• Survivor

  • Life in the SAS
  • By: Mark Wales
  • Narrated by: Mark Wales
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Survivor  By  cover art

Survivor

By: Mark Wales
Narrated by: Mark Wales
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Publisher's Summary

Forging resilience

Finding purpose

Mastering transformation

How do you rebuild your life when you've hit rock bottom?

Mark Wales thought his life would end in a cornfield in Afghanistan.

Mark and his SAS troops emerged from that scorched battlefield 12 hours later, his mentor gunned down, his dream career now a nightmare. Over four deployments of intense warfighting, Mark watched the line between right and wrong become blurred. When he left the SAS he was adrift, crippled by guilt. 

On a mission to rebuild himself, Mark turned his life around. He fought his way into the gates of a US Ivy League business school and into the boardrooms of top-tier international corporations. He spent years navigating failure in a quest to find new meaning in life. With every setback Mark counterattacked, discovering the tactics and tools needed to become more resilient, and to find happiness, belonging and purpose.

Told with gripping suspense, humour and touching warmth, Survivor is Mark's extraordinary life in and out of the SAS, a story of resilience and a testament to the power of transformation.

©2021 Mark Wales (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"A powerful, honest story of courage, redemption and finding purpose." (Bear Grylls)

"Searing, humbling and uplifting.... Mark Wales is a true inspiration." (Major General John Cantwell AO, DSC)

"In Special Forces it is often said the thinking is at least as important as the fighting. Through these pages, Mark Wales is shown as a thinking soldier. And further, a person of magnificent generosity, taking us to rarely trespassed ground, the battlefield within." (Chris Masters, Gold Walkley award-winning journalist and author)

What listeners say about Survivor

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Awesome book

Great audio version. Inspiring, brutal and honest account of the SASR. Loved it and listened to it in 2 days. Highly recommended

2 people found this helpful

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Best book I’ve come across in the last few years!

A POWERFUL yarn. Honest, emotional, and captivating. The chapters on Mark’s time in Afghanistan are some of the most insightful on war generally, and the Afghanistan war specifically. Recommending to all my friends.

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Great listen, hard to put down

I've never watched Survivor, or read many war books or heard of Mark Wales, so I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. But this is a really interesting, informative, and at times emotional story. Mark comes across as a tough, vulnerable, honest, funny, beautiful human being. It's a book you don't want to put down. The intonation on the narration is a little flat but it's still good to have it read in the author's voice and it feels authentic.
A few minor negative observations: there's a sort of recurring theme of wanting to do something, trying, failing, failing some more, finally getting better, then succeeding. After a while it feels a bit like rinse and repeat on the same story arc/trajectory. Also the language and editing is at times unnecessarily flowery and over the top. Eg I can't remember the context in the book but do men (soldiers anyway) really describe a woman as 'eschewing makeup'? And the chapters on the fashion business feel a little jarring and uncomfortably like a marketing strategy inserted into the book.
Those criticisms aside, it's a great read and what stands out is how lucky we are to have such courageous, committed, decent people in our armed forces. All Australians should be very proud of soldiers like Mark and forever grateful for their sense of duty. Thanks for your service mate.

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From the Heart

What an amazing story, I almost cringe at calling it a story… it’s masterful writing, true “show don’t tell.”
The interspersed dry Aussie humor along with gut wrenching vulnerability by the author almost demands that this go straight to the big screen, Mark’s already shown that he can act! This would and should translate to the silver screen.
The way that he exposes his weakness rather than exploiting his obvious strengths is pure balance.
I love this book, this should be in schools across the globe, it’s hard hitting truth telling that had me laughing,crying and hoping for the outcome he eventually found.
Outstanding memoir Mark, you and everyone associated with this should be justifiably proud.
Hafts admit I was shocked by the 14 year old escapade had me pissing my pants!
Well done…

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Powerful, Raw and Thrilling

An honest, vulnerable and powerful memoir. A great listen from start to finish. Well done Mark!

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Great Read

Moving, motivational, inspiring. I needed this book at this time, in this place. thank you

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  • Gary
  • 03-23-22

Great book - worth a listen

A really enjoyable book that excels because of the honesty shared by the author in telling his story. The fact that Mark himself does the voicing really adds to the overall experience. This isn't a book full of 'hero stories' from the movies, it is a book that describes the reality of war and the trauma that then follows/haunts many servicemen after the conflict is over. What makes this book really worth your time though is the reflection that Mark shares as he goes through the major shifts and pivots in his life, sharing the lessons that many listeners will find relevant and useful to them.

