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Publisher's Summary

At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp. A Pentagon investigation later concluded that there was no reason for Outpost Keating to have been there in the first place.

The Outpost is a tour de force of investigative journalism. Jake Tapper exposes the origins of this tragic and confounding story, exploring the history of the camp and detailing the stories of soldiers heroic and doomed, shadowed by the recklessness of their commanders in Washington, D.C., and a war built on constantly shifting sands.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2012 Jake Tapper (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

good insight into war but scattered and repetitive

This gives you a good idea what life was like in the worst of the Afghanistan war and the various personal and logistical challenges there. It's also about the heros no one really ever hears about. It gave me a much greater appreciation for the complexities of this war, and the men who were thrown into the middle of it. If that's what you are looking for, this is the book for you.

Now for the bad; Keep in mind that this is the story of the base itself, so all the characters are in passing. You begin connecting with the main characters, then they are suddenly replaced. Not everyone dies, but by the end of the book I found myself thinking that this book could be summed up with "This solder was a great person, and then he died. He was replaced by this solder who was a really great person, then he got killed....". But I guess that's the cold, hard truth about war. Good people die daily. But if you are looking for something that reads like a novel, this isn't it.

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  • Jennifer
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 06-13-13

All I can say is "Wow"

First of all, please don't take my 3-star rating as a negative. This was an EXCELLENT book. An incredible and eye-opening view into the life of a soldier as well as the real story of what's going on in Afghanistan. I have much respect for our soldiers, but serious questions about the military leadership. In their defense, there is an ingrained culture where questions aren't asked and top brass is always right. It's very difficult to change that. But, as this book points out, that culture is causing our military and our country hundreds of lives and billions of dollars. Politics have taken over and it's quite frightening. What's even worse is how, after giving their lives to keep us safe, our soldiers are literally dismissed when they come home.

So why the 3 stars? Well for one, this is a long book describing battle after battle. For some it might be slow and boring, for others quite upsetting and for others still it can be exciting and suspenseful. Since we know what happens in the end, you really have to commit to the story. But what you're actually doing is committing to hear the soldiers' stories. If we don't listen to them, who will?

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Buy it Now

Jake Tapper rocks. Good performance. Great telling of a tale that needs to be told. Thanks to those on the sharp end and thanks to Tapper for getting their story out.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • J. Mccloskey
  • Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, United States
  • 06-10-13

Incredibly Vivid Book

What did you love best about The Outpost?

The book drew you in by letting you know who the soldiers were and the made you cry that so many brave and incredible men died for our country.

What other book might you compare The Outpost to and why?

Any Historical war book. First book on Afghanistan that I have heard about.

Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If you could give The Outpost a new subtitle, what would it be?

Heartbreak valley for the Brave Americans of Outpost Keating.

Any additional comments?

If you have loved ones going to Afghanistan I would listen upon their return this will just heighten the worry.

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  • Julia
  • EVANS, GA, United States
  • 05-28-13

Well documented

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, but difficult. This is a book which needs much cross-referencing to fully understand location and military lingo.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The truthfulness of it.

What three words best describe Rob Shapiro’s performance?

Exacting. Concise. Emotionless.

Was The Outpost worth the listening time?

Yes. However, due to the cross-referencing necessary for a full understanding, this book would be more comprehensible if read from the written form, with a map and index of terms readily available.

Any additional comments?

None.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ann
  • auburn, CA, United States
  • 05-16-13

Absolutely Amazing, couldn't stop listening.

What did you like best about this story?

The realistic rendering of the story.Those that have been in an all out firefight will recognize it and those that haven't been, might understand what it's like.

Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

NO, but he's now at the top of my list

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  • Jay
  • Florence, KY, United States
  • 05-13-13

5 Stars Just Ain't Enough

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

Fantastic book - perfect blend of historical detail and 1st person perspective. Performed in a way that conveyed the seriousness of the subject but still brought to life the individual soldiers portrayed. Mostly it's a perfect reason to make sure I thank a veteran.

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  • Charles
  • LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States
  • 05-11-13

The Outpost.

This book is a must read for any one. I was in the military and things like this happen more often than you would think. It is not always the smartest person that makes the decisions.They should have found out who planed to put the outpost in that valley and court marshalled him. to loose all those men for nothing, a lot like Viet Nam. What a waste.

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  • Dennis
  • United States
  • 04-21-13

HEARTBREAKING !

It is so sad to read of such brave young men sent off to fight a senseless war in a senseless place and for so many to lose their life and for what, why? These solders are true hero's who were put in the line of fire on an outpost that served no purpose without the support from the generals who sent them there. The writing is excellent as well is the narration. A must read and more importantly a reminder to honor those who are sent to serve under fire.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

frustrating, sad, hard to follow

Would you try another book from Jake Tapper and/or Rob Shapiro?

yes

Did The Outpost inspire you to do anything?

write my first review

Any additional comments?

The story sheds light on the poor planning of the military. The story is all over the place with way to many characters to follow