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Publisher's Summary

Before he could forge a band of elite warriors ... he had to become one himself.

Brandon Webb's experiences in the world's most elite sniper corps are the stuff of legend. From his grueling years of training in Naval Special Operations to his combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, The Red Circle provides a rare and riveting look at the inner workings of the U.S. military through the eyes of a covert operations specialist.

Yet it is Webb's distinguished second career as a lead instructor for the shadowy "sniper cell" and Course Manager of the Navy SEAL Sniper Program that trained some of America's finest and deadliest warriors - including Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle - that makes his story so compelling. Luttrell credits Webb's training with his own survival during the ill-fated 2005 Operation Redwing in Afghanistan.

Kyle went on to become the U.S. military's top marksman, with more than 150 confirmed kills.

From a candid chronicle of his student days, going through the sniper course himself, to his hair-raising close calls with Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the northern Afghanistan wilderness, to his vivid account of designing new sniper standards and training some of the most accomplished snipers of the 21st century, Webb provides a rare look at the making of the Special Operations warriors who are at the forefront of today's military.

Explosive, revealing, and intelligent, The Red Circle provides a uniquely personal glimpse into one of the most challenging and secretive military training courses in the world.

A portion of proceeds from this book will go towards The Red Circle Charitable Foundation, which helps families of fallen Special Operations Warriors.

About the authors:

Brandon Webb is a former U.S. Navy SEAL; his last assignment with the SEALs was Course Manager for the elite SEAL Sniper Course, where he was instrumental in developing new curricula that trained some of the most accomplished snipers of the 21st century. Webb has received numerous distinguished service awards, including the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Commendation Medal with a "V" for "Valor", for his platoon's deployment to Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks. He is editor for Military.com's blog Kit Up, SOFREP's Editor in Chief, and a frequent national media commentator on snipers and related Special Operations Forces military issues.

John David Mann, who collaborated with Webb in writing The Red Circle, is an award-winning author whose titles include the New York Times best seller Flash Foresight and the international best seller The Go-Giver.

©2012 Brandon Webb (P)2012 Brandon Webb

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lobo11
  • Kissimmee, FL, United States
  • 08-20-12

Excellent story/horrible narrator

What did you love best about The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen?

This story was extremely entertaining. Webb talks about his childhood, selection into the teams, the SEAL sniper program (from a student/ intructor/ program manager perspective), his deployments and life after the Navy. A great autobiography. Of note, the actual author pre-empts every chapter with small interesting dialogues. He also speaks a bit after the ending of the book. This was a welcomed change from normal audio books in which the actual author never speaks.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was horrible. The book is worth suffering through him though. In the beginning of the book he sounds like a movie preview voice-over. Once you get over this, it becomes obvious that he knows nothing about the topic. Be prepared for pronounciations such as "Hell-O" for helo and "Be You Dee Ess" for BUDS. The guy is inept at best but like cow dung smell at a ranch, you get used to him eventually.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

The book was really good. The narrator, Jon Bailey, really detracted from the story. It seems that the audio narration was completed before the company even had rights to it so the author possibly did not have an opportunity to have a say as to the horrible recording.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent story, narration left a lot to be desired.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, although the story is not a rivetting as some others and the narration by the reader was not very good, I still think it is a good story and worth the listen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen?

I enjoyed Brandon Webb's peronal additions/reflections at the beggining of the story, the start of each chapter, and the end of the book.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Jon Bailey?

Not unless there was no other way to get to "read" the story. I would probably read the actual book before listening to him again. Someone should have at least gone over with him the pronunciation of the common military jargon used in the book.

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

No.

Any additional comments?

Proper pronunciation of military jargon is a common error among a lot of the narrators/readers in audio books. It reflects a lack of military service or even knowledge of our military. If you choose not to serve, that's fine, but if you are going to make money off of the backs of those who did by narrating their story at least take a little time to educate yourself on their way of life. It comes across as "I don't care enough to learn how to pronounce "BUD/S". There used to be a work ethic in this country that went something like, "if you are going to do something....take the time and put in the effort to do it right."

