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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2015
The disc skip and we are not able to listen to them.
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0 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2014
If I ever read this book in its entirety and actually learn something from it, I am buying myself a nice present. You would have to pay me though to watch the movie.
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25 of 136 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2002
I bought this book looking forward to learning about the Somalian
incident and began reading it with great anticipation. I am so
disappointed in the writer, both his "jump-around" reporting
and his redundant and poor writing that I could not force myself past
page 50. By that page he has told the reader no less than four times
that the dust is ochre colored and the trees in the courtyards are
small. He has also judged the Somalian adults as being lazy because
they don't have jobs, this from a reporter whose own account describes
a country who's infrastructure had been destroyed. Who, exactly was
looking to hire anyone? He dismisses those who question military
actions as "liberal do-gooders" and describes the troops as
men who couldn't even "write a high school report about
Somalia," an ignorance that is truly frightening and explains why
this country finds it so easy to "bomb the brown people". At
one point he states that the more than 100 military personnel involed
includes only 2 people of color, which he says is revealing, but does
not explain what it reveals or explain in any way what he meant by the
statement. I surmise Mr. Bowden (...), and his
treatment of the event is fragmented and superficial. As a high-school
report, this book would get high marks for quantity of factual (?)
information and flunk on writing skill.
The book angers me because
I feel duped by all the hype about it.
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14 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2003
This is one of few books that I have ever started, read half of, and did not bother to finish. The 150 or so pages I read-- consisting entirely of stale, straightforward plot description -- were some of the most mind-numbing I have ever encountered.
I was hoping for some insight into the Somalia conflict or the American Armed Forces or US foreign policy or even the psychology of warfare. Instead, it's a kiddie book about a single mission and the story is alienated from any larger social, political or historical context. I can see how military buffs -- especially those who already know the background on Somalia -- would be impressed by the intricacy and apparant authoritativeness of the narrative, but I found it empty and dull.
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24 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2000
Blackhawk down, is typical of the ethnocentric junk parlayed by authors who pretend to be unbiased historians.
Flush from a the Gulf War and prodded by the American television media, the pompous and arrogant U.S. military went into Somalia supposedly for "humanitarian" and "nation building" objectives.
Those objectives quickly disintegrated into the mass killings of Somali nationals by helicopter gunship, soldiers and armored vehicles using high velocity weapons; in the pursuit of Mohammed Farrah Aidid. Our military killed a lot of innocents and we have nothing to be proud about. The American Media hardly reported any of this! It was no surprise, that the whole of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, turned against the US and it's UN allies.
The Rangers and its Delta force component repeatedly went into Mogadishu hunting for Aidid using helicopters and fast-rappelling techniques. Once great, twice maybe, three and four times, what were they thinking? Do these so called "elite troops" lack the most basic of good military judgment? What happened to speed and surprise? What happened to varying your approach to the enemy! The Rangers had TWO THIRDS of their men wounded in action, many of them seriously.
They came within hours of being wiped out. They were in fact saved by the courage of Malaysians who using their armored vehicles saved them. The response of American military and political officials was to blame the Malaysians saying they had not been quick enough to respond.
The American media was quick to show some of the 18 Rangers and Delta Force men, being dragged around and urinated on. They did not show the hundreds possibly thousands of Somalis who died or suffered grievous wounds.
Somalis refer to this as the day of the Rangers. Like Yorktown and Gettysburg for Americans, they will forever remember in their nation's history, this victory. The Rangers and most Americans too, will remember this unfortunately not for the shame our military inflicted on our nation, but because they left wounded and dead men on the battlefield, something they have vowed they would never do.
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18 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2004
Stunningly shallow and simplistic!!
This book is a total waste of time. It is a shallow, naive, simplistic, shoot-'em-up, rah-rah and surprisingly tedious account of a tragic event. It is poorly written to boot! There is virtually no analysis of what was going on in Somalia. No explanation is offered of why the United States had troops committed there. There is no attempt to even ask the questions of why the US became vilified and hated by the Somalis.
This "journalist" furthermore exposes his own pathetic agenda throughout the book. He constantly hammers away at "weak kneed Washington politicians" (read - Democrats from Bill Clinton back to John F. Kennedy) while never mentioning (or even distorting the fact) that it was George H. W. Bush who sent the troops there originally with an ill-defined plan and virtually no exit strategy.
