• Across the Fence: Expanded Edition

  • The Secret War in Vietnam
  • By: John Stryker Meyer
  • Narrated by: John Stryker Meyer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,337 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For eight years, far beyond the battlefields of Vietnam and the glare of media distortions, American Green Berets fought a deadly secret war in Laos and Cambodia under the aegis of the top secret Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group, or SOG.

Go deep into the jungle with five SOG warriors surrounded by 10,000 enemy troops as they stack up the dead to build a human buttress for protection. Witness a Green Beret, shot in the back four times and left for dead, who survives to fight savagely against incredible odds to complete his missions.

Shudder as an enemy soldier touches a Green Beret’s boot in the dark of night. Cringe as a Sergeant on SOG Spike Team Louisiana calls in an air strike on his team to break an enemy’s wave attack. A team member dies instantly, and a Green Beret has an out-of-body experience as he watches his leg get blown off.

©2011 John Stryker Meyer (P)2019 John Stryker Meyer

Critic Reviews

“As the commander of SOG, I can say that “Across the Fence” accurately reflects why the secret war was hazardous for our troops and so deadly for the enemy. (Major General John K. Singlaub - U. S. Army Ret.) 

"Black Ops told with the terrifying clarity that only one who was there can tell it." (W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV)

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Narrator

What listeners say about Across the Fence: Expanded Edition

Average Customer Ratings
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Great Great Great

Some people may bash John Stryker Meyer for how this is read but it’s great to have a hero read his own book. I’ve listened to this twice and respect him for doing this. Outstanding stories of survival.

13 people found this helpful

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Fascinating Stuff

Updated Review Regarding Narration: The latest Audible update lets you play it at 1.2x speed, a huge improvement. I’ve listened to the author give several interviews (the Jocko podcasts are incredible- you’ve got a Navy Seal with his jaw on the floor at the stories he’s being told) and he is very well spoken. I think the sound people coached him poorly, telling him to talk slower or enunciate differently. If he had narrated it the way he normally talks, it would have been spellbinding. Hopefully he will narrate more naturally with his other books.

The material is great. The stories are interesting, well told, and well paced. It’s incredible that no one has done a movie, or movies, about the exploits of guys like Meyer, Lynne Black, Nick Brokhausen, etc. The October 5 exploits of ST Alabama are a blockbuster waiting to happen.
My only complaint is the narration. There is a lot to be said for authors reading their own books, but it doesn’t always work. The narration was awkward, but the material more than makes up for it.

13 people found this helpful

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Terrible Performance

It was so difficult to listen to this book. Read by the author, the cadence is TERRIBLE.
Listen on 1.5x speed to make it more bearable. It’s a shame that what could have been a good book was so poorly read.

12 people found this helpful

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Great!

Narrator flubs a few lines but I’ll take a hero reading his own story any day over a voice actor. What a story tons of action and harrowing times way way way behind enemy lines it’s amazing he came out alive!

Highly recommended!

11 people found this helpful

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An Amazing Story by an American Hero BUT...

I really can't adequately ever show or describe my sincere appreciation for Mr. Meyer's service and sacrifice. His experiences during the Vietnam War blow my mind how anyone could endure such adversity, day after day. The lessons the SOG guys learned helped train the next generation of SF and their tactics are still being taught today. I am so thankful we have men and women like Mr. Meyer who put themselves on the line for our nation. BUT...I wish one of two things had occurred for this book. 1. Perhaps this book would have been better "talked" about in an open discussion format where Mr. Meyer recounts, in his own words, the stories he lived. Perhaps a glass of scotch and a cigar as well to add the proper amount of color to the tales. The Jocko Willink podcasts 180 and 181 come close to this and are ABSOLUTELY worth listening to so you can hear Mr. Meyer recount his story in a much less forced manner. 2. Another narrator with voice acting training. Mr. Meyer is unquestionably a patriot and an amazing soldier. For all the wonderful things he CAN do, narration isn't something he SHOULD do. It's his story and I'm sure he wanted to tell it but that's just what he should have done:TELL it, not read it. Honesty by those who supported Mr. Meyer's efforts would have gone a long way. Again, no disrespect to Mr. Meyer at all but like everything in life, we need to recognize our limitations. Do what we do best and hire the rest. :) Thank you, Mr. Meyer, for your service and for sharing your story. Honestly, this could be a History Channel series with each episode being a new mission. From the sound of it, there were enough to fill many seasons.

7 people found this helpful

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Mr. Meyer is a hero, his narration is horrible.

Really was hard to listen to, in fact couldn't finish it. Why not get a professional to narrate the book? My football coach in grade school was a Vietnam marine combat vet. With the war only a couple of years over in the 70's, he was one of my heroes. Love these guys! But letting the author narrate was as mistake. Too bad...

5 people found this helpful

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The reading was awful. Could have been a much better experience if read by someone who knew what they were doing.

The information was good, except for the large amount of repetition the story was decent. The reading of it made it almost unbearable at points.

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huge fan of Mr. Meyer

PLEASE consider hiring a voice actor. the cadence in which this history has been read on this product, is quite distracting.

3 people found this helpful

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Speechless

These are MEN! Incredibly true stories that will have you in awe of the capacity that lies dormant in 99.9% of people. All people have it, but very few embrace it. Here is a story of those who dared. Those who fought their deepest fears and became the stuff of night terrors to their enemies. These are true heroes. Gentlemen, I salute you!

