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Publisher's Summary

Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive.

This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors.

A born and raised Texan, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training, where he and his fellow SEALs discovered what it took to join the most elite of the American special forces, to a fight in the desolate hills of Afghanistan for which they never could have been prepared. His account of his squadmates' heroism and mutual support renders an experience for which two of his squadmates were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism that is both heartrending and life-affirming. In this rich chronicle of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers a powerful narrative of modern war.

©2007 Marcus Luttrell (P)2012 Hachette

Featured Article: 20 Best Military Audiobooks from History to Fiction and Beyond


The titles that fall under the designation of military audiobooks are more varied and diverse than you might think. From firsthand combat accounts to imaginative works of fiction, these listens cover a lot of ground on both domestic and international disputes, scientific and sociological analyses, male and female perspectives, lessons from victory and loss, and more. What they have in common, though, are themes of courage, loss, and determination.

What listeners say about Lone Survivor

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

Enthralling and authentic story of valor in combat

Any additional comments?

Don't pay too much attention to the complaints about either the narrator or the author's conservative politics. The reader may bother some, but I listened to this book straight through over the course of several flights out west, and loved it -- the only time I took it out was literally at TSA. As for his political views - he is a Navy SEAL, from Texas, right? Seriously - the narration is fine, and the authors occasional politics asides are amusing and endearing even to a liberal like as me, Well worth the credit.

116 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The worst reader on audible

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The guy who reads this book, with his psycho-pathological over-enunciation of every word, is the most distracting, horrifying thing that could happen to an otherwise interesting book. How anyone could enjoy this is beyond me. I would honestly rather listen to a cute-voiced 5 year old read this than this clown. He's just soooooo terrible. Marcus, for the love of god, have it re-recorded by a normal person.

How could the performance have been better?

DIFFERENT READER!!!!!! Without the fake over-exaggerated accent. I can BARELY listen. I've heard amazing things about this book, which is the only reason I even trying to push through this nightmare reader.

Could you see Lone Survivor being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I will never buy any other book in which BOZO the psycho-pathological over-enunciator reads. It's just so unbelievably bad.

65 people found this helpful

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True Tale of Courage and Honor

Where does Lone Survivor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I've read quite a few histoy/military history books so far, and this ranks right up there as one of the best tales to date. Dick Couch's 'Warrior Elite' edges this one out as the best so far, and I mention it becuae there is a relation betwen the two books. In this story, Marcus Latrell, USN SEAL, talks about his training with BUD/S class 228, the same class that Mr. Couch expertly documented in his book.

The novel begins a bit slow, and the readers attempt at a 'texas good ole boy' accent is distracting, but once the story shifts to Operation Red Wing, the pace picks up. If you want to be inspired, truely inspired, then read this AND 'Warrior Elite'. Navy SEALS are not just the toughest, best trained fighting division in the world, they are also an ultra rare breed of men. Their stories are simply amazing.

52 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

narrated by Larry the Cable Guy breathing helium and imitating William Shatner on coke

Loved the book and movie. It's a great story. I got the audio version so I can listen to it again in the car. After about 15 minutes of listening to this 3rd year theater major who has clearly never been south of New Jersey do his best Texas accent, I was starting to think about swerving into oncoming traffic.
I think instead of finishing the audio book, I'll give my 6 year old son a dollar to just read it to me.

49 people found this helpful

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Don't Bother With The Movie, This Is The Real Deal

What did you love best about Lone Survivor?

I loved the way that Marcus' family was supported so completely by his community and his shipmates. The SEAL training portion of the book was fascinating but there are better books dealing specifically with his training (The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 by Dick Couch). And, of course, the missions themselves were hair raising listens!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marcus - his story, his ethics, and his personal views on the media and politics came through loud and clear. I didn't agree with them all, but they were heartfelt and sincere.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Collins – was your favorite?

Marcus voice was well represented. Some reviewers have criticized Kevin Collins' "fake Texas accent". I am from Oklahoma and I thought he did a great job! You probably wouldn't want an authentic Texas accent; Boomhauer is from Texas but I wouldn't want him narrating this story, I tell ya hwat!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"In Afghanistan Everyone Can Hear You Fall"

or

"We Need Taller Actors In Hollywood"

Any additional comments?

If you must see the movie, read or listen to the book first. The endings are completely different. The book has a much more satisfying climax.

27 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good Book. Kevin Collins needs to take lessons.

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

Yes, because it tells a great story of what happened during Operation Red Wings. However, there is a LOT of Navy recruiting going on during the book. I understand Marcus is proud, and rightfully so. But I can not help but wonder if during the editing by the Navy if it was recommended to amp up the bravado.

How could the performance have been better?

The fake Texas accent put on by Kevin Collins was horrible. I got use to it about a 1/3 of the way into the book. There were times when he was talking about his fellow Seals screaming out that Collins cocked it up pretty good. The dramatic flare in points was less than desirable.

