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Publisher's Summary

Stirringly evocative, thought provoking, and often jaw dropping, The Operator ranges across SEAL Team Operator Robert O'Neill's awe-inspiring 400-mission career that included his involvement in attempts to rescue "Lone Survivor" Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips and culminated in those famous three shots that dispatched the world's most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

In this book O'Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs' most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O'Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods, not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills - and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he'd trained with and fought beside never made it home.

The Operator describes the nonstop action of O'Neill's deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military's Tier One units, and reveals firsthand details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history.

©2017 Robert O'Neill (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gripping...this story is impossible to put down.... What O'Neill has written is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative." (Doug Stanton, New York Times best-selling author of In Harm's Way and Horse Soldiers)
"O'Neill wrote himself into American history with the three shots he fired into Osama bin Laden...intensely moving and awe-inspiring." (Marcus Luttrell, New York Times best-selling coauthor of Lone Survivor and Service)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hoyt Neal
  • Dallas, TX United States
  • 04-27-17

The Operator

Robert O'Neill is an American hero. He is part of a continuous line of persons who were and are willing to fight those who would kill people to gain undeserved power in this world and a danger to us all. This is a sincere telling of his story. It gives insight into what we should know of the sacrifices of our military hero's. God bless them all.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Complete inside look into the teams and the life story of a great American patriot

I was a tad hesitant to order this book due to my thinking that Navy SEALs should keep their missions Top Secret. However, this book, narrated by the author himself, tells his life story and what led him to be the best at everything.

This book is beautifully written and explains the internal Drive to win at life.

Highly recommended

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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One of the best

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found myself laughing so much during this. The fact that the author is reading it allows him to chuckle at the appropriate moments during his own recounting of funny events amidst serious war stories. I think what is sometimes missed in other SEAL narratives is the sense of humor these guys have and truly absurd situations they find themselves in.

His narration is genuine and you can tell some parts of his story are harder to read than others, for example, when he recounts the death of his friend Neil Roberts. I would not want to hear this story told by anyone but the author himself.

I've listened to just about every SEAL book on Audible and the Operator is potentially my favorite. You will be moved in all the right ways by this story.

Any additional comments?

Thank you Rob for writing this. The sacrifices you and your brothers have made and continue to make may go unappreciated by some, but for the rest, they inspire daily. To use the popular Churchill quote, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

Godspeed you champions.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Larry
  • Port Neches, Texas
  • 04-27-17

The Best

Followed Robert's story through the Fox News Special a year ago and it was incredible..this inspiring book was even better -- The Best I've ever listened to. Robert and his brave warriors are heroes in every sense of the word. Y'all make me proud to be an American.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Better than I thought it would be.

I heard the author on the Buck Sexton show, and decided to give the book a shot. I got the audible version, and it was just like a dude telling a bunch of cool stories, at least three of which were big time news stories.

He refers to seeing a Michael Jordan video, and if you know the story about what made Michael Jordan so great, then you start to see the same foundation, and drive that makes a Rob O'Neill, or any body at his level great.

Rob also says the sniper on his team had more kills than anyone he's ever heard of, which would mean that Chris Kyle isn't the most prolific American sniper of all time, and would this include Simo Hayha, who had over 500 kills at close quarters with a sub machine gun, and over 250 kills with a rifle?

Overall this book was better than I thought it would be, and the Audible version was well worth it. Rob has a down to earth style, that makes you want to root for the guy every step of the way. He's got a lot of funny and cool stories, that are a blast to listen to. The petty jealousy he had to deal with at the end of his career is a shame, and I can't help but think that if circumstances were different, and he was born long ago, and if he were somehow on some secret mission that took out Hitler, then he wouldn't have had to deal with the petty jealousy and grief back then, only convinces me, that this man was sent by God to shoot Bin Laden in the face.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Great

Have read a bunch of books by operators. This stands a hair above the other's by virtue if the author doing the narrating and the impeccable comic timing of the laugh out loud takes on tho vs that intersperse the life and death episodes.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Bravo Zulu

Read by the author! Exquisite. Thank you for your service and your story. Couldn't have been better told than hearing the emotions in the voice of the man who lived this storied life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book

Really great book over all a fantastic story that keeps you interested the whole way through. It took me only a few days to listen to the whole thing. The live these guys live are extreme and the story proves that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Candid stories of a real Navy Seal

This is a very in-depth and interesting account of Navy SEAL operations in some very dangerous territories. I would recommend to anyone interested in how real frogmen operate or interested in the Middle Eastern conflict and challenges.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great book. Highly recommended. Really cool

I really enjoyed the fact that it was read by Rob O'Neil himself. great job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jut
  • 04-28-17

Awesome, once it gets going

To start with it was just another book about BUD/S but bare with it, once past that it's a gripping listen, and O'Neill is great reading it, and often injects great humour into it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • chris
  • 04-06-18

first book i have ever finished.