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

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

Reading was terrible...great story though

What made the experience of listening to The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen the most enjoyable?

When the reader actually slowed down so I could understand what he was saying.

What other book might you compare The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen to and why?

Unique.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jon Bailey?

John Pruden or Kevin T. Collins

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

Due to Jon Bailey's poor reading...not

Any additional comments?

Don't you guys have anyone there who has been in Military or even understand the Mil. Jargon? Point is even a great story like a Red Circle can be made to sound awful when you have speed train reading it.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Details, Details, and More Details

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

First of all, the author comes across as extremely likeable. The addition of chapter intros in the author's own voice only adds to the experience. Brandon seems like a great guy to have a beer with. What I really loved is that despite the amazing things that Brandon has done in his life, you never get the feeling that this is one of those "Why I'm so great" books. Sure, Brandon tells of his accomplishments and exploits, but it is in kind of an "aw shucks, 'taint nothing sort of way. I also like the detail that Brandon put into the accounts of BUD/S and his other experiences. He never gives away any specific details on operational methods that could compromise security, but he does go into a lot of detail in areas that are not strategically significant, but very interesting to the reader.

What other book might you compare The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen to and why?

I also read "Inside Seal Team Six" by Don Mann. That book was sketchy on details, and really was a "Why I'm So Great" book. Plus, Mann left in all of the redactions made to his book to show us how he knows much more than he can tell us. In the audiobook, these redactions result in a beep. A good author would simply rewrite the book around redactions which Brandon clearly did.

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

This is an inspirational book first and foremost to anyone and secondly to anyone who is interested in the shooting sports. Brandon gives a lot of useful details that lets anyone who wants to follow up to learn more about the topic on their own. Besides being a great story, it is a fantastic starting point for people looking for an inspiration to improve some area of their lives.

Any additional comments?

If you only have time to read one book this year, this is the one. You will take a lot of good information and inspiration away with you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 12-26-15

An Interesting memoir

This memoir is Brandon Webb’s experiences as a Navy SEAL and sniper. He says that he belonged to the most elite sniper corp. in the world. He tells of his grueling years of training in the Navy SEAL’s and the Naval Special Operations. He tells of combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. Later he was the lead instructor in the Navy Seal Sniper Program.

The book is well written and it appears that Webb is very honest and straight forward with his evaluation of himself and others. It is amazing the challenges the Navy SEAL’s put men through in their training. There is lots of interesting information woven into the tales of combat and training along with some humor. I found it extremely annoying to have Webb “talk” about what each chapter contains before the narrator reads the chapter. Between Webb talking before each chapter and the numerous repeating of sentences and information I found myself becoming impatient. The book needed an audio editor to clean up the repeating sentences. The pace is fast and the book is written to keep the reader engaged in the story. The book is 13 hours long. John Bailey does a good job narrating the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I think the training of the seals is facinating. It would be interesting for anyone interested in the military operations, our security, technology, and insight into the determination of a person who persues what could be considered by some to be almost impossible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

there is only one main character

Which character – as performed by Jon Bailey – was your favorite?

Brandon

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

neither

Any additional comments?

no

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

seems to repeat itself

great story, but the audio book repeats itself many times. makes it hard to follow along when say ...a large part of chapter 5 is repeated in chapter 11 word for word! sometimes the repeat happens back to back. not real impressed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, poor performance

This audiobook would have been much better if the narrator had some military experience or had taken the time to learn the military slang and nomenclature. This felt like a one and done performance. Brandon Webb should be very disappointed by this performance of his story. Saying hello for the military term helo is inexcusable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DS
  • 01-28-13

THE FUTURE OF US WARFARE

If you accept the assumption that big land wars are history and the future of warfare involves drones and small, highly trained special ops units then you will love this book. We all know that our SEAL teams are the go-to guys for the most complicated and challenging missions. No offense to Rangers and Green Berets but the news stories recounting the most spectular operations always cite the SEAL team responsible.

