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Publisher's Summary

The 1989 Ironman World Championship was the greatest race ever in endurance sports. In a spectacular duel that became known as the Iron War, the world's two strongest athletes raced side by side at world-record pace for a grueling 139 miles.

Driven by one of the fiercest rivalries in triathlon, Dave Scott and Mark Allen raced shoulder to shoulder through Ironman’s 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race, and 26.2-mile marathon. After 8 punishing hours, both men would demolish the previous record - and cross the finish line a mere 58 seconds apart.

In his new book, Iron War, sports journalist Matt Fitzgerald writes a riveting epic about how Allen and Scott drove themselves and each other through the most awe-inspiring race in sports history. Iron War goes beyond the pulse-pounding race story to offer a fascinating exploration of the lives of the world’s two toughest men and their unquenchable desire to succeed.

Weaving an examination of mental resolve into a gripping tale of athletic adventure, Iron War is a soaring narrative of two champions and the paths that led to their stunning final showdown.

©2011 Matt Fitzgerald (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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  • Gabriel
  • LAS VEGAS, NV, United States
  • 01-15-14

Fine Story....But the Narration!!!!

I had no problems with the substance and story of the book. Although I think my being an active age group triathlete helps to make the book more interesting than it would be to someone who has never been kicked in the face during an open water swim! The two protagonists are interesting people and their achievements, which are related in the book, are phenomenal.

On the other hand, the narration is just off. One of the worst of any audiobook I have listened to in 20 years (including back in the audio cassette days). The best way I can describe the narration is that it seemed like the book was narrated by Cruella DeVille. Seriously, listen for yourself.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • State Road, NC, United States
  • 06-01-13

Good Story - HORRIBLE naration

I just couldn't get past the over the top narration lacking any flow or rhythm.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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this book was as painful as a double ironman

Would you try another book from Matt Fitzgerald and/or Seth Michael Donsky?

absolutely not

Would you ever listen to anything by Matt Fitzgerald again?

absolutely not

What didn’t you like about Seth Michael Donsky’s performance?

Donsky's narration was grating in voice quality, but worse, he used the wrong intonations with the words he was reading. that said, he could only read the really poor writing.

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

the general story of Scott and Allen was good, the extra garbage about who was thinking what when you couldn't know, failing to acknowledge that Allen would have received several penalties on the iron war day had all the stuff from the story been true, blaming the fathers for everything, it was too much, poor, poor trod upon typical America cry baby stuff throughout the book.

Any additional comments?

Mark Allen's divorce was acceptable because Allen was a peyote smoking mystic, but Allen was a terrible father ergo the divorce because he made his kid ride a bike while he ran? Mark Allen's father was a terrible father because he worked all the time to get through medical school, then after the divorce, his father was a terrible father because he called him every week and expected him to go to college which somehow equaled too controlling, then when Mark was doing tri, his father was there to support him at races and that was wrong too. Let's face it, regardless of what his father did, he would have been demonized to support the author's hypothesis that people really good at triathlon had bad fathers. Every body can find something to claim their father was terrible, sad that this had to be the overriding theme of this book when in fact, but for his father's money and financial support, Mark Allen would not have been doing triathlons rather than working those first years.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Narrator is annoying!

The book is pretty good and entertaining. But the narrator's over pronunciation of every word was a distraction from the content.

The history of the 2 athletes and Ironman in generals was very interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story, difficult to listen to the narrator

I have the hard copy version of the book. Bought the audiobook to listen to in my car and when biking/running. Narrator is difficult to listen to. Way over the top. Would have preferred a more conversational narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story...tough to listen to.

Truly a great story... A must read for the budding triathlete or the nostalgic IRONMAN...one point though, the narration is tough to get into. Nothing against Seth Michael Donsky, but I don't think his narration style was the best for this book. My first impression was that he wasn't an athlete and couldn't connect with the essence of story. After a couple if tries to listen, I finally increased the speed to 1.5x...that helped pick up the pace and make it tolerable/enjoyable. It's worth listen. Great story!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Worst Narration Ever

Would you try another book from Matt Fitzgerald and/or Seth Michael Donsky?

I simply can't listen to Seth Michael Donsky. If the subject matter were not so interesting to me, I would have stopped immediately. I can only listen to short pieces at a time. Matt Fitzgerald tries to hard to use metaphors to create understanding.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He has the worst enunciation and over the top breathing, and his style exacerbates the overdone metaphor hyperbole. It's hilarious at times, but mostly, it's just unbearable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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fantastic story makes up for poor reading

Really enjoyed the story. the narrator over enunciated everything, but the content was so good I was able to get over it.

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awsome

Matt Fitzgerald is one of the best descriptive well researched authors I loved every every second of it.
well read as well ..intense

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Really enjoyed the story, but not the narrator

Would have preferred the author as the narrator like in his book How Bad do You Want It.

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  • Matthew
  • 01-07-15

Great story, narrator is a turd

What did you like most about Iron War?

Excellent and in depth biographies of Dave and Mark, to give a clear lead up to the story of the race. Good and well timed additions of scientific research at the right places regarding running types, endurance science, sports psychology. Really well written words.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Iron War?

The actual race was gripping and emotionally charged for me, because it was so well lead up to by the preceding biographies. (Also, I'm training for my first Ironman and I listened to it while on my training runnings and cyclings)

What didn’t you like about Seth Michael Donsky’s performance?

