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The Men Who Stare at Goats Audiobook

The Men Who Stare at Goats

In 1979, a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US army. Defying all known accepted military practice - and, indeed, the laws of physics - they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror.
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Publisher's Summary

Britain's funniest and most insightful satirist reveals extraordinary military secrets at the core of George W. Bush's War on Terror.

Entertaining and alarming in equal parts, this is a true account of the US military's experimentation with the supernatural.

In 1979, a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US army. Defying all known accepted military practice - and, indeed, the laws of physics - they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror.

©2004 Jon Ronson; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"Simultaneously frightening and hilarious." (The Times)
"Few more earnest investigative journalists would have had the brilliant bloody-mindedness to get what he has got and hardly any would have the wit to present it with as much clarity." (The Observer)
"A hilarious and unsettling book." (Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (803 )
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3.7 (510 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tom A. 11-18-15
    Tom A. 11-18-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Bait and Switch (Humor for Political Diatribe)"
    What would have made The Men Who Stare at Goats better?

    Sticking closer to the announced essence of the book, which is wacky people with wacky ideas doing stupid things.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jon Ronson again?

    No. I felt manipulated.


    What three words best describe Sean Mangan’s voice?

    Mellow, sincere, and polished


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The first two thirds of the book was as promised. It was humorous, indeed sometimes laugh out loud funny, as it went from the virtual "aluminum foil hat" candidates to like thinking screwballs. The connections from one bizarre thinker to another were quite entertaining.,


    Any additional comments?

    Attempts to connect these wack jobs to the criminal military police at Abu Grabe and the siege of the Branch Dividians was clearly the objective of this book from the beginning. It is a shame this author didn't remain true to the professed intent of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 11-12-15
    Suzanne 11-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A movie as well?????????? WTF"

    Even with my imagination and ability to conceptualise - this was way past weird. Stopped half way through because enough was enough

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charlotte christchurch, New Zealand 09-15-15
    charlotte christchurch, New Zealand 09-15-15

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent and Hilarious"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because it is Hilarious!


    What about Sean Mangan’s performance did you like?

    I wish Jon had read it, but as companion piece to the movie it works very well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Ellis Pittsburgh, PA 08-14-15
    A. Ellis Pittsburgh, PA 08-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    Story
    "Narration undercuts the book slightly."

    This is another typical meandering, curious series of investigations by Ronson. I mean that in a good way, as I love his style.

    I only wish it was narrated by the author. His works aren't quite the same without his particular, tentative lilt. Instead this book is read by a very assured sounding American, which undercuts both the occasional Britishisms and the overall bizarre nature of the discoveries.

    Still, his voice is there in the writing and if you can get past the more "traditional" audiobook sound, you're in store for another funny, shocking, and enlightening series of stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. G. Pickering Coral Springs, FL USA 05-24-15
    R. G. Pickering Coral Springs, FL USA 05-24-15 Member Since 2014

    ritapick

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interest Book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Men Who Stare at Goats the most enjoyable?

    The way it was read, I wasn't sure if, in the beginning, he was playing with us or telling us a serious story. In truth, I think it was both, which helped to make it interesting.


    What other book might you compare The Men Who Stare at Goats to and why?

    None


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mrieke 04-29-15
    mrieke 04-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Humorous but disturbing"

    This book covers more than staring at goats. For example, MK Ultra. I thought I was well informed about MK Ultra but Ronson talks to Erik Olson and gets more on his father's death. Narrator is over-dramatic and uses some unusual pronunciations

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. W. Moberg 04-15-15
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    3
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    "Pretty much a waste of time"

    I thought it had possibilities when I started, but kept waiting for a story line to emerge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise 04-14-15
    Elise 04-14-15 Member Since 2012
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    5
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    "Interesting story not very good reader"

    Very fascinating information but hard to keep track of each person in the story because the narrator uses the same tone for everyone. Would recommend having it redone by someone else. Would love it is someone from 60 minutes read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max M 04-08-15
    Max M 04-08-15 Member Since 2011

    MaxM Technology

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing Views of How The Goverment Thinks"

    We expect the government to utilize all aspects of exploring to develop "new" ways to stay ahead of others. This book opens thoughts into areas you may have never expected. Bit, based on what we are given in sci-fi movies, books, and tv; it's not hard to fathom the thought of how possible it really occurred or occurs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret A. Lopez & Jennie C Lopez 03-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Meh, not bad but not great"

    not bad, but freaky knowing there's psychic soilders out in the world. I did enjoy the movie more. he's writing trails off sometimes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Richard
    Worthing, United Kingdom
    7/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not like the film at all"
    What did you like most about The Men Who Stare at Goats?

    The craziness of what was and probably still is going on


    Have you listened to any of Sean Mangan’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    no but this one was very good


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

    could have but don't have the time for that


    Any additional comments?

    This is not like the film at all, this is the writing of the fact finding mission used for the making of the film fiction, very entertaining and good bit of journalism if it is all true...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • ellen
    11/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dull"
    What disappointed you about The Men Who Stare at Goats?

    I expected so much from this book and got so little from it. Just a hotch-potch list of names with random stories tenuously connected with little or no substance to support their validity. Really, don't bother with it!


    What will your next listen be?

    Probably Douglas Adams.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Monotone. Difficult to fathom when one characters "story" had finished and moved onto the next.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Men Who Stare at Goats?

    The entire thing was a waste of time


    Any additional comments?

    I think I've made my point!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    2/2/10
    Overall
    "Apocryphal of conspiracies"

    Ever the sceptic, or is that the optimist, I came to this one thinking that if the left-learning Kevin Spacey and George Clooney are involved then there would be bound to to be something of interest in this one.
    Disappointed to say there is not - no story, no revelations, nothing of information, embarrassment or enlightenment in the context of Iraq and Afghanistan
    There are a couple of strolls up and down various garden paths of retired army personnel, a couple of unsubstantiated urban myth-type recordings of non-bleating goats in unmarked sheds down unclassified roads in de-registered army bases that everyone now denies ever exists....so there you are conclusive evidence that after searching long and hard I?ve come up with concrete evidence that the total amount of this book does not match a sand-castle in consistency or substance.
    In truth, where this book does come alive is in respect of the comparisons that can be drawn between what might have happened (ie: Goats and Hamsters) with what we are starting to discover did (allegedly) happen in respect of the torture and prisoner abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Camp X-Ray Guantanamo Bay.
    The truth really is stranger than non-fiction in this context - and in that context this book is largely a wasted effort...not funny, not well written, not relevant - and, I am left largely suspecting, not accurate in any sense.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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