS 11-23-12
    DS 11-23-12 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    251
    ratings
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    692
    149
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    20
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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.

    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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    scott 05-10-15
    scott 05-10-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Story angered me."

    Performance was good. The order of events, with multiple timelines injected to give the total picture, is challenging for a listener to put together. Reads like an after-action report, with limited emotional insights and back stories the writer uses to engratiate the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glen 04-18-15
    Glen 04-18-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    14
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    Story
    "Worthy story, terrible naration."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Roberts Ridge to be better than the print version?

    I would rather read this book then listen to it. The narrator was terrible.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His attempt at changing his voice with different characters was lack luster.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story of some brave men who fought and died. Gives you a glimpse into the horror that can go wrong in a mission.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    White Choclate 04-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Exhilarating"

    Loved it! Author does and excellent job of keeping you interested! Dynamic storyline that keeps you coming back for more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Evansville, IN, United States 03-29-15
    Randall Evansville, IN, United States 03-29-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "the futility and stupidity of war"
    What made the experience of listening to Roberts Ridge the most enjoyable?

    It detailed all the mistakes in this mission, from the decision to do it, the advanced planning and the decisions made during it.


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

    The failure to land a helicopter on the mesa that lead to Robert's death was immediately followed by a second helicopter being sent to rescue the already dead Roberts, it being shot down and more soldiers dying.


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

    Not necessarily.


    Any additional comments?

    This book managed to tell the story of heroic actions by soldiers and at the same time point out the stupidity of war and the ineptitude of the war machine and the politics involved.

    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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