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Publisher's Summary

A gripping first-person account by the sole survivor of Arizona's disastrous 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, which took the lives of 19 "hotshots" - firefighters trained specifically to battle wildfires.

Brendan McDonough was on the verge of becoming a hopeless, inveterate heroin addict when, for the sake of his young daughter, he decided to turn his life around. He enlisted in the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona. Their leader, Eric Marsh, was in a desperate crunch after four hotshots left the unit, and, perhaps seeing a glimmer of promise in the skinny would-be recruit, he took a chance on the unlikely McDonough, and the chance paid off. Despite the crew's skepticism, and thanks in large part to Marsh's firm but loving encouragement, McDonough unlocked a latent drive and dedication, going on to successfully battle a number of blazes and eventually win the confidence of the men he came to call his brothers.

Then, on June 30, 2013, while McDonough - "Donut", as he'd been dubbed by his team - served as lookout, they confronted a freak 3,000-degree inferno in nearby Yarnell, Arizona. The relentless firestorm ultimately trapped his hotshot brothers, tragically killing all 19 of them within minutes. Nationwide, it was the greatest loss of firefighter lives since the 9/11 attacks.

My Lost Brothers is a gripping memoir that traces McDonough's story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs and finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very men who had saved him. A harrowing and redemptive story of resilience in the face of tragedy, My Lost Brothers is also a powerful reminder of the heroism of the people who put themselves in harm's way to protect us every day.

©2016 Brendan McDonough (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"This is a new breed of war story, of the citizen soldiers who stand between life and death, the forest and the fire. Through burnt moonscapes, in air choked with ash, they face flames as tall as towers and say, 'You shall not pass.' Powerful and lasting, this is a story of men who gave their all." (Adam Makos, New York Times best-selling author of A Higher Call)
"My Lost Brothers is a harrowing story of heroism in the face of natural disaster. It perfectly illustrates the kind of teamwork and camaraderie that informed the legendary squad of hotshots working to save - in this case - their hometown from utter destruction by fire. As perhaps the least likely guy ever to become a hotshot, Brendan McDonough more than lives up to his role after having been taken underwing by Granite Mountain leader Eric Marsh. That he has been able to keep on even keel as the Yarnell Hill Fire's lone survivor, having lost his mentor and his best friends, speaks volumes about his character and is a lasting testimony to the strength of his lost brothers." (Ed Viesturs, best-selling author of The Mountain: My Time on Everest)
"For an East Coast guy like me this book was a real education in wildfires, and the last few chapters were a terrifying lesson in how they can do the unpredictable. I was left with nothing but admiration for the Granite Mountain hotshot crew who put their lives on the line to protect the town of Yarnell." (Michael Tougias, New York Times best-selling coauthor of The Finest Hours and So Close to Home)

What members say

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Thank you Brendan

As a fire chaplain who has had the opportunity to work with wild land firefighters, and occasionally with their families, "My Lost Brothers" helped me better understand their culture and mindset... I appreciate that.
This book should also give a sense of hope to those whose lives are aimless, yet yearn for something better.
Thank you Brendan McDonough, God bless you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must read

This book is a must read. Amazing wonderful encouraging are just a couple of the words that come to mind after reading this book what an amazing talented young man we wish you all the best

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great listen.!

well written, and great audio. God bless our forest firefighters!! have a cousin who is 1

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I highly recommend this book.

This is an amazing book and gives details about those brave men that were lost. What a tragic event but I wish Brendan the best.

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Pretty good

Being a firefighter myself, this was a must read. The language and “code” is pretty spot on. Story was pretty well laid out and had a even flow. Whether you have fire experience or not, the story does a good job of educating you. Good read.

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Disappointing Auto Biography

Poorly written account of wild land fire fighting. Expecting more detail of work on fires and account of the Yarnell Fire, it was a disappointment. It's an auto biography which was not what I expected.

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Tarnel Hill Fire

I heard about this from my son, who went to college in Prescott. While not knowing much about this event, I thought it did a wonderful job of teaching you about the Hot Shot training and culture, as well as the events of the actual Yarnel Hill Fire.

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Deeply touched.

A heroic novel of a heroic event.
Everyone needs to read this book.
Put it in the schools for our teens to read.
I am forever grateful for these men, but also for Brendan - to have the courage to continue on to tell his story and their story and inspire us all tone better human beings. Thank you for renewing my Spirit.

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Proper Pronunciation

Living in Prescott most of my life, this story really sank in and meant something to me. The only problem I had was when the reader did not pronounce the names to the towns or county's. That makes me cringe every time

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My Lost Brothers

Truly an amazing and beautiful book. They whay McDonough explains everything in vivid details made one feel they were right there. At times I felt like I was taking a class about forest fires because of his in-depth knowledge of the tools, weather conditions, and history of the Hot Shots. Very good listen.