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

I listened to the book in 2 days. Once you got past the Seals training, which was necessary to understand the relationships, the actual story of Operation Red Wings was captivating.

Any additional comments?

On a personal note. What Marcus Lattrel and the rest of his Seal brothers endured and went through was saddening. There are highs and lows in the story and it makes you understand A. What it takes to be a Seal. B. What those heroes went through on the top on that mountain.

23 people found this helpful

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This book should be a prerequisite for graduating

What did you love best about Lone Survivor?

The unholy bond between these men is beyond a normal mans comprehension, but did learn that Dick Marcinko left a mindset, that the SEAL of today has taken to another plane.

What did you like best about this story?

I served in the US Navy, and for the first time cried while reading a book. It taught me that the Afghan people are not all terrorists, and that was a huge lesson learned.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the Afghan village took on the Taliban devils really moved me, but the downing of the Chinook made me ill, and the movie did this book justice, for the first time, that I know of.

Any additional comments?

The Spartons could not approach a USN SEAL, making them the greatest combat soldiers in the history of man kind. Loved the book, even though it was very emotional for me at times, as all us sailors are very proud of these special men.
On a footnote though, their was a huge mistake in deciding to go ahead with the mission, but this showed the humanity coming to the surface with a US soldier, and that is the difference that make the SEALs, that more special, as they knew this mission was doomed when they let the Taliban goat herders go on their way.

18 people found this helpful

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Lone Critic?

I wanted to see the movie version of this book after hearing the author on the radio state that the movie was very true to the story except for one unnecessary scene of him stabbing one of his capturers which never happened.
And the reviews on Audible were all so good I could hardly wait to listen to the book. Even if I am the only person who disagrees, I still found it impossible to listen to the narrator. Nor was I interested in the entire biography of Mr. Luttrell and his political views. Somewhere in the training for SEALS it seems they lose the ability to remember that ( A) they volunteered to do this work (B) that everything they got and became is because the American people provided it to them and they got the best of everything and (C) their unique and limited experience of the world does not reflect REALITY for the rest of the universe.
The title of this book is misleading as it implies it is the story of Operation Redwing. I fast forwarded and fast forwarded and never got to the story but did get to the end of my patience listening to Mr. Collins imitating a "good old country boy from Texas." Golly and gee whiz, I want another book Audible, you can keep this one.

15 people found this helpful

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Hooyah Marcus,... right?

Would you consider the audio edition of Lone Survivor to be better than the print version?

Didn't read the print version. I can say that the narrator really gave it some personality. It wasn't always convincing but overall he added to my experience.

What other book might you compare Lone Survivor to and why?

American Sniper, obviously. Same state, same operating force, similar jobs and similar attitudes all though Kyle was MUCH more of a cowboy. Totally different situations and stories though.

Have you listened to any of Kevin Collins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No i have not.

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

No. Alot of it dragged for me. While it was needed and important, all the mourning was dull for me. I've never lost anyone close to me, i've never been in the military nor has anyone close to me. I respect it and i totally get it but there was nothing for me to tether to because I've never been there.

Any additional comments?

I really appreciate him humanizing the villagers. He obviously had every reason to, but it just makes it feel more real when a book that includes war isn't black and white. It's so elementary to hate and kill plain and simple. It's like a game. Red vs Blue. He did a good job, for the most part, of exploring the grey areas. It was good that patriotism and hatred didnt take the place of his conscious. Also i would like to note that the book was VERY inspiring. It really teaches perseverance.

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Good story but overly biased and long winded

I wanted to read this book because so many people had told me how great it was. However, I must have been naive to expect the story to be written as a narrative versus as a sort of long conversation with the writer. The book is full of very far right Conservative, anti-Liberal rhetoric, which, these days, I'm getting a bit tired of all the political hate, from both sides. I understand that should maybe be expected from some military guys but I felt it severely distracted from the story. I appreciate and agree the sacrifice anyone in the military makes needs to be remembered, which is part of why I wanted to read the book. But the author so clearly expected the "liberal media" to criticize him that his criticism of the very far left Liberals (though he seemed to expect this of all liberals) and defense of his and the military's actions pervaded the entire book. I ended up being taken out of the story every time he would do this, even though I agree there are sometimes necessary evils and tough choices made in the time of war.

It was interesting to hear about some of what the SEALs have to go through for training. However, this also felt more like Navy advertising versus being a part of the book. Yes, it was good to give the back story and idea of the mindset and personalities of the SEALs, but it was a little more than the first 1/3 of the book which just seemed unnecessary. It is amazing what Marcus Luttrell and his team went through and great to know there are people out there who will fight so hard to save a complete stranger, especially at high risk to themselves.

The narrator really wasn't that great. He over enunciated every word and spoke just far too slowly. I listened to the entire audiobook at an accelerated speed. The first third at 2X speed and the part that was actually about the operation at about 1.5X and had absolutely no problem listening to the story. It helped the narration sound more normal, especially since, like I said, the book was written more as a conversation Marcus Luttrell was having with someone versus a retelling.

13 people found this helpful