Really enjoyed this. couldnt stop listening.
Very good details and had me gripped from the beginning. Makes you realise how minor things in your life that annoy you just pointless and dont compare to anything these people go through. Enjoyed the narration some comedy and sad parts to. Thanks for the insights into your life.

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  • john
  • 02-11-18

Remarkable

What made the experience of listening to The Operator the most enjoyable?

A must listen. This is a remarkable story of human endurance, physical and moral courage. As a former soldier, I can relate to the professional jealousy that followed Rob's actions in Pakistan. It's always worth remembering this, a soldier's destiny is often decided by that of a politician. Soldier's just want to do their job, Rob seemed to do his at an exceptional level.

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  • Gareth Martin
  • 02-10-18

A great insight into special forces!

A humorous and honest account of remarkable experiences. A great listen, definitely recommend this story

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  • Schunowho
  • 02-01-18

Great book, well read.

Fascinating insight into the life of the guy who shot Bin Larden. Enjoyed it immensely

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-29-18

Honest and riveting

Very impressive story . Funny and honest throughout offering amazing insight into seal life. Bin Laden was a twat

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-26-18

Absolutely Superb.

An excellent book and brilliantly read by Rob O'Neill. Moments that will make you smile when you realise what these guys get up to and moments that will make you want to cry when you realise what these soldiers sacrafice and the heroes who have been lost. Altogether brilliant and thoroughly engrossing.

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  • Millie
  • 01-16-18

mmm

found the story too drawn out and quite a bit boring, too much of his early life instead of the later, hence did not finish it

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  • Thomas Tobias Dinsen Hove
  • 01-11-18

Narrator is the author which adds so much better!

Loved the fact that Niel Roberts is narrator which just adds so much extra emotion, humor and an additional depth to the story. Feels like hearing the story across the bar from this amazing warrior. Hats off to him, the teams and the families behind them.

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  • Denim76
  • 12-25-17

Great Read

Great read. Many different stories, narrated version was by author which gave a true insight into the emotional journey of this man and his comrades. I would recommend this

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-17

Absolutely Amazing

I loved this book from start to finish. I've never been a big book reader but since I drive a lot, I decided to give audio books a go and this one has hooked me.

I laughed and I cried in this book. O'Neils reading of the book really tops it off. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much without his voice on his words. It's just like a conversation. A 10 hour long, one sided conversation but to be honest, that's not long enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-18

Fantastic Audiobook

Great Depth into a very recent and important event that has changed history. A great insight into the life and work of author. Well worth the listen and very highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-16-18

Motivating

Listened to this whilst driving too and from gym, very informative and inspiring i wish it went for longer

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Obaidullah
  • 04-21-18

Very little Bin Laden and too much Cowboy

I picked this book to read a narrative on the Bin Laden assassination, instead I found myself being fed a lot of SEAL promotional material. I found that the writer glorified war and was religiously intolerant. Many of the lines in the books could be labelled as straight out islamophobic or disrespectful.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-01-18

very interesting

a very thoughtful and insightful book to hear the real story. enjoyed hearing about joining the seals and where it started

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  • jdbeyers
  • 02-01-18

Excellent, gripping story, written by a master

Recommend to anyone who loves action packed, non-fiction stories. The story envelops you and you feel like you are partaking in the gruelling training and the death defying missions. Thank you Robert for sharing your experiences.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-13-17

Aaaaawesome

Really enjoyed this from start to finish. Just what I needed to keep my mind off the exercise in the gym.

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  • Justin
  • 12-09-17

Great read, awesome insight into SEAL life.<br />

Really enjoyed this book. Especially the training, and side mission stories. Didn't buy it for the last 2 chapters which was a bonus, albeit an unbelievable story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-04-17

Fantastic book

Couldn't put it down, felt like I was there with him and very well written.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-21-17

Top Notch

Exciting all the way through. Brilliant work Robert and great narration. Hope it's not the last we hear from you mate..