Level Zero Heroes

The Story of U.S. Marine Special Operations in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (944 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Level Zero Heroes, Michael Golembesky follows the members of U.S. Marine Special Operations Team 8222 on their assignment to the remote and isolated Taliban stronghold known as Bala Murghab as they conduct special operations in an effort to break the Taliban’s grip on the Valley.

What started out as a routine mission changed when two 82nd Airborne Paratroopers tragically drowned in the Bala Murghab River while trying to retrieve vital supplies from an air drop that had gone terribly wrong. In this one moment, the focus and purpose of the friendly forces at Forward Operating Base Todd, where Team 8222 was assigned, was forever altered as a massive clearing operation was initiated to break the Taliban’s stranglehold on the valley and recover the bodies.

From close-quarters firefights in Afghan villages to capturing key terrain from the Taliban in the unforgiving Afghan winter, this intense and personal story depicts the brave actions and sacrifices of MSOT 8222. Listeners will understand the hopelessness of being pinned down under a hail of enemy gunfire and the quake of the earth as a 2000 lb. guided bomb levels a fortified Taliban fighting position. A powerful and moving story of Marine Operators doing what they do best, Level Zero Heroes brings to life the mission of these selected few that fought side-by-side in Afghanistan, in a narrative as action-acked and emotional as anything to emerge from the Special Operations community contribution to the Afghan War.

©2014 Michael Golembesky and John R. Bruning (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointingly hard to listen to

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Somebody who hasn't read much of this genre

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something narrated by Scott Brick

What didn’t you like about Peter Berkrot’s performance?

The "good old boy"is overdone and robs the story of credibility

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Level Zero Heroes?

12 minute prologue, Nevada Desert. I.e. Everything I have read so far

Any additional comments?

It is probably a great story but the narration is a turn off

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Don't bother...

Sadly, the narrators voice acting made this impossible to finish. Just buy the hard copy.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worst narrator ever

This is such a great story but the narrator killed it. Way over acted with his tough guy talk. I had to buy the hard copy since I couldn't listen to this D Bag narrator anymore. This would be five stars if it weren't for him.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't waste your time

This one can be chalked up to another one of those 'written to tell the story of others' when the majority of the book is the author making every attempt to distinguish himself and his actions from the others he claims to be honoring. Not a bad story but be prepared for some cheesy lines and hint of arrogance. Narrator made this almost impossible to finish, he sounds like the narrator from the 300 movie, which is cool for 5 minutes, then gets annoying. Sorry Peter Berkrot, you're probably a great guy but your voice is better served for movie previews not a 9 hour story.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator didnt help

I am sure the story was more exciting and less boring than it seemed. The narrator seemed to sensationalize and put voice inflection that created a dramatic effect where he didn’t have to...as if it was a 1950s sitcom.

Either it was a distraction to the story...or the story itself seemed dull.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator was a bit cheesie

The narrator was a bit cheesie but I've heard worse. I wish we got to know the guys/characters better.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Nothing special.

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

Not really. I was honestly expecting a better depiction of the war from a Marsoc platoon. I found myself drifting off in other thoughts. Didn't keep my interest.

Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Golembesky and John R. Bruning again?

I'm not a fan of the writing style, so probably not.

What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?

His performance was pretty genuine.

Could you see Level Zero Heroes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I'm sure it would make a good movie. The story was just all over the place, it was hard to follow.

Any additional comments?

I was pretty excited to get this book. I was disappointed with the story. It was no "Generation Kill."

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling true story ruined by bad reading

This book offers fantastic insight into the experiences of America’s armed forces and goes deep in what it’s like to be a combat Special Ops Marine. There is some political commentary, but it’s mostly the typical chain-of-command gripes that seem to be a part of every war story throughout history. The level of detail offered on operations and tactics is highly interesting without “giving too much away” in terms of specifics.

Unfortunately, someone decided it’d be a good idea to hire a bad Zapp Brannigan impersonator to read the audiobook. Aside from mispronouncing the names of gear (Mk 19’s should be “Mark 19”, not “em kay 19”), people (ANA aren’t “Anna”) and important places in Marine Corps history (Tarawa somehow becomes tar-AH-wah), the level of over acting and *stank* Berkot uses exceedingly throughout the book gives the narration a super whiney, bitter tinge. I get the impression that Golembesky’s monologue was intended to be much more straight forward and matter of fact like a lot of Marines tend to be, but Berkot ends up sounding like a mall ninja commenting on YouTube.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrating......

Story is great but the narrator is painful to listen to. He try's so hard to sound like a tough military guy and in the process ruins the listening experience.

Just read the book old school style and you'll enjoy it a lot more.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • ED
  • 05-04-16

bombs away

Good story line moved from encounter to encounter, but never really felt engaged with the action.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-18-19

Solid story, reading a bit average

Narrator seemed to lack background knowledge on pronouncing certain acronyms (e.g. A.N.A vs "ANNA"), and is a bit over the top at times, but solid story from the author.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-17

Hard to listen to

Narrator seemed to lack Knowledge of terms used such as A.N.A he used the name Anna instead which was frustrating to listen to. Also seemed over emphasised in parts of the book.


Overall good story just the narrator didn't do it justice

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  • Justin
  • 04-14-17

yup.. ☆☆☆☆☆

going for the sequel now.. DAGGER 22
this book is really nice.. interesting life of a JTAC.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua
  • 07-05-16

a bit short

great e book, a bit short only covered part of his deployment. I understand part two will be released soon, but feel it could have been one book.