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Publisher's Summary

At dawn on March 2, 2002, America's first major battle of the 21st century began. Over 200 soldiers of the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Division flew into Afghanistan's Shah-i-Kotvalley - and into the mouth of a buzz saw. They were about to pay a bloody price for strategic, high-level miscalculations that underestimated the enemy's strength and willingness to fight.

Now, award-winning journalist Sean Naylor, an eyewitness to the battle, details the failures of military intelligence and planning and vividly portrays the astonishing heroism of these young, untested US soldiers. Denied the extra support with which they trained, these troops nevertheless proved their worth in brutal combat and prevented an American military disaster.

©2005 Sean Naylor (P)2007 AudioGO Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ann
  • Mt. Airy, MD United States
  • 11-14-16

50/50

50% story 50% after Action Report. well written and extremely well narrated. this book tells the story of operation Anaconda in a very detail-oriented way. it gives the account of the Warriors on the ground taking fire to the generals far removed and everyone in between, exposing the listener to the complex reality that is Modern Combat. if you're looking for a book purely about firefights this may not be for you but if you want to hear the in depth history behind the battle you will find this book to be fascinating. because this book was written in 2004 new information has become available and I highly recommend reading Pete Blaber; The Mission, The Men, and Me (2008) and Malcolm MacPherson; Roberts Ridge (2005) which fills in the holes on TF 11, AFO, TF Green, and TF blue.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Thorough, well read.

Very detailed. I recommend, prior to listening, a primer with maps of the area and being familiar with the command structure and names of officers at colonel level and higher.

This will allow you to focus on and understand the small unit tactics, team work and events which are truly the most inspirational part of this book.

Jimmy
Manteo, NC

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent history of an important engagement

Really helps the reader understand the early years of Afghanistan. The paradox is that it was both the US Military at its finest and also its worst simultaneously. Naylor is an excellent writer. I enjoyed this as much or more than Relentless Strike, which is also a must read. It would help to have a map while you listen. I did not and still managed to follow the story, but a map would make it better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Probably okay to read, horrible to hear

What disappointed you about Not a Good Day to Die?

Incredibly boring narration/reading. This might be okay to read, though it really needs a lot of editing. Every aspect has to be explored in ridiculous detail as it assumes the reader/listener has no prior knowledge of history, the military or even the distinction between Army and Navy. I'm only in to Chapter 9 and am abandoning the book as not worth the tortuous time to wait and see if it ever gets better.

Would you recommend Not a Good Day to Die to your friends? Why or why not?

No. This book is trying to be everything at once, and succeeds only in being very boring. The writer simply has no ability to tell a story. Instead he substitutes tons of little bits of trivia and name-dropping and detailed explanation of the difference between Army and Navy special operators. There may actually be a pony in this pile somewhere, but I'm not willing to dig through the pile to see if there is.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

No change of pace or tone whether describing a hot insertion or background history, or fuel consumption logistics.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not that I can find. It's much too detailed and scattered for someone that's not already a military history fan. At the same time it goes into details and history bits that assume the reader has no prior knowledge of anything.

Any additional comments?

Good editing and a different narrator cold probably save this, but it's too late now. Sure wish I could preview bits of audio books here the way you can for music on iTunes store.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Right up there with Blaber's Mission, men, and me.

What a tremendous achievement! This book should be studied by war colleges. I enjoyed the narrator.

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Great book on the war in Afghanistan

I am finding that there are a lot of good books being written about the Afghanistan war. People really need to hear these stories to appreciate what our soldiers have been going through, not only fighting the enemy, but also their leadership. The news media has stopped digging for the truth, which they abused in Vietnam, so the American public has the perception that our military leadership is mission driven, and not vying for promotions, at the expense of their men.

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kept me on the edge of my seat

Listened to this as I drove. It kept me awake and rivetted the whole time

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much jumbled information

Jumps around a lot and tries to explain who made what decision and why and how things got so screwed up. Narrative doesn’t help with his methodical monotone narration. Same old story about too many chiefs and not enough Indians. So sad that our boys are let down by their command in every story about this misguided war. Nation building? God be with the families who lost their blessed sons, fathers and brothers. Bring the boys home!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating but a little dry

The first several hours are a little dry but about half way thru it picks up and becomes very good

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Good Story

I was one of Butler's men and this story covered the broad strokes well. It definitely took me back and during the opening chapter I felt like I was back on that CH47 headed into the fight.