Just received a review copy of Doug Stanton’s Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan, which is about the special operations soldiers who infiltrated Taliban held Afghanistan and who were forced to blend the ancient with the postmodern on the battlefield. Horse Soldiers is doing very well on The New York Time’s bestseller list and is up near the very top of that prestigious category.
The promotion people also included the audio book as well in a 7 hour CD set. I’ve never listened to a “book on tape”, as they used to be called back in the day, so this might be the opportunity to give that format a try and review.
Flipping through the pages, the Horse Soldiers is not at all dry military history but action-packed narrative to which a general audience might relate. Here is an excerpt from the prologue:
Mazar-i-Sharif, AfghanistanNovember 24-25, 2001Trouble came in the night, riding out of the dust and the darkness.
Trouble rolled past the refugee camp, past the tattered tents
shuddering in the moonlight, the lone cry of a baby driving high into
the sky, like a nail. Sunrise was no better; at sunrise, trouble was
still there, bristling with AKs and RPGs, engines idling, waiting to
roll into the city. Waiting.These were the baddest of the bad, the real masters of mayhem, the
death dealers with God stamped firmly in their minds. The city groaned
and shook to life. Soon everyone knew trouble had arrived at the gates
of the city.
Major Mark Mitchell heard the news at headquarters nine miles away and
thought, You’re kidding. We got bad guys at the wire?
He ran downstairs, looking for Master Sergeant Dave Betz. Maybe he
would know what was happening.
But Betz didn’t know anything. He blustered, “One of the Agency guys
came down and told us we got six hundred Taliban surrendering. Can you
Surrendering? Mitchell couldn’t figure out why. He thought the Taliban
had fled from the approaching forces of the Northern Alliance to
Konduz, miles away. American Special Forces and the Northern Alliance
had been beating them back for weeks, in battle after battle, rolling
up territory by coordinating airstrikes from the sky and thousands of
Northern Alliance soldiers on the ground. They now stood on the verge
of total victory. Konduz was where the war was supposed to go next.
Not here. Not in Mazar. Not at Club Mez.
Besides, these guys didn’t surrender. They fought to the death……
Hmmmmm. Note to self. If you want to sell books, write more like this and less like an academic in a dusty cubicle at an obscure think tank.:)