- Publisher: Apple Pie; 4th Edition edition (2006)
- ISBN-10: 0615276652
- ISBN-13: 978-0615276656
- ASIN: B001B3URI0
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,626,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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DANGER CLOSE Hardcover – 2006
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For those who became familiar with Michael Yon's work through his riveting dispatches from the frontlines in Iraq, this first book will provide some answers to the question "who is this guy?" An engrossing personal memoir, first published in 2001, Yon's autobiography spans from his early, almost idyllic childhood in Florida to just after he completed his Special Forces training. It is unflinchingly honest, raw at times, and filled with promise and portend of his career as an explorer and writer. At first glance, Danger Close reads like an adventure story, one that begins with the fateful bar scene, flashes back through a guts-and-glory retelling of what it takes to be accepted into one of the country's elite unconventional warfare units, and ends with Yon's acquittal of the charges. Yet Yon's self-published memoir simultaneously proves to be a coming-of-age story of a fiercely unique sort. Yon's mother died when he was only seven, and that irreparable loss, combined with the neglect that he later suffered at the hands of his father and the refuge he found with his grandparents and his friends, creates the emotional anchor of the book. Yon handles such a complex combination of subject matter in a free-form, associative style, juxtaposing scenes of intensive weapons training, for example, with stories of life lessons he learned from his grandfather. The result is winningly rough around the edges: Danger Close is exuberant and thoughtful, tender and violent, and, for the most part, it works. Writing, for Yon, like joining the Army, was about having "demons to slay. Big, mean demons that haunted and chased me. I was going to kill them."
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Top Customer Reviews
This work is about many, many issues. I believe that everyