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  • The Crossroad

  • By: Mark Donaldson
  • Narrated by: David Tredinnick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,517 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On 2 September ,2008, in a valley in eastern Afghanistan, Trooper Mark Donaldson made a split-second decision that would change his life.

His display of extraordinary courage that day saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, making him the first Australian to receive our highest award for bravery in wartime since Keith Payne in 1969.Yet Mark's journey to those crucial moments in Afghanistan was almost as exceptional as the acts that led to his VC. He was a rebellious child and teenager, even before the death of his father - a Vietnam veteran - when Mark and his brother were in their mid-teens. A few years later, their mother disappeared, presumed murdered. Her body has never been found.

Mark's decisions could have easily led him down another path, to a life of self-destructiveness and petty crime. But he chose a different road: the army. It proved to be his salvation and he found himself a natural soldier, progressing unerringly to the SAS, the peak of the Australian military.

From his turbulent early years to the stark realities of combat in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, Mark's book is the frank and compelling story of a man who turned his life around by sheer determination and strength of mind.

©2013 Mark Donaldson (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about The Crossroad

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Brilliant

Loved every minute and did not tune out at any stage. Have listened to this twice and could easily do it a third time.

9 people found this helpful

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He is a Hero whether he likes it or not

Speaking as a Modern Returned Servicman if I could be a quarter of the man that Mark and his mates are I reckon I'd be doing alright.
To do 1 tour to Afghanistan and come back with not only your body right but more importantly your mind is an extraordinary feat in itself let alone 6 tours.
Even if he didn't realise it at the time he was destined for greatness right from the start.
When listening to his early years I was eager to get to the action part(which is thrilling)but when you get down to the business end about his army life you love it when he looks back on his early years and the things that put him in the direction his ended up taking.
Not to give anything away, but I'm sure that he will get to the bottom of the mystery around his mum.
This is one book that I will definitely listen to more than a couple of times.
Mark, I thank you for your service.

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Great story

Excellent true life story of how a troublesome kid becomes a military legend.

The only reason I critically marked the performance down one star was due to the fact that there was a tendency to repeat explanations of the TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) used. Many are well known in common language and didn't need explanation at all ... but ok explain it once to me. However, once I have been told I don't need to be reminded again. Just a mild annoyance in an otherwise brilliant book.

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out of the 66 books i have downloaded from audible

I rate this one the best of then66 books i have downloaded from audible. I truely recommend it to all young dudes

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Fascinating story ... a great read

I couldn't put it down, no nonsense or wasting words. Held my interest from the very first paragraph to the end, thoroughly enjoyable. The narrator was the perfect choice for this book!

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Amazing, didnt want it to end, Thank you Mark

What a thrilling story of heroism and courage, I truly loved this book and did'nt want it to end. Thank you Mark Donaldson for your service to Australia, you are a hero in my eyes

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Wow

What a great Australian man. Our protector but mostly the protector of his family. I would love to shake his hand and say thanks mate.

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Inspiring

Awesome story, pity the narrators voice doesn't fit in with the action. Old mate sounds like the guy that warns you to hold the handrail while on the travellator at the airport...

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no brag just fact

True account no bullshit just facts. thoroughly recommend. Well narrared Thankyou for your service.

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Compellingly strong reading/listening

Another outstanding tell it as it is biography that all Australians who dare to comment on the actions of the forces sent into combat need to read.
As an ex serviceman myself, I have an interest in the books written by the Australian Afghanistan Veterans, my time... and I am sure that many others will also feel the moments in time freeze when certain elements are being described. As the author Mark has said, he felt it was a brotherhood, I would venture to say that we are a society and culture by way of training, speech and ethics in a nation of politically misguided people, of whom some have no intention to try and understand us.
That said, this is the second biography I have read of an Australian VC recipient and the childhood was difficult. They both joined the army and pursued a course of action to do their best and give their all to save lives of comrades in arms. Their actions are reflected by being awarded the highest honour, the VC (Australian, if that makes any difference really) and both accepted it as an honour for their unit and all members. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like, but I have been awarded two different citations for performing what I would call "Doing my job" by the USMC & USN. I felt proud, but it brought honour to my unit for the skills and training I was taught.
My nostrils twitch when the mention of the smell of the earth there was mentioned, but I can also remember the smell of the rooms of people, the raw sewerage and much more. This is a book that makes you look back on many things, consider your own life and the fortunes you have had, envy the writer of some of his opportunities as he travelled to the snow in Canada then America. But also be greatful for not having to endure the hardship of his family losses.
Mark, I know you probably had to edit a little but one hell of a book and I wish you well no matter what you do. You have earned it. If I could be like my old self, I would have read the book, but that is one thing that I cannot do any more, ptsd has had an effect on my lifestyle now and many things are no longer a pleasure.
If I had a fault with anything, it is only with the person who narrates the book... No offence intended but the pronunciation of STEYR and MINIMI is something that he really needs to work on. Otherwise an excellent job.

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  • Sue Holden
  • 20-03-2021

Good listen

Really enjoyed this. Puts some perspective on Afghanistan and the honour of a Victoria Cross.

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  • Rachael
  • 31-10-2017

A must read for all Australians.

ever Australian should read and know this story. should be a part of school history classes.

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  • Beach Reader
  • 23-11-2014

Outstanding. My book of the year

Where does The Crossroad rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

At the top. Loved the story, loved the presenter.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mark was the focus of the book and I loved his honesty, integrity and grit.

What about David Tredinnick’s performance did you like?

Loved David's emotion in the story, you really felt like you were there in the desert with Mark.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were places when I learnt of people dying that I got truly choked up.

Any additional comments?

I read a lot of books an this is definitely my book of the year. A long but thrilling read. Totally got my monies worth.

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  • Robert
  • 12-08-2018

excellent work

I enjoy this genre but particularly appreciated the genuine and humble style of writing of a true hero

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