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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman, and written using exclusive interviews and information comes the definitive account of the dramatic story that gripped the world: the miracle rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave miles underground for nearly three weeks - a pulse-pounding account by a reporter who was there every step of their journey out.

After a practice in June 2018, a Thai soccer coach took a dozen of his young players to explore a famous but flood-prone cave. It was one of the boys’ birthday, but neither he nor the dozen resurfaced. Worried parents and rescuers flocked to the mouth of a cave that seemed to have swallowed the boys without a trace. Ranging in age from 11 to 16, the boys were all members of the Wild Boars soccer team. When water unexpectedly inundated the cave, blocking their escape, they retreated deeper inside, taking shelter in a side cavern. While the world feared them dead, the 13 young souls survived by licking the condensation off the cave’s walls, meditating, and huddling together for warmth.

In this thrilling account, ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman recounts this amazing story in depth and from every angle, exploring their time in the cave, the failed plans and human mistakes that nearly doomed them, and the daring mission that ultimately saved them. Gutman introduces the elite team of volunteer divers who risked death to execute a plan so risky that its American planners admitted, “for us, success would have meant getting just one boy out alive.” He takes you inside the meetings where life and death decisions were grimly made and describes how these heroes pulled off an improbable rescue under immense pressure, with the boys’ desperate parents and the entire world watching. One of the largest rescues in history was in doubt until the very last moment.

Matt Gutman covered the story intensively, went deep inside the caves himself, and interviewed dozens of rescuers, experts, and eye-witnessed around the world. The result is this pulse-pounding telling that vividly recreates this extraordinary event in all its intensity - and documents the ingenuity and sacrifice it took to succeed.

©2018 Matt Gutman (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Boys in the Cave

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Wanted much more about what happened inside

It would be hard to write a boring book about this unbelievably dramatic rescue, and this does hold your interest. Gutman has done a fair enough job of getting details about the actual rescue, in particular the foreign teams who planned and executed this thing at the risk of their lives. But probably due to the language barrier, we get precious little about what was happening with the Thai Seals, or most importantly, the actual boys in the cave. Far more post-rescue interviews with the Thais involved would have helped immensely. How did those kids pass the days? Hardly anything on this.

2 people found this helpful

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long and drawn out

I really never got into the story. the detail and background on rescuers was not exciting.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping, emotional, heroic telling of this story

I often felt myself taking shallow breaths when listening to the scenes in the cave with the boys or the divers. It was so real and terrifying. It was so well written I could actually see each divers and each boy’s face as I listened.

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  • 12-29-19

Fascinating

The plight of the boys dominated the news. This book provides the perspective of a good reporter after the event subsided from the news. The boys, the rescuers, the support personnel and many officials populate a narrative of international concern, cooperation and generosity.

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Miracle

I was riveted while this was happening and never in a million years thought they would get those boys out. This story is a miracle in every sense of the word. This gives the back story of how they survived, remained calm and sane and how the incredible hero divers, doctors, and everyone else worked to get them out. Even those involved thought they would lose a few...but they didn't and the rest is history. Truly inspiring that humans will risk their own lives in situations like this.

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The real story behind the rescue

This book kept my attention the whole time. It is a factual account the incredible and miraculous rescue of these young men. It gives you so much more fascinating insight to the real challenges of this rescue and why it deserves to be called a miracle. Narration is excellent. Content well written. Enjoyed this throughly.

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Fantastic

I loved this book, very informative and well read.was unable to stop listening. Incredible bravery !!

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good writing, narration not so much

a little excessively long but okay, but the narration was difficult to listen to. Still worth it if it's on sale. The short version they all got out but the rescue was convoluted, involved, political and unnerving. one diver died but all the boys got out. I'd suggest the print version instead.

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The full story

What you thought you knew isn’t even close. Matt Gutman does a fantastic job of telling the behind the scenes of this amazing story. At times I was holding my breath as if I didn’t know the outcome. This story of the divers and their experiences stays with you.

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Truly incredible story.

It is reassuring to know that there are still so many people in this world willing to do whatever it takes to help complete strangers. Don't lose sight of all the good in the midst of all the bad making today's headlines.