In his Epilogue he engages in considerable self-congratulations that is embarrassing even to read. He apparently thinks he is making some profound observations, while his whole account is sophomoric at best. His graphic descriptions of the soldiers' death agonies (brains spilling out, testicles blown off, femoral arteries spewing blood, etc.) is a disgrace and worthy of the "National Enquirer". This can only have added untold sadness to the families and friends of those lost. These accounts are even more despicably sensationalistic in light of the Pentagon and White House's current policy of suppressing respectful pictures of coffins returning from Iraq for fear of upsetting the families and demeaning those who died.
War is terrible. These soldiers were "peacekeepers", yet they were both feared and hated by those they were supposedly there to help. The Somalis were dehumanized as "Sammies" and "skinnies", and Mogadishu is constantly described as a dump. What is worse- driving repeatedly over Somali bodies in HumVees and the indiscriminate mass murder of innocent Somalis or dragging bodies of dead soldiers through the streets. Or are they equally horrific and reprehensible? The issue apparently never even occurs to the author.
The loss of the 18 soldiers was and is a terribly tragic event. This author does them no honor.
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16 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2003
A client gave me this book to read and I was, therefore, obliged to finish it. It was not easy. I am just amazed how many 5-star reviews this book received. Has anyone read any other military books? Because, I've got to tell you, this is just not that good. In fact, its not very good at all. It is just one of those gung-ho, America the greatest books.
First of all, it was boring--as in hard not to fall asleep while reading it. I like a book to build, become intensely gripping and fall off gently. This book, unfortunately, goes right into nausiating detail on the layout of the streets and courtyard where the battle took place, but one can hardly understand it without a drawing it would seem. Talk about filling up pages of a book. If you take out these lengthy, unnecessary descriptions, the book would be a third lighter, at least.
Secondly, it is one-sided. It never explains why the Somolians hate the US Military, which I was curious over. I had thought I had read somewhere that the US had commited some sort of atrocity prior to the incident, which angered the Somolians but, again, no mention of it. The book seems to be trying to convey an impression that these third world countries just hate the US for no good reason. It tries to give some perspective from the viewpoint of the Somolians but I don't think more than a half dozen pages were devoted to this out of over 300 pages.
Even the writing style is weak. Sentences are too long and often written in the passive style. Here and there, parts are repeated. I hate that.
I guess I was expecting too much. I was looking for something to open my eyes or give me a new insight. All this book did was make me tired. The main thing I learned about modern warfare is that when something called an RPG hits something, which happens over and over again in this book, its pretty bad. I only found out what an RPG is when I read it in someone else's review. It may have been on one of the pages when my eyes were beginning to close. There was also a description of a type of gun they were using, which just shoots a hole through someone without necessarily dropping them, whereas, it would have been better to use the type of gun that drops a man on one round. I've heard that description every time someone argues the merits of a shotgun for self defense--as if its a good thing to take a chunk out of a man's back when the bullet leaves. This ideais oft repeated but is really getting stale. Yet, here it is, in Black Hawk Down.
I borrowed the movie to see if it is any better than the book. It couldn't be much worse. Or could it.
Hey, I'm as patriotic as the next guy but I know a poorly written book when I read one.
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7 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2003
The hype that the movie Black Hawk Down received prior to its release encouraged me to read the book: a fatal mistake. The book is as groan inducing as the movie and this is mainly because it spends so little time with character development that it's hard to care about the outcome and feel sorrow at the deaths of the soldiers. Action buffs who enjoyed the movie often criticize me by saying that this is a true account of an actual event, but even so this does not make the book any more exciting for me to read. If you are interested in knowing of what happened in Mogadishu, read the book, otherwise, steer clear of it as you would any other mindless action book/movie.
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1 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2005
BlackHawk Down was a great book. The reason i thInk this is because it was writen in a way that it put you in the action, it made me feel like i was there in the middle of a war.

Another reason i liked this book is because it went almost exactly with the movie, and when i read a book i like to be able to watch the movie and there not be a big difference between it and the book. Also not only did the events follow along with each-other there were alot of the same words and the book used alot of detail in sense that it used the abbreviations the army does, it used the same weapons, and the same names of the people who were actually in the war. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

RYAN CARNEY
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7 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2005
Way too detailed and too long. I don't have any patience for the detail... just get to the point and tell the story.
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