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Download One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer Audiobook, by Nathaniel Fick Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.07 out of 54.07 out of 54.07 out of 54.07 out of 54.07 out of 5 4.07 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nathaniel Fick Narrator: Nathaniel Fick Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 ISBN: 9780743552448
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If the Marines are "the few, the proud," Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Only one Marine in a hundred qualifies for Recon, charged with working clandestinely, often behind enemy lines. Fick's training begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, after his junior year at Dartmouth, and advances to the pinnacle -- Recon -- four years later, on the eve of war with Iraq. Along the way, he learns to shoot a man a mile away, stays awake for seventy-two hours straight, endures interrogation and torture at the secretive SERE course, learns to swim with Navy SEALs, masters the Eleven Principles of Leadership, and much more.

His vast skill set puts him in front of the front lines, leading twenty-two Marines into the deadliest conflict since Vietnam. He vows he will bring all his men home safely, and to do so he'll need more than his top-flight education. He'll need luck and an increasingly clear vision of the limitations of his superiors and the missions they assign him. Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders. One Bullet Away never shrinks from blunt truths, but it is an ultimately inspiring account of mastering the art of war. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A compelling and exciting memoir of military service, swift in its pacing and sure in its details. The courage, selflessness, and skill of Marines are intensely portrayed here and are—in the highest and rarest praise for a military memoir—unmistakably authentic.” 

    Senator John McCain 

  • “Harrowing…deserves close reading and serious discussion.” 

    Washington Post 

  • “Provides a close-up and often harrowing look at [his] service both in Iraq and Afghanistan.” 

    U.S. News & World Report 

  • “What One Bullet Away accomplishes, in a way all the blather on cable television never will, is to give readers real insights into the modern war and its warriors.”

    Rocky Mountain News 

  • Winner of the 2006 Colby Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 2/14/2014

    " I read this book as research. It's a compelling read about the training and deployment of a Recon Marine at the start of the Iraq war "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tristanb18 | 2/3/2014

    " I thought this book was great before I joined the Marines. Now, I can't believe some of the things said in the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leesa | 1/31/2014

    " i liked this book but it took forever to read. for me. (now granted, i'm also writing my own book and revising another, but still.) it doesn't usually take me this long to read a book like this. i liked generation kill by evan wright more, but i look @ them together since they're both re: the same deal, as well as the awesome-i-love-it-so-much hbo miniseries. once again, idk how i feel abt the starring system. i liked it and almost loved it, but three stars seems low. so maybe i'd give it three and a half if i could. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B. | 1/26/2014

    " Gift from Inday (thanks Day). I admit, I was already inclined to like this book because I love the show, which is the best I've seen in a while. Fortunately I was not disappointed. Great to know the un-Hollywood-ized story from an actual insider. Fick is an engaging narrator who tells his tale well, without going into cheesy and preachy territory. Almost makes me want to be a recon Marine, and I'm not even American (or male, for that matter). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allen Elggren | 1/23/2014

    " Very Good. A marine can write and not fill the pages with cursing. Very Good Book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emma | 1/22/2014

    " I said that this was okay only because I might not be interested in it, but I know the perfect audience that would be: young adult males who are interested in joining some sort of army or military and who do not often read. Fick's voice is hard, truthful, and to the point. Very masculine. I don't think I could get into it because my brain does not function on the combat level but he is very informative and honest. Highly recommend for the specified audience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 1/13/2014

    " I met the author this weekend, and it's amazing how putting a face to the story makes it more compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 1/1/2014

    " An interesting look into modern warfare, with all the decisions, traumas, and triumphs therein. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 12/29/2013

    " Smart and touching look at deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a fast read as well. Definitely inspiring and enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 11/17/2013

    " I was a lil hesitant about reading this only because I thought I might not like a 'military book', but from the very beginning I enjoyed Fick's writing style/storytelling. It was nice to get more detail on some of the people you didn't see too much of on the "Generation Kill" series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Denny | 5/22/2013

    " Awesome book. Likes the reality if the authors writing. Goes along with Generation Kill by Evan Wright. Fick is the platoon commander in the book and wright records his thought riding with a FirebTeam in Ficks platoon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 The Sundance Kid | 3/21/2013

    " This book brings the marines up close and personal. The marines are the few and the proud. But these marines are definately the fewwer and the prouder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie Burnett | 1/15/2013

    " In my quest to expand my reading horizons I picked up this book that I typically would never read, and I really liked it! Full of insight and no knee/jerk reactions or easy solutions,very interesting, but not an easy subject matter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wesley | 10/22/2012

    " Engrossing, humble, and informative. Provides textbook scenarios and insight for anyone aspiring to hold a leadership position. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 9/6/2012

    " If you want a very good account of the trials and difficulties of today's combat leaders, look no further than this book. I highly recommend it for better understanding of our two currents wars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jmt Teigen | 5/27/2012

    " Fick writes as the adult in the room when compared to the account from Generation Kill, but hearing the events from the officer was a good read. I expect Fick to run for office in time, and this book will not diminish his ability to win. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 4/5/2012

    " Excellent read. Intelligent, concise, factual account of men at war. Apolitical. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Savagecats | 2/3/2012

    " I really unexpectedly loved this book. I also cried really hard at the end, and I'm not even sure I can fully articulate why. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff James | 12/28/2011

    " A good book. But a little predictable about his thoughts and feelings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbra Luce-turner | 12/10/2011

    " Bought this book to read in hopes that it would have appeal to my high school freshman grandson. My Dad was a Marine and often talked about his days in the Corps "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne Johnson | 10/28/2011

    " Very well-written. Perfect companion novel to Generation Kill. I truly hope that Fick runs for President someday so I can vote him. Twice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leala | 9/27/2011

    " Really enjoy Fick's writing style "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 8/27/2011

    " Great novel. Told about/by a Marine who was a Platoon leader in Afghanistan, then in Iraq, then a company commander in one of them, I can't remember where. Its been about a year and a half since I read it lol. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 6/15/2011

    " Balanced account of training of a marine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 4/10/2011

    " True depiction of USMC OCS training "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nyssa | 3/22/2011

    " One of the best books I've read in a year. Everyone should read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon | 1/24/2011

    " This book should be required reading for high school students. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Petabyte | 11/22/2010

    " I don't know why I feel sad after finishing this book. Struck with a sense of loss. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 11/21/2010

    " A good book. But a little predictable about his thoughts and feelings. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim | 11/14/2010

    " Rehashes the events in Generation Kill. I didn't gain a lot from reading this account. "

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About the Author

Nathaniel Fick served as an infantry officer and then as an elite recon marine after receiving a BA in classics from Dartmouth. He saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq before leaving the Corps as a captain. He is now a fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies and serves as a director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth. On top of his degree from Dartmouth, he holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA in international security policy from Harvards John F. Kennedy School of Government.