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Outlaw Platoon

Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
5 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.

In this vivid account of the U.S. Army's legendary 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.

At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush. Barely surviving the attack, Parnell's men now realized that they faced the most professional and seasoned force of light infantry the U.S. Army had encountered since the end of World War II.

What followed was 16 months of close combat, over the course of which the platoon became Parnell's family: from Staff Sergeant Greg Greeson, the wise, chain-smoking veteran who never lost his cool; to Specialist Robert Pinholt, a buttoned-down conservative with the heart of a warrior and the mind of an economist; to Staff Sergeant Phil Baldwin, the platoon's voice of calm and reason, a man who sacrificed everything following the events of 9/11 - career, home, financial stability - to serve his country. But the cost of battle was high for these men: Over 80 percent were wounded in action, putting their casualty rate among the highest since Gettysburg, and not all of them made it home.

A searing and unforgettable story of friendship in battle, Outlaw Platoon brings to life the intensity and raw emotion of those 16 months, showing how the fight reshaped the lives of Parnell and his men and how the love and faith they found in one another ultimately kept them alive.

This audiobook is enhanced with a downloadable PDF containing photographs from the hardcover edition.

©2012 Sean Parnell (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What members say

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Excellent

A compelling story about men in extreme situations. What struck me continually was that this was Sean's recollections of real life, not a story where the outcomes could be shaped to the writers desire. Well written and well presented.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Moving

I’ve read and listed to numeral war stories, but none moved me like this. The narration is amazing and makes it feel like you are right there. The story is intense, funny and extremely inspiring. You get so attached to the men in the platoon that you feel every win and lose with them. I highly recommend this to anyone, as you will feel it.

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  • Arn
  • 29-08-2017

fantastic but sad story

fantastic account of the truth of the war on terrorism. sad story but great insight.

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  • Ben
  • 06-07-2017

really enjoyable

great narrator, thoroughly enjoyed this book. these men are true warriors and have done things that most would never contemplate.

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a must read

totally enjoyed this book would recommend it to anyone was captivating and i felt like i was there watching their missions unfolding

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very very interesting

book was very interesting. . the reader did a really good job.. "measure up" PERIOD!

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incredible

Absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone. Yes i may have had something in my eye at parts.

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  • Richard
  • 22-10-2012

Do Americans Deserve Such Heroes?

Would you listen to Outlaw Platoon again? Why?

Yes. Great narrative arch, character development. Lt. Parnell starts out gung ho but insecure, develops into mature veteran. The same happens with most of the platoon. They are excited like kids winning a football game after their first battle, but as the months drag and the casualties mount they became seasoned professionals. There is a lot of suffering and loss but they keep in the fight. These men are in a direct line from those who fought with Washington, in the Civil War, and who won WWII, and the men who fought the thankless Viet Nam War. It's inspiring and poignant.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Outlaw Platoon?

When the Army finally gets serious and wipes out about 30 of the enemy in a ground attack supported by AC-130's, Apaches, and a B1 bomber.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Very good at depicting Lt. Parnell going from a brand new lieutenant to a tired but dedicated veteran, and voices of the other men in the platoon.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

How hardened and professional the enemy are, and the duplicity of the Pakistanis.

Any additional comments?

For anyone who enjoys reading about small unit combat and the bravery of American soldiers and Marines, this is a great book.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 09-04-2012

Great book...Everyone should listen to this book!!

I want to start off by saying that I have several hundred audio books and have enjoyed most and loved some. I always make sure to rate books that I listen to using the star system, however I have never sat down and composed a full review. This book moved me in ways that I find hard to express. There were times in this book that I was incredibly angry, times when I was happy for the guys of Outlaw Platoon, and times that caused me to tear up. War brings out the best and worst of humanity, it shows us what kind of people that we share the planet with. This book was by far the best audio book that I have ever listened to. I have to mention that there are some parts of the book that I found to be very disturbing, although the very nature of war has a way of being very disturbing at times. The lengths that the enemy will go to to inflict pain into coalition forces is savage. The camaraderie and brotherhood of Outlaw Platoon is absolutely amazing. I do not have the time to review books like I should, but this book moved me in so many ways that I though that it was important to do so. This may sound strange to some but this book made me wonder why I did not enlist to serve our country, I am still young enough to do so and it is always in the back of my mind. Again I cannot stress enough that everyone should listen or read this book, this book really deserves a sixth star rather than just five. I hope this review is helpful to those considering this book. Brad Thor gives this book a great review over on Amazon.com and is worth reading. Also be sure to download the companion to this book, it includes a map that makes it easier to understand the area that Outlaw Platoon patrolled.

