The real stories behind the scenery of America’s national parks.
For 12 years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes.
Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.
In this graphic and yet surprisingly funny account of her and others’ extraordinary careers, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of death, disillusionment, and the loss of a comrade killed while holding that thin green line between protecting the park from the people, the people from the park, and the people from each other. Ranger Confidential is the story behind the scenery of the nation’s crown jewels - Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smokies, Denali. In these iconic landscapes, where nature and humanity constantly collide, scenery can be as cruel as it is redemptive.
©2010 Andrea Lankford (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
‘Ranger Confidential’ is an uncensored look at those who protect America’s National Parks. Well written and poignant, the book is a must read for those who are thinking about working in the national parks, and those starting to learn about the outdoors. However if you’re looking for something that makes you want to grab your back and head out to the trail look somewhere else. Reading the article about this book in ‘Backpacker’ magazine I knew parts were going to be sad and gory but I figured that they would be interspersed with sun antidotes about pranks or fun times in the back country, but I was wrong. While there are some (very few) times where the beauty of the parks shows through, or something goes write, if you were to believe this book the life of a ranger really sucks. The book seems to say that they pretty much go from one search and rescue to another while getting paid like crap, and after a while it makes the author seem to be a bit whiny.
Ms. Motyka's narration is OK. She does a good job with the various characters and male voices, but at times she sounds a bit electronic.
I downloaded this since my Mom and I were going to be driving around the plains and seeing a few of the National Parks. I grew up doing this on the East and West Coasts; I have a lot of respect for the Parks Service and the Rangers because of this. There is no question that they do a difficult and, at times, dangerous job.
That being said:
Julia Motyka should be banned from reading books. Her narration made this book unlistenable.
The forward was the most self congratulating and cringeworthy drivel I have heard in a long time, if not ever. Right up to the horrifying "Hell yeah!". I just shuddered thinking about it again. We were looking for something relatively light to pass the time, not 100 ways to die in the Parks you're about to go visit. Oh, and in case you all didn't know, criminals take vacations too. I'm pretty sure they just call it 'hiding', Andrea.
This may be a great book that picks up once you get past the first few chapters, but Motyka made that option unavailable to us. If you like grating saccharin noise while you drive/walk/whatever, go for it. As for me, I am returning this ASAP.
I'm a retired book editor who likes to grumble about things.
As a longtime backpacker in places such as Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks, I made myself listen to the entire book, although I found it excruciating. The book is a mishmash and overwritten to the point that one almost cannot blame the narrator for her overly dramatic rendition of the narrative. This is the People Magazine version of important issues that have faced the Park Service for years. Books such as Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon and Not without Peril: 150 Years of Misadventure in the White Mountains come at some of these issues more peripherally but perhaps with less high drama. This book is very overwritten.
I was hoping for SOME comic relief after reading the reviews. Instead I got many details about the deaths of people who made horrible decisions in beautiful and dangerous places. There were some happier stories but they were too few and far in between.
Less death and tragedy.
I am not sure and I can't compare.
It was a series of stories that did reveal the dangers of our national parks. I am not sure if it was worth the time listening to that much death and carnage. It may have been, just wasn't the book I was hoping for. This may be more my mistake than the author's fault.
Long drive to get to work and back so i have plenty of time to listen.
A candid look inside the the lives and profession of the NPS and its Rangers.
You can tell the author has true first hand knowledge of the subject. Her details really make the story believable, things only someone who had been there and done that could ever know. I've never been an NPS Ranger but I feel like I've had one as a good friend for a long time and listen to their stories from work.
Yes very much, she really brought the story to life. She was a good pick for this book and Ill be looking for her in the future.
If you get out in the National Parks and want to get an idea about the other side of the Rangers, THIS IS THE BOOK. The NPS officially may not have been thrilled with everything in the book or the truthful perspective in which it was written but if you want to get an inside look at being a Ranger or working in the parks THIS IS THE BOOK.
most of the books I've listen to our self-help business development. I decided to take a break. This is an amazing book I want to reach out to every park ranger and thank them for their selfless non-recognized efforts. I did not realize this book was more about an individual until the end. The stories kept me engaged. I camp, I hike, I backpack I did not realize the potential of some of the dangers that were around me.
Haven't written many reviews, I felt compelled to write this, thank you very much for the book.
As someone curious about a career as a Ranger in the NPS, I was interested to get an insiders perspective. While the stories were fairly bleak, one can see the truth in them being far more important than a happy ending. However, the disjointed timeline and jumping from one place to another was not preferable. The performance aspect has some to be desired as well.
All in all, this is a decent audio book. If one can look past some of its shortcomings, this book is worth a listen.
Captivating, moving, and told with lighthearted reprieves, this book opened my eyes to the seldom revealed and harrowing work of my beloved rangers. We owe them a debt of gratitude and more support.
This book is for those who have a strong stomach, and not for children. Lankford pulls no punches in her memoir of the search and rescue operations, crash recoveries, criminal policing, suicides, and other grim aspects of our Rangers' lives. They deserve so much more than they are given.
You will enjoy the story - IF - you can get past the author's massive ego. There are parts of the book that appear more like a romance (describing male anatomy) longingly. As I've been told (by someone who actually worked with the author - "There's a lot in that book that didn't happen that way." You'll spend a lot of time reading this book and rolling your eyes.
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