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" Black Hawk Down ranks as one of the best books ever written about infantry combat." (The New York Observer)

あらすじ・解説

Ninety-nine elite American soldiers are trapped in the middle of a hostile city. As night falls, they are surrounded by thousands of enemy gunmen. Their wounded are bleeding to death. Their ammunition and supplies are dwindling. This is the story of how they got there - and how they fought their way out. This is the story of war.

Black Hawk Down drops you into a crowded marketplace in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia with the U.S. Special Forces and puts you in the middle of the most intense firelight American soldiers have fought since the Vietnam war.

Late in the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, 1993, the soldiers of Task Form Ranger were sent on a mission to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take them about an hour. Instead, they were pinned down through a long and terrible night, locked in a desperate struggle to kill or be killed.

When the unit was finally rescued the following morning, 18 American soldiers were dead and dozens more badly injured. The Somali toll was far worse; more than five hundred felled and over a thousand wounded. Award-winning literary journalist Mark Bowden's dramatic narrative captures this harrowing ordeal through the eyes of the young men who fought that day. He draws on his extensive interviews of participants from both sides - as well as classified combat video and radio transcripts - to bring their stories to life.

Authoritative, gripping, and insightful, Black Hawk Down is a riveting look at the terror and exhilaration of combat destined to become a classic of war reporting.

©1999 Mark Bowden (P)2012 Simon and Schuster

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  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • 2016/11/06

A Classic Of Military Writing...


...as written by a civilian.

And he starts off running, too, with Blackburn's fall happening midway through chapter two of ninety-seven. Bowden then takes us through the following day and night and morning of combat at the same pace, quick asides fleshing out the history of Task Force Ranger and how it all went wrong. He effortlessly jumps between every viewpoint you could think of: grunts, commanders, civilians, militia, pilots, medics, Delta, you name it. All these varied people bring a different perspective, have a different part to play, and Bowden keeps it clear who is doing what and why. The reader is told everything he or she needs to know as soon as he or she needs to know it, in an easily grasped way. Above all else, Black Hawk Down is an immersive, engaging piece of nonfiction.

But also, I think the book represents something more universal. We hear the human stories of so many people, mostly soldiers: their motivations for enlisting, reactions to combat, snippets of army life, and so on. It layers glimpses and slivers and stories on top of each other, the end result being a mosaic of humanity under extreme conditions.

Another charm point for this book is its tone. Bowden never judges the subjects of his narration for thinking or doing anything. He simply recites. Whether it reflects good or ill, be it a petty mistake or a substantial act of bravery, it gets related.

I felt Alan Sklar gave a solid performance. His tone, like that of the book, was one of detached recitation. He delivers the right amount of emotion when the book calls for it, and does the dialogue decently enough when it comes up.

On a side note, I think my favorite person to follow was Delta Force operator SFC Howe. I loved his amusingly jaundiced view of everything that was going on. "Everything about this situation was pissing him off: the goddamned Somalis, his leaders, the idiot Rangers..." Even when he was feeling respect for the enemy it felt like he was doing it in part as a screw you to the Rangers around him.

Less fun was when the narration followed SPC Stebbins. I knew going in that he would later be sentenced to thirty years for raping his daughter. It doesn't invalidate his bravery, but I cringed to hear how he was becoming a sort-of legend in the unit when I knew how far he and his fortunes would fall. "Then, he got married, and his wife had a baby-" Eeeee....

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Iain C. Martin
  • 2012/03/29

A Modern Classic

Black Hawk Down is one of the great combat narratives of modern times and a tribute to the courage of the men who fought and died in Somalia. Alan Sklar does the book justice with his precise narration. One of my all time favorite books.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pamela Dale Foster
  • 2013/12/18

A Short Operation Turns Long and Costly

The mission, Task Force Ranger, occurred in Mogadishu, Somalia. The mission was to take an hour. The afternoon sun was shining. Therefore, equipment such as night time goggles, canteens filled with water, extra ammunition, etc., were not taken. The quick capture of two high ranking lieutenants from a renegade warlord went from one hour, to the most intense battle since the Vietnam war. The year was 1993. There were 99 men who survived, 18 were dead and dozens injured. The survivors were pinned down over night in a ferocious fight for their lives.

Their mission was successful until a black hawk was downed and the soldiers from the Army, Marine Corps and the US Special Forces had to go back to find the Black Hawk and the men who were on the helicopter.

Three soldier's, while fighting in Vietnam, were taken by the North Vietnamese as prisoner's of war. Two of the men were killed and dragged through the streets of North Vietnam, showing the American's just how hated they were. The incident was televised over and over. The third American was rescued by the Special Forces and brought home to the US. He had been severely beaten by his captors. This is when the American military assured themselves and their fellow American's, they would never again leave one of their comrades behind.

The author, Mark Bowden, was a literary journalist. He has written, in my opinion, one of the best books about any real-time action that the US has been involved in. I have read many true accounts concerning the US and war. He extensively interviewed the participants from both sides. The combat had been videoed and Bowden was supplied with this classified information as well as the radio transcripts.