76 of 79 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew S. Maynard
  • 12-11-2012

Platoon Leader for a new Generation

You may be familiar with Platoon Leader by James R. McDonough, the story of an Army Infantry Officer forward deployed in Vietnam. Outlaw Platoon is much the same book, set in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan in 2006. Mr. Parnell's service in the army as leader of an infantry platoon in the 10th Mountain Division is portrayed brilliantly by Ray Porter.

The story covers his initial deployment and assignment as platoon leader and the 16 months that followed, in which his unit saw combat against an enemy that is more cunning and dangerous than they are given credit for. Through several firefights the grit, pain, and loss of combat are described in forceful detail by Mr. Porter's professional vocal talents and Mr. Parnell's skilled writing.

This is highly recommended listening for anyone interested in the difficulties of leading men under fire, the torture of modern combat, or the philadelphos-style love only found in cohesive, well-led combat units. I expect this will be required reading in more than a few West Point classrooms in the near future, if it isn't already.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 14-10-2012

Just AWESOME!

What did you like best about this story?

I don't know what to say other than this is just an awesome book. The story was so gripping, and by the end I felt like I was part of the platoon as I got to know them all so well.

I have read or listened to so many books over the years that relate to warfare and those who were involved, and having served my own country for 8 years, it will always be a topic of choice. I have never seen a book that just sucked me in so much. The writing style and characterisation was fantastic. To hear Sean's thought patterns during combat, and showing how much your mind can wander from the action to thoughts of home in a matter of a seconds was enthralling.

I cannot recommend this book enough. 5 stars all round.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzan
  • 19-06-2012

Outstanding Book & Narrator!!!

Where does Outlaw Platoon rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

I'm not a big fan of war stories however this book was gripping and was so well written, Ray Porter really brought the book to life with his narration & portrayal of each character in the book, Ray Porter is an excellent narrator separating each character without being overly dramatic, he did a perfect job! Listening to audio books (which I do almost continuously) if you have a great book with a bad narrator it ruins the whole thing, I've left many untouched because the narration was so terrible, it's also the same with a great narrator and terrible writing, but these came together perfectly, I'd highly recommend this book and Ray Porter to anyone!

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • 28-07-2012

Very good listen

Enjoyed this book. If you like real stories of war and sacrifice, you will find it here. These men paid a heavy price.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Opinionated2
  • 30-07-2012

Great read of the brotherhood of soldiers

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I really enjoyed the apparently honest review of the strengths and weaknesses of a combat unit and the individuals that make up those units. They are still humans being asked to do superhuman things.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brought emotions and character voices to the story. This helped me distinguish between the main characters and to feel like I was getting to know them.

If you could give Outlaw Platoon a new subtitle, what would it be?

The brotherhood of facing courage and fear under fire.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Pamela Dale Foster
  • 09-07-2013

Afghanistan-USA's Scourage

What did you love best about Outlaw Platoon?

Sean Parnell served in Afghanistan and this is his true account of what occurred while he served as the commander of a platoon of 40 elite infantry men. Sean and his platoon formed a family together. That was the only way he ever considered those he commanded. The men named themselves, The Outlaws and they were known by the army as the legendary 10th Mountain Brigade. They all grew to love one another and worked together as a unit when in combat with the opposing side as well as when they were at their base of command. Sean and his platoon watched out for one another at all times. On the very high, as well as low valley's that created the dangerous terrain that makes up the landscape of Afghanistan, the men were a team of brother's. There was a difference about the way the Afghanistan soldier's conducted themselves during the many conflicts that Sean and his platoon had to battle and not be defeated. It was realized quickly, that the Afghan soldier's that they were fighting against had been well trained in how to fight their opponent. Sean and his team of NCO's had to draw up specific plans of how they would have to fight a more aggressive and learned group of Afghan's than what they had expected. Many of their conflicts depended on calling in for extra support. A Delta Force returned from a battle against the Afghan army and they had lost. Their moral was so devastatingly low that they affected all of the other platoon's deeply. It was at this time that Sean and his men vowed to never retreat from battle. During one very intense battle, Sean and his platoon considered the need to retreat. However, all of their Humvee's had been too damaged and there was no escape. Until extra support arrived, Sean had to be their leader and devise an attack that would hopefully save his family. Baldwin had been seriously wounded and his fellow soldier, the medic, threw his body over Baldwin's to save him from death. The medic sustained a serious injury to his cheek when he was hit. Sean pulled Baldwin away from the fighting to safety with Baldwin saying, "I can't feel my legs." The medic gathered himself together, retrieved a weapon and went back to fight and to stop and attend to the wounded, when necessary. This team, group, platoon, family of soldier's would not quit while there was one man standing. They stood together and they would fight together until the bitter end, if necessary.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Sergeant Greg Greeson. He had been in the army for 20 years. When in battle, he conducted himself with such calmness that the other men were amazed. His calmness was felt by his comrades in arms and would bring them back down slowly but surely. He would always be seen with a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth and a near beer grasped in his left hand. Greeson's voice was deep and gravely from his three packs a day of smokes. He told Sean, when he retired from the army that he would "work with guns and be an alcoholic." He was one man who knew where he belonged, in a foreign country, in the army and fighting for his country.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ray Porter was an excellent narrator. Reading the book would never have brought justice to such a great book. His narration was spot on for all of the character's. This proved amazing to me because there were many character's in the book and I could recognize who was speaking. I will look for his name in the future and of course, add him to my list of narrator's who are worth listening to.