Well, this really makes you understand who these guys are and their extraordinary training. We should all be proud of their capabilities and as awestruck as other countries special ops units are of their training.

While the author is not the narrator (I can't imagine why not) he does introduce each chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Edward
  • Hickory, NC, USA
  • 11-05-12

Good story but could have been more succinct

Very interesting story. I listened in bits and pieces over a long drive. I especially liked the science in the book that describes how things work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jirvine57
  • 07-08-13

fantastic real life account, brilliant read

Where does The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best factual book I has listened to so far

What did you like best about this story?

How the book was structured, the author talks for a minute or two before each chapter to set the context and mood.

What does Jon Bailey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

a real feel as to what these guys go through

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

It made me appreciate the level at which these guys have trained at and the sacrifices that they have made

Any additional comments?

If you want a true, real life no bull account of the US Navy Seals, this is the only book for you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 04-16-15

What a story

What a story line. What a man Brandon Webb is and deserves every accolade attached to him for his service

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-21-18

Pursuit of Excellence

Great story and account of real life of these men. This Brotherhood. The Pursuit of Excellence sums it up. Great Narration and i loved how Brandon also explained chapters. One of the Best Books out there. 5 ☆☆☆☆☆

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bradley P
  • 10-19-18

Great in-depth book about everything Navy Seal.

Narrator was good. I liked the fact that Brandon introduced each chapter.
Glad there was techincal info about weapons and meaning of US acronyms. Ex-SA military.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-22-18

An amazing insight

I bought this purely on reviews, to be honest I was sceptical about the book being full of American bravado but I was 100% wrong, it's an amazing, interesting and humbling insight into the life of a person who never gave up and followed his dreams of being a Seal Sniper. Love the chapters of the intense training and tours, risking his life for the sake of others.
These guys are like machines and deserve the credit they all get, like many soldiers around the world who put their lives before others for freedom, only they can be called real heroes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-18

Awesome

This man and this audio book are simply outstanding.
Thank you for the additional stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • StevePenney
  • 11-03-17

Great storyline. Couldn't put this down!

Such an inspirational book based on a real life account that takes you into the life of a navy seal sniper. The book is well written with a touching storyline that follows the decisions from childhood to ultimately becoming a navy seal sniper. Made me appreciate the level of training, and sacrifice this elite force face every day. Favourite quote from the book 'whatever you do, you are making a stand, either for excellence or for mediocrity.'

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. N. C. Simpson
  • 06-24-17

Excellent

Excellent listen, especially the brief explanations on each chapter by the author himself, great idea.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Royston
  • 04-10-17

What an amazing insight into the world of the SEAL's

This has to be one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. Brandon gives a brief intro before each chapter that adds a personal touch that brings something extra to the book. The added bonus stories at the end are a first for me, they bring an extra insight into the crazy life of a SEAL and in one case how the training pays off. Thank you Brandon for sharing these insights, one of which is poignant considering that this book was published before a particular incident took place.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Justaman
  • 05-18-15

Catchy and intimidating title. Go USA.

Where does The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Below average. As a story it was mediocore and the writer not only has broken he ethos he swore to keep and cashed in his Trident, he also writes himself up a notch or two. I simply dislike people who do that and now it hurt the overall story.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Oh no, it is not my job to change the story. Writer tells it as he sees it, I just read/listen and pass my two cents.

What does Jon Bailey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

At least he didn't wreck as the narrator did in mr Webb's newest book. Thanks for that.

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

Nope. Slow start but still well paced.

Any additional comments?

Also I dislike mr Webb for making his teammates suffer because HE came in unprepared. Selfish and downright wrong thing to do.