The mission, a supposed snatch and grab operation, turned into a war. The US had gone into Somalia many times and completed their missions quickly. However, this time the Somalian people of Mogadishu took up arms and fought back in a way such as never before.

The character's were indeed well developed. The cadence of the narrator read like a song. The book was definitely an edge of the seat listen. The book was a two day listen for me. The book, Black Hawk Down, was exceptionally good from start to finish. Don't hesitate buying the book. I know that you will not be disappointed. I hope that you experience the quality of the book as much as I did. I've never seen the movie but I think I'm satisfied having listened to the book.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kiel
  • 2015/06/18

Great Story!

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

It's definitely a story that should be experienced, especially by those interested in Military Memoirs.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I particularly enjoyed the Delta soldiers and Navy SEALs.

What three words best describe Alan Sklar’s voice?

Gene Hackman-esque. Solid.

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

The whole book was pretty moving. I don't want to give anything away, but there was a specific part near the beginning of the battle with an RPG that was more emotional for me.

Any additional comments?

I very much enjoyed the narrator's performance, except for his pronunciation of words that end in -or. Horror, terror, error. As you can imagine in a book about war, these words are frequently used and his pronunciation jerks the listener out of the story, which is particularly impactful considering the timing of the usage of those specific words. Otherwise, great story. Would recommend!

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 2016/10/14

Incredible

First off let me say that this is my favorite book that I've purchased on audible. So much so that I am leaving a review. I've read the book once, but decided it wouldn't hurt to listen to it. And I'm so glad I did.
The way this book presents itself and the way it presents the moment to moment lives of soldiers is painfully and plainly real. In stark contrast to other historical novels, this makes you feel like you are living in the moment of the battle. The angles taken by the author are amazing. And since the author admirably left out as much political undertones as possible, we get a stark picture of what really happened.
Overall an incredibly gripping and emotional book.
The narrator whose voice at first didn't quite fit the story, grew on me. To the point that by the end of the book, I can't have imagined anyone else reading it. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a military or historical novel.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frank Carlucci
  • 2015/04/23

Black Hawk Down

This was a gripping read that went from accounts of many that were involved in the fighting that day. If you have seen the movie be prepared for much broader and definitive dissection of the overnight stay in the moog.,

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 2016/12/14

Great non-fiction story of war

The author describes this book as an endeavor to make a non-fiction story of war as readable as a piece of fiction and he succeeded. You experience the emotions of the people involved in the story but still feel you have an overview of the battle and its consequences.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Xtina
  • 2015/01/24

The greatest storytelling of modern war

Bowden is a phenomenal writer. He accomplished his vision of capturing a first hand account of this gruesome war, giving it a memoir feel with a journalistic approach. His dedication and desire to tell find and report the truth is inspiring. Lately I've been obsessed with reading books about modern warfare. Black Hawk Down set a high caliber for the other ones I plan to read. I am actually going to rifle through some of Bowden's other works because I enjoyed this one so much.

Bowden gave a thorough and harrowing account of the details that led up to the Battle of the Black Sea. He did a great job of explaining the string of events that led up to the fighting, described with riveting detail the horrors the Rangers and Delta force endured, and ended with great summation of the fallout of the battle. I was not much of a person for politics or war, but I find myself very curious about international relations and diplomacy these days (with all the threats of ISIS that keep popping up).

To all of our soldiers that have served, still serve, and hope to serve, God bless you. War is not a pretty alternative and I cannot believe there are brave souls out there who put their lives on the line for strangers in America to protect and defend us from terrorist agencies.

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 2020/03/10

Incredible story but hard to follow

This review is more of an indictment of my own shortcomings than the book itself, which was well researched and presented very accurately with great care. The story was told in great detail introducing a large number of characters (easily 40+ names) all the way through the book (some introduced for the first time in the very last chapters). This represents painstaking research and a desire to give proper credit to all the heroic participants in this incident, which I really respect. I was particularly impressed the author went to the trouble to include perspectives of Mogadishu residents as well as Americans. There are also many many detailed descriptions of streets, building orientations, directions and distances, etc. Incredible detail.

Unfortunately for me in an audio format it made the story hard to follow. I was swamped with the names, places, directions, etc, and only by the end started to piece together who was doing what to whom on the larger scale. This is a book that would be much better read than listened to (at least for me). Add to that the narration, while perfectly acceptable and intelligible, was somewhat generic.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joel
  • 2020/01/23

Awesome

This book inspired a lot of men during my time in Iraq in 2004. Not because of the machismo of battle, not at all. Because of the brotherhood conveyed. The way the men stood by each other in those moments. The majority of the people I had the honor to serve with read and appreciated the account and I highly recommend this for anyone wanting to see what being a soldier is truly about.

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  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David C.
  • 2018/05/10

Brilliant

This book is so much better than the movie...and the movie is one of my favourites.

Far better critics have left far more eloquent reviews, that said after lostening to it i just have to pass on the enjoyment and satisfaction i got from it.

As a previous soldier i can honestly vouch for the accounts from the Rangers, albeit i have no experiance of combat but i have been to my share of current theatres, the boredom these men felt and the bravado and the natural playfullness of some accompanied with natural maturity of others is something any soldier can relate to. This book does an amazing job of showing the Rangers as being MEN. It takes away the "stormtrooper" mask wich is amplified by hollywood and leaves behind human men with lives that matter to them and their loved ones.

Black Hawk Down the book however does not stop there and instead it even goes as far as to show the humanity of the enemy, something that truly lack in all the modern media. We enjoy seeing our enemies as nameless targets. As soldiers we need this to remain detached to a degree but as humans its great to be reminded of the fact that we are there doing a job and they , the enemy are likewise just doing the job needed to be done.

I think the way the book acheives this is not a fortunate accident instead it is the very thing that is the point of the book, and furthermore its the whole point of what the Rangers in Somalia and other soldiers later in Iraq and Afghan and before in Vietnam and the Great Wars were feeling in their own times. I think that all soldiers since the beginning of time have been MEN first, not namless soldiers with no context of what brought them to their last battleground.

This book does simply a perfect job of bringing humanity back into a story where im sure men on both sides doubted if their was any humanity left on this planet, even down to when the humvee drivers laughed at knocking down the man in the street, its not because its funny to run men over, its because its so obsurd. It leaves wondering whos the good guys here and that because at that moment in time there is no good guys and equally there is no bad guys there is just men trying to survive a few more heartbeats, to just make it to the end of the street and then after that who knows, maybe they will be lucky and survive a little while longer.

I will finish before i end up writing my own book as a review, this book moved me whilst listening to it and im happy for that as it reminds me that I too am a man first and in any of the situations described by the people in this book weather they be US Forces or Somali i would probably of exactly the same as any one of them, I would of been afraid to go back out, i would of been over flowing with rage and needing to go back out to exact revenge, i would of wanted to pull down a Black Hawk from the sky to defeat the Americans seeming to invade my home, i would of tortued men who just killed my countrymen and i would of offered tea to a captive as well as receive it if i was indeed captive.........

We are all MEN first and when the time of words end and action begins then we have to adopt our primitive animal states and do things that no one and everyone can understand.

A truly excellent book depicting a 15 hour window of a conflict that no one cares about on a continent that is forfotten, fought by human beings against human beings which makes it the most relevant story to any culture since the first cultures exsisted.

Thanks to Mark Bowden for his persistent reaserach and to the all the men and women who allowed him to document their accounts for future generations to appreciate.

....Oh ye Alan Skar does an amazing job reading the story too, he truly bring the story to life and i cant imagine another voice that would of done it any justice.

  • 総合評価
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    1 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Johnny
  • 2017/08/08

Shame

I really tried I wanted to know what really happens here but the narrator for me was useless I didn't know who was who or what was what I got lost in this very complexed fast paced storey.. a narrator is extremely important and needs to be multidimensional when so many characters are at play

  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Duncan Connell
  • 2021/03/29

Gripping account

A gripping telling of the events in Mogadishu. You really get a feel for the people involved and just how desperate the situation was.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joanna Chambers
  • 2021/02/19

totally enthralling.

from the very start I hated having to turn it off when I had to go do other things, so caught up in what was happening in the moment, I'd seen the film as I'm sure most folk have but compared to the book it fades into a meager story. loved it.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2020/08/08

Bone chilling account of a terrible day the world

Great book and even better choice of narrator, putting an effort into bringing life to the scenes the book tells about. This brings great insight into what happened that day, and the feeling of the men on the ground

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019/11/28

Honest and Insightful

A neutral and in-depth analysis from inside a brutal, compact conflict. Well written, solidly performed and extremely honest.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jules phillips
  • 2019/04/05

A classic

Read the book, watched the movie. Years later I decided to dive into the audio book. The story itself is an absolute classic. Needless to say Mark Bowdens telling of the story is an important one to consider and Alan Sklar narrates it brilliantly. There are no true winners in war. I feel for everyone who got caught up in this crap-show, especially the innocents and most were just regular Somali's fed-up with foreign soldiers on their turf. HooYa!

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • karen macsween
  • 2018/04/20

out standing loved it best book I've listen to in a while 10/10 amazing ❤

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 2018/03/22

A true war story

Amazing with a memorable story and high quality narrating. I would recommend this audio book.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018/02/20

excellent!!

excellent!! very good narration, is hectic in places but you can imagine how hectic is was in the battle, and it gives you a real feel of it.

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絞り込み:
  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021/03/24

Confronting and enlightening

Not a light read, but an important one. I think anyone that has ever considered or is currently considering joining the military, should be sat down and handed this book! The account in this book is so eye-opening.

Masterfully written. Fairly portrayed. I still love the movie, but the book is on another level. Highly recommended!!! (but be prepared for some sleepless nights)

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris Doyle
  • 2019/06/29

Black Hawk Down

Really enjoyed the book. A pity the movie wasn't as good. Thanks for your service.

  • 総合評価
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    5 out of 5 stars
  • aidan
  • 2018/01/02

brilliant

don't be put off by this being a movie. this is a special book. I hate Flanders