2 people found this helpful

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awesome book

great stories but need a different narrator ast the author struggled constantly with reading

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 05-18-20

Riveting account of top secret operations during the Vietnam war.

Absolutely fantastic story. One of those rare books you don’t want to end. The author made it through some incredibly dangerous missions. The author also narrates his book. Whilst narrating audiobooks is clearly not his day job, not as ‘slick’ as a professional, I warmed to the idea of hearing him tell his own experiences. I played the narration on x1.2 speed. His personality really comes through after a few minutes of listening. It’s also essential to check out the author John Stryker Meyer on Jocko podcast.
After finishing the audiobook I’m truly glad I listened to this incredible account read by the man who experienced incredible events.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Peter Page
  • 06-08-21

Ruined Ny Narration

The writer should not have narrated this, a good narrator would make all the difference

2 people found this helpful

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  • rory
  • 03-31-21

Exceptional account of Vietnam

This is a fantastic account of the secret war during the Vietnam War. Tt is almost entirely action packed so it is quite difficult put down.

The book is read by the writer and unfortunately it is difficult initially to bear with this; speeding up the read back a little bit does help. There must have been some reason for not having a professional reader as although it is nice to hear the author, it doesn't really add anything nor does he provide anything more valuable or intense.

It is however, a terrific book and the experiences of are truly unique man amongst reconnaissance stories from the Vietnam War. Thank you for writing and sharing your experiences.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donatus
  • 11-16-20

Authors don’t always make good narrators

Great book, amazing story, incredible courage and heroic men, unfortunately the author’s narration doesn’t do it justice..

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-12-20

terrible narration

I know its a good book because I have read the hard copy but the narration is hands down the worst I have heard on audiable.
It's a shame. This guys story deserves better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • david willis
  • 06-28-22

Across the Fence

Brilliant book, I read the page version years ago and loved it, which is why I got this version to listen to while I train..

the problem I have with the Audio version is narrator, who is the author, kept mispronouncing his words, once or twice I can let go but by the 6th hour of listening you start to wonder if he has someone else's teeth in instead of his own, plus as a military man myself, mispronouncing some of the military slang is unforgivable, so it gets 3 stars on performance and overall but a 5 on the story itself, because just wow.. What a story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-01-22

Could be a good book..

I struggled for the first 2 hours of the book and then had to give up due to the abysmal narration.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gary T.
  • 08-24-21

SOG

I felt that the author struggled when reading to story line but apart from that it is a very interesting story

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  • Jon
  • 08-14-21

outstanding

unbelievable courage. The best of the best. May the warriors of SOG never be forgotten. A great read / listen

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  • Jonathan
  • 03-01-21

Terrific stuff

Misses Meyer’s wonderful laugh which you can hear on the Jocko podcast but amazing tales from a true American hero

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-28-22

highly recommended

great book, very well narrated especially to hear the story told by the man himself

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-19-21

story was v good, but NEVER heard worse reader

narration absolutely ghastly.... story line very good, but real struggle to put up with terrible narration..

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  • Bradley J Beecroft
  • 12-12-21

Terrible stikato narrative

While I love and respect the story of the author, sometimes being a soldier doesn’t make you an actor. Needs desperately to be re-narrated.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • S. C. Jewell
  • 11-28-21

Interesting but repetitive and ruined by the narration

This could have been a lot better. It seemed mainly to be a repeat of the same story. We got inserted- we got compromised- we got extracted.
I’m not doubting the bravery or resilience of the Special Forces, but I have serious doubts about the sanity of what they were doing, or trying to do. The book is mainly a self-serving justification of the worth of Special Forces, written by SF, for SF.
I blame audible for the quality of the narration. I’m sure they employ producers, whose job is presumably to do some QA on the actual narration. You won’t be bothered by any QA here. The author narrates his own work and does himself no favours. It’s like listening to a 12-year old who struggles to read a text that is too hard for him. If he did write this he shouldn’t have been struggling to read it. When the author uses words like (for instance) “cacophony” and then can’t pronounce it, I start to wonder if he wrote the text.
If you’ve got a spare 10 hours and want to listen to an audiobook about Vietnam, then pick something else.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-19-21

wow man!

just wow! amazing story. on the ground and across the fence two of the most enjoyable storys i have ever listened too. well done john legend!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-21

mind blowing account of unconventional warfare

If you didnt know about the secret war you'd swear it was fiction! Absolutely mind blowing account of unconventional warfare. Narration was fantastic done by the special operator/author himself really adding to the first person feel of the book expertly describing everything from the sticky apricot syrup on his stock to the heat of the napalm. My only regret is not getting this book sooner!

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  • Joshua Reid
  • 02-26-21

Incredible

Fascinating insight into SOG activities during the Vietnam war. Very lucky to have these stories recorded. John’s narration is great and hearing these stories told by the man himself makes this audiobook special.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Foote
  • 01-07-21

Worthwhile but flawed

John's stalted reading was hard to listen to initially. Some repetition of descriptions and events two and even three times suggest this work could have been better edited. However, more than redeemed by some very vivid and captivating stories.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Hannibal Guerrero
  • 12-16-20

Great story, poor narrator

Unfortunately the narrator, I believe it is the author is not very good. I respect the author, but he should stick to writing. This story should’ve been read by a professional.

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  • Danny
  • 11-01-20

Gripping and tense

courage, valor and honor on a scale that is rarely seen in such overwhelming odds.