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  • Dean
  • 07-06-21

Great book

Great book and really interesting story, his voice is flat and monotone. Other than that I really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-23-22

Great listen !

Unbelievable story. Great addition that it's Mark narrating. Highly recommend this audio book !

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  • Mrs S H
  • 04-29-22

just buy it!

A roller coaster of a book, if you don't laugh out loud and hold back tears there's something wrong with you!
The best book I've listened to.

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  • Dave G
  • 01-22-22

from the heart

A Honest True Story of the life of a Soldier and the effects it has on you your family your friends your brothers in green......

Mark Wales your book and honestly brother spot on..........

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  • Bryn Thomas
  • 09-27-21

GREAT LISTEN

Heart felt warmth in the context of this audible. Such an honest account of his battles in combat, and following his time in the military.
Just loved the way the Aussies say the the “C” word, used a few times in this recording. Loved it.

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  • MATT HUNT
  • 06-26-21

Outstanding listen

Outstanding listen, from start to finish. A very accessible and humbling account. Totally recommended this.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-21

excellent, compelling and deeply personal story

Well written and narrated. One hell of a life story, inspiring and thought provoking

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  • Peter Fletcher
  • 07-19-21

Just Brilliant

Survivor is a story told with clarity and purpose. At first I thought it would be just another book about the tough, unrelenting life inside the SASR.

But it soon became very apparent this was not going to be the case.

Instead, I was taken on a journey of personal self-discovery where the author experiences the essential emptiness of life but finds, through confronting the traumas of war, a sense of purpose that gives suffering context and meaning.

This is a must read for anyone who’s struggling at a career cross road and particularly useful for those who doubt their ability to step off the treadmill of an established, promising career.

Well done, Mark. Thanks.

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  • Brad
  • 10-18-22

what the fuck

best book I've read and I've taken so much away from this book to help me in my journey to becoming a better dad, husband and man. thank u Mark for sharing your story. truly inspirational

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  • fran Walker
  • 09-08-22

No expression

Boring reader no expression. The content should have had the reader on the edge, instead had to keep rewinding to listen again as it all droned on in the background

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  • Philip Halton
  • 08-09-22

Awesome listen

I really appreciate and enjoyed this book written my Mark it has inspired me to follow my heart and dreams.
I am writing a book and hope one day someone listens to my story.

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  • jessica
  • 08-05-22

More than a Survivor

This story is riveting from the beginning. Read in an engaging manner it covers a great amount of detail. As a civilian I gained insight into political matters am embarrassed to admit I do not know enough about without being disengaged by too much detail. Mark has an enviable way of articulating observations he makes and humbly and humorously discloses his mistakes. A brilliant read for anyone with military interest, a love of people, an appreciation for well written material and/or anyone who simply appreciates a great book.

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  • Benjamin Quelch
  • 07-24-22

Great Story- Honest and Real.

Mark told his life story honestly, with passion and energy to inspire us all to have a go. Well done mate.
Legend.

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  • Luke
  • 06-08-22

Insightful, honest, and enjoyable

This audiobook is a must read for anyone interested in knowing not only what it takes to become a special forces soldier, but also the skills and mental fortitude required to live that life and life beyond. Mark’s bares his soul in this book and you can really appreciate the highs and lows he’s experienced. By listening to him tell his story on this audiobook, the whole thing feels more authentic. Nice work, Mark and all those involved

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  • Gideon Joubert
  • 02-27-22

Brutally honest

I struggle with rating the performance as it is very monotone, however it certainly adds credibility to a very honest and truely inspiring story.

Listening to this story, it is clear elite soldiers are not super human, just extremely focused individuals with great resolve.

Eat healthy, exercise and rest - simple, but few of us do!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-22

What a life!

Loved it so much, it was fascinating and real. Thanks for sharing your unbelievably life story Mark!

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  • Mary
  • 02-12-22

Great listen

I have listened to just about every book in this genre. Survivor is better than all of them. Mark is honest, funny and genuinely self-deprecating. His journey through life is fascinting. His intelligence widens the scope of the book and our understanding.