If you could give Outlaw Platoon a new subtitle, what would it be?

Captain, U.S. Army Ranger, Commander Sean Parnell and his Platoon of Extraordinary Men

Any additional comments?

I'd advise anyone who is interested in this genre of books to not hesitate to purchase this one. You will not be disappointed. The book was emotional, thought provoking and was written by a man who loved his men and wanted the world to know them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Berserk
  • 20-03-2012

A must read

This is an outstanding work right up there with Thunder Run. The writers have a talent for bringing you right into the action and keeping things interesting. All said this is one of the finest works I have ever read.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Sham
  • 02-11-2013

reads like a novel

Where does Outlaw Platoon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a great story about men at war in Afghan.

What did you like best about this story?

The combat scenes are outstanding.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A great reader who makes you feel like you are there.

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

The whole story was moving for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul C
  • 01-09-2017

Excellent Listen

This is the first Army genre Audiobook I've listened in a while and what a listen it was. The narrator done this book justice and kept the flow of the book perfectly running without me feeling bored as it was so action packed.

I feel so sorry for some if not all the character with what they went through the one part that really got to me was the male bitch ( you'll understand when you get to the part ) I was angry and devastated.

These guys as well as other serving members of the armed forces have done their country proud and should hold their heads up high. Hopefully all the people involved got help once their tour was over and weren't screwed over like most service members when they return with injuries or PTSD.

I'd highly recommend this Audiobook and I'll definitely listen to this one more than once.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-2017

Emotional rollercoaster

Thought provoking, emotional and at times brings a smile to your face.

Ray Porters brilliant narration brings this story alive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris barnes
  • 03-09-2019

A WAR THROUGH WORDS.

loved it from start to finish. Amazing. For those who have never been in a war before this book is a must. An eye opener from the beginning.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-2019

What a Great Account of the Brave Men

“TOTAL AWESTRUCK “ I feel so humbled.What they done was ly inspiring
Brave,Controlled and BRITISH

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  • Fergus Keogh
  • 01-07-2019

One of the best books ive ever heard.

Loved it. The narrator is brilliant. Highly reccomended book and a fantastic day to day avcount of life in a warzone. A+++

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  • andrew robbins
  • 05-06-2019

👍

didn't want it to end.time passed way to quickly listening to this.great listen. Will listen again.

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  • CapnJuras
  • 03-06-2019

wow...

This was very hard to listen. So much emotion.. So much hurt. At first i wasnt that keen on the narrator. But sweet Jesus... This is excellent.

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  • Stuart
  • 09-04-2019

brilliant

listen to it every few months. brilliant very well read . . . . .

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  • Stanley
  • 05-04-2019

A good listen

A good and intelligent story albeit with a lot of detail. The battle stories are good as is the tactics.

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  • jules phillips
  • 05-04-2019

Much more than I expected

Good stories are hard to find, even in war. Yet this story was a real pleasure to listen to from the get-go. Ive read and heard a hundred and one action packed war stories and its the honest accounts, the deep personal struggles in the face of great adversity that I find the most interesting. Children torn apart by war dying in your arms. How does one move on from such horrors? Its not just another 'We were in combat' stories. Its intense, tragic, richly expressed and beautifully written (in my opinion). Ray Porter narrates this like no other too, which is a big plus. If you like this I also highly recommend 'The Trident' by Jason Redman or 'Shantaram' by Gregory David Roberts. Life is too short to be reading duds. Enjoy.