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Publisher's Summary

Becoming the best doesn't happen overnight; you've got to work for it.

Before becoming an instructor in the Navy's Topgun program, Dave "Bio" Baranek was just another kid with a dream. Upon graduating from college, he joined the Navy with the goal of becoming a fighter pilot. But, his eyesight waning, he knew that he would never be able to reach that goal. Undaunted, he plowed ahead and found his niche as a radar intercept operator in the backseat of the sleek, new Grumman F-14 Tomcat.

Join Baranek in Before Topgun Days as he takes you along for this greatest, most exciting time of his young life: training to become a naval flight officer. Taking place before the events recounted in his previous memoir, Topgun Days, Baranek brings to life the anxieties and excitement of entering the fast-paced world of fighter jocks. From a green recruit to an experienced flyer, discover what it took to become a Topgun instructor.

Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times best seller or a national best seller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

©2016 Dave Baranek (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Before Topgun Days

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good book, slightly annoying reader

The book itself is very good if you are interested in naval aviation. The narrator is really bombastic while Bio is really mild mannered in real life.

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An interesting story told very well

Even if you’ve never flown a Cessna 172 you’ll love this book.

Dave Bio Baranek does a great job breaking down technical issues for those of us who are not in an aviation career, and are simply aviation enthusiast.
His explanations are clear and basic giving you a understanding that helps you enjoy the book all the more. His story stays interesting cover to cover
If you’re thinking of making military aviation your career this book is a must read. It will inspire and encourage.
This is his second book, his first TOPGUN Days is also a great read.
Highly recommend

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As exciting as reading a syllabus

In the military everyone dislikes the wet behind the ears new guy who wants to share war stories from training. This is a book written by that guy.
It's well written and performed, but thoroughly uninteresting and is basically a first person listing of the Navy's 1980 flight training syllabus. There is no story or insight here. The padded walls of the training environment don't produce things worth writing books about.
The only person this book might be great for is someone recently selected for military pilot training, or someone with historical interest. Anyone else should just buy Topgun Days.

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Just as good as Topgun Days

Dave is an excellent storyteller, I enjoyed this book just as much as Topgun Days. The narrator, however, was terrible. Not in the same league as Jeremy Arthur, John Pruden or Eric Martin.

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Overall good, but narrator doesn't fit well.

I enjoyed the story very much, but the narrator for Top Gun Days would have been a better fit for this story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-19-21

Terrific Read

Loved this book. Listened to his other book Top Gun days first which was amazing itself. This is the story of his training then transition to the tomcat and takes place before Top Gun Days. Highly recommended.

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  • Mr
  • 12-15-21

Another great book

Loved the book, but I found Stephen's narration a bit off-putting. Nothing wrong with it technically, it was clear and a good pace, I just found the intonation a bit distracting. I much preferred the narrator of Topgun Days.

Some great stories, written well. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • aaron charlton
  • 11-21-21

Microsoft sans

Narrator was the most boring sounding person in the world.. Awful truly awful way to narrate what should be interesting

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-20-21

Good Story Ruined By A Boring Narrator.

He isnt telling a story, he is simply just reading words of a Screen. I won't be finishing it .