This narrator is a total TURD and his performance should be flushed.<br/><br/>He ruined a great book.<br/><br/>Someone told him to record an audiobook and he enunciates EVERY frigging syllable as if his singing teacher will slap him for missing every consonant.<br/><br/>It's sh-- when listening to him talk as a narrative. It's HORRIBLE when listening to him read out the speech bits. Imagine, in the heat of battle, after struggling for hours, if you heard a prissy toad say in perfectly eloquent speech, "I'*m* goin*g* To Bury *Y*ou. You won'T wiNN *T*his *T*ime , *M*ark." [each starred letter is accentuated, each capital letter is spoken loudly, the double letters are drawn out and the pause... oh god, the pauses at the wrong places...]<br/><br/>Really, I work in IT and I've heard computer text-to-speech programs with more emotion during dialog than this loser.<br/><br/>A message for Mr Seth Micheal Dropkick: they have battled side by side for 8 hours. They don't give a sh-- about pronouncing every god-damned T and D. Oh, and pausing between "Iron" and "Man", every time, doesn't add suspense, it just shows how much of a turd you are.<br/><br/>Like I said: the narration ruined a great book.

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

Pumped my fists in the air at their victories. Shouted a "yes" at their challenges. (Yes, I was listening while I was training for my first ironman).<br/><br/>Filled me with rage and nausea listening to the idiot read it like a musical dictation class.

Any additional comments?

Sue the narrator. Use the money to pay a an experienced narrator to read it like a human.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 04-08-13

Fantastic

I really didn't think I'd enjoy a book lasting so long about one race. However this is one of the best books I've listened to in a long time. What amazing athletes!! Interesting to wonder what could have Dave Scott could have produced if Mark Allen hadn't trailed him all day up to the marathon. I'm not taking away from the athletic ability but he didn't do the same work and worked the system better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 10-11-17

A brilliant edge of your seat listen.....

How could someone make a book about two guys racing a triathlon interesting?

Go into the minds of each individual, enable the reader to feel them and all their raw energy and bring to light to dedication and grit needed to perform the extraordinary. Coming at it from two very different approaches by two men who could not be more different, well written and clearly expressed all the way. If this doesn't get you wanting more time to listen to audio books, nothing will.

Brilliant book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-26-17

Dreadful Narration

I was really looking forward to this book and I'm sure it's fantastic but I could not listen to the droning voice of the narrator for one more minute, dreadful

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  • D M Purvis
  • 10-24-16

Great story, great writing, bizarre reading

Would you consider the audio edition of Iron War to be better than the print version?

No. Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons was an interesting choice to read the book. I jest, but only just. The reader's bizarre emphasis on pretty much every. other. word. of the text was initially grating but by the end of the book strangely hypnotic.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Iron War?

As a runner, there are plenty of moments in the final stretch of the running section of the 1989 Iron Man that reminded me of my own struggles. Great to listen to whilst running.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

As noted above, his cadence is... unusual. He has a habit of over-emphasizing words, apparently at random.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too long to listen to in one sitting, but a great accompaniment when out for a long run.

Any additional comments?

A brilliant piece of writing; a shame the narration doesn't match up. I would still recommend this book, on the strength of the writing.

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  • MR ALAN S URQUHART
  • 09-19-16

Enticing book but narration is truly horrific

Would you listen to Iron War again? Why?

No. I would prefer to read the book myself

Would you be willing to try another one of Seth Michael Donsky’s performances?

Absolutely not. He sounds like a crazed robotic man on drugs

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The general in depth look into who can suffer the longest and win and what it means to them.

Any additional comments?

The book is interesting. It goes into a lot of detail about both Mark Allen and Dave Scott and their war on each other. It's a fascinating read. The book delves deeper and beyond the two athletes to other athletes to explain the suffering that each athlete can take and why. The general notion of the book is suffering and if you listen to the book you will have to endure the suffering of listening the author who truly ruins the book. He really is like a crazed robot on drugs. I highly recommend buying a copy of the book to read yourself. Save yourselves, Don't listen.

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  • simon
  • 06-08-15

Great Story.....badly presented!

Terrible writing, like an O level student with a new thesaurus! The narration is truly awful.

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  • PAUL LEONARD
  • 04-19-15

Inspiringly realistic

This book takes you into the darkness and spits you out happy with your desire to experience some of the torture these giants did. A book I will go back to again and again.

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  • Nigel
  • 04-13-15

Great book.

Great story. Well written. Inspiring. As good as Borne to run. May be better. Great for Runners.tri Athlons. Cyclists. And Swimmers alike.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-18-15

Gripping story ruined by flawed narration

What did you like best about Iron War? What did you like least?

It is a gripping story of an epic sporting encounter

Who was your favorite character and why?

Matt Fitzgerald captures the beats and motives of both Dave Scott and Mark Allen.

How could the performance have been better?

Yes. Simply my having any narrator other than Seth Michael Donsky. I crumpled when I heard Seth try to recreate conversations between Julie Moss and Mark Allen. Tragic.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No, because I already have head the audio and built my own visuals of this story

Any additional comments?

Matt Fitzgerald strands together the necessary threads that explain the motivations for these two epic sports men. The audio narration tries to spike the drama that is unnecessary and distracting.

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  • David
  • 09-01-15

great story - terrible reading

great story, but it sounds like the comic book guy from he Simpson reading it :(

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  • Barnacles
  • 04-18-15

great story, average rating

Amazing and inspirational story. as a newcomer to triathlon the tale of this epic battle was new to me and this account is great. The forays into physiology and sports psychology were very interesting and complemented the story. The narrator has an odd manner which at times sounds a bit nuts, but the story more than makes up for this quibble. Highly recommended.