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411 of 447 found the following review helpful:
An Outstanding Portrait of Bravery, Sacrifice & SurvivalJun 20, 2007
By W. Burnham
This book is a compelling, easy read that you will find hard to put down. The first part takes you through SEAL training in Coronado, CA and gives you a deep appreciation for just how hard it is to become a SEAL, while the second half takes you through a harrowing battle that in many ways validates just why the SEAL selection and training process is so difficult and so effective.
The battle sequence in Afghanistan and its aftermath is incredibly intense . The best screen writer in Hollywood couldn't have dreamt up something more intense, moving, and awe inspiring. If they make it into a movie it will in some ways be like a Afghani inspired version of Full Metal Jacket.
Reading this fills one with humility and gratitude for the sacrifice that all the members of our armed services make on our behalf, but especially for the men of the SEAL teams. All I can say is that I am very glad they are on our side.
As an aside, if you enjoy books like this you should check out Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab, an SAS operative who served in the first Iraq war. I found it highly ironic that in both cases great misfortune results from acts of human mercy that elite soldiers felt compelled to take despite the clear risk it posed to their own lives. These books should be required reading for anyone who questions the character and moral fiber of such brave men.
543 of 644 found the following review helpful:
Absolutely UnimaginableJun 12, 2007
This book takes you inside the Navy SEALs training program in Coronado. You are with Marcus Luttrell throughout BUD/S and Hell Week. You fly with him and his teammates in a C-130 to the Hindu Kush, where the hunt begins for bin Laden's right-hand man. But then it all goes terribly wrong, up there in the mountains of Afghanistan.
This book, written by Patrick Robinson, reads like a fast-paced thriller, told in Marcus's understated voice. It is a rivetting, important, sad story of lost friends, valor, courage and the intricacies of modern war. It is an important book, destined to become an American classic.
585 of 705 found the following review helpful:
Stop reading reviews...Buy the book!Jun 21, 2007
By T. Wood
Apparently some people are upset because Luttrell has an opinion and some attitude. I'll let you in on a little known secret...one does not survive any severe challenge without strong opinions and attitude. It is part of the man, therefore a required part of "his" story. Even if you still have your John Kerry bumper sticker still super-glued to your car and you truly believe in the vast right-wing conspiracy, you should buy this book for what it is, an amazing (and true) story and a great read. Stop pushing the liberal or conservative agenda for awhile and just be an appreciative American. Luttrell is the real deal.
116 of 137 found the following review helpful:
Whoa.May 15, 2011
By M. Silverstein
This book was recommended to me by someone I deeply respect. I'm not a military person so I have no basis of relativity here but suffice it to say I am proud to be an American and have guys such as this doing what they do best.
I read this book in one day. Start to finish. I couldn't put the thing down. It's that intriguing. You often hear about the SEALs but never really get to hear stories (or at least I don't) about the operations they go on. Yeah, they're dangerous but that's about all you get. You hear about their training and how they've gone through hell and back and the need to prepare but you don't really understand why. Maybe that's just me being a naive civilian (I'm sure other military folks understand firsthand) but I can tell you, reading this book gave me a much different perspective on what an "operation" is.
Again, I'm not a military buff. I've thought the military is absolutely something we need but this book isn't about rah-rah-rah go America, it's about the journey of one man - Marcus Luttrell - from his pre-training days, through the BUD/S training, then right on into Operation Redwing which brought him and his team into one of the most fierce battles I've ever read or heard about.
This story makes you want to cheer and cry at the same time. I turned the last page and was awestruck. Proud to be part of a country where Service, Loyalty, Honesty and Integrity still mean something and that we have a duty to thank and remember our military service members.
Coming face-to-face with Taliban and having to survive - sometimes with a bit of luck (maybe this is a higher power watching down, who knows) - six days in the backcountry, seeing your team members KIA, I can't even imagine it. Marcus Luttrell and his fallen comrades deserve every ounce of respect, including those still serving.
For those reading this, should you buy this book? Absolutely. I can say without a doubt it's a nail-biting, page-turning, harrowing experience that I think every person should read. Doesn't matter which side of the political fence you sit on, all political BS aside, everyone should read this - it's a perspective that only comes from someone who's experienced it firsthand.
No one likes war and reading this isn't about agreeing or disagreeing with Iraq, Afghanistan or the wars to come, it's about understanding what it takes to do what it takes to survive, to never give up, to have the courage and strength both physically and mentally to do what you have to do. Sometimes we get caught up in our own little battles in our own little world but all it takes is something like this story to really give you a true perspective on things.
Turning the last page (and seeing the pictures at the end, and I wish there were more of them), made me reaffirm that my family, wife and kids are the most important things in my life and that I love this country. We fight because there are those who will try and take it away if we don't. Never give up.
So, now that I've stepped off my soapbox, would I buy this book. Oh yeah I would.
242 of 294 found the following review helpful:
RICK SHAQ GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "HELL WEEK IS WAR.. AND WAR IS HELL!!"Jul 09, 2007
By Rick Shaq Goldstein
Right before I bought this book, I heard all the promotional "buzz" and "word of mouth" associated with it. When I started reading it, after the first 60-70 pages, which were kind of boring, I was saying to myself, "woe, were they really talking about this book, it's kind of boring!" Then we got to Navy Seal training. Ladies and Gentlemen, (Future readers.) I recommend you fasten your seat belts, fasten your chest harness, and it probably is good advice, to put a pillow behind your neck to protect you from whiplash! This story, then rockets non-stop for the next 320 pages. I'm a U.S. Veteran, and I thought my basic training was pretty tough. But after reading this book, I realize, I probably wasn't in basic training, I was on some kind of holiday, and instead of cussing out my drill instructor every night, I should have been sending him candy and flowers. Basic Seal training is tough, but they're just getting warmed up with some basics, such as: "they just bound our ankles together and then bound our wrists together behind our backs and shoved us into the deep end (Of the pool). This caused a certain amount of panic, but our instructions were clear: Take a huge gulp of air and drop to the bottom of the pool in the standing position. Hold it there for at least a minute, bob up for new air, then drop back down for another minute, or more if you could." All along the way, the instructors are declaring that most of the potential Seals won't be here at graduation, they'll either be thrown out, or quit. (Note: Only 30 of the original 180 made it!) A number of these highly motivated seamen dropped out during basic Seal training, and now.. And now... we get to "HELL WEEK"! I will attempt to briefly summarize "Hell Week" for you. What these cream of the crop, young American men, are put through, is hard to fathom. It is past inhumane. I'm surprised some politically correct ACLU representative isn't present, suing the Navy, but this is the only way to train the "best of the best"! And it's this training, that probably saved Marcus's life, in his ordeal in Afghanistan. 0500. "Give me 20 pushups! Go run into the freezing ocean in combat boots and fatigues. Get out of the ocean and roll around in the sand. (This will be referred to from here on out as getting "wet and sandy"!) Give me 20 more pushups. Now go on a multi-mile run down the beach, in soft or wet sand, with a million sand particles in your combat boots, and stuck in every crevice of your body, thereby acting like the most abrasive sand paper you'll ever have administered to your body. Oh you want to eat breakfast, well jump back in the freezing ocean, get out of the ocean, roll around in the sand (Getting "wet and sandy") run the couple of miles back (all in an accepted maximum time, or you're out of the Seals!) Give me 20 pushups! Now you can eat. Now pickup a log the size of a telephone pole. Run into the same aforementioned ocean (While still carrying the log!) Come out of the ocean. Get "wet and sandy". Give me 20 pushups. Do it again. Now pick up a boat and run down the beach. Put the boat in the water, turn it over and fill it with water, bring it back to shore. Get "wet and sandy"! Give me 20 pushups. Now get in the boat with your teammates and row backwards through the waves. Then turn around and paddle backwards through the waves. Hit the beach and get "wet and sandy"! Now I'll fast forward to diving drills in the pool. Wearing full diving gear, with heavy air tanks, jump in the pool, but your feet cannot touch bottom. If they touch bottom you're out of the Seals! To keep you company under water, there are friendly Seal instructors, pulling your masks off, pushing down on your back, and other assorted friendly, efforts to assist you in drowning. But here's my favorite from this exercise. An instructor will rip your air hose off and tie it in a knot. You have to reach over your back, since you can't see the hose, and try to untie the knot without drowning. If you can't make it, you're kicked out of the Seals. There are so many more tortuous tasks, that literally go beyond human endurance. These young men, are dedicated, and committed to the United States of America, and go where people don't want to go, and do what must be done! My favorite quote from this book, that will live with me forever, was by the infamous instructor Reno, during training: "THE BODY CAN TAKE DAMN NEAR ANYTHING. IT'S THE MIND THAT NEEDS TRAINING!" I could go on and on, about this book, and I haven't even gotten to the indescribable battle for "Murphy's Ridge". Even though, to some people, the battle, and the deaths of Marcus's teammates, and Marcus's survival, is probably the most discussed part of this book. I will never forget, the dedication, desire, guts, pride, and total, (And I mean total!) commitment, and their stretching the envelope of human endurance, by these amazing young American's! As a U.S. veteran, I salute, and remain in unending awe, of these unique, gifted, dedicated, American heroes! "God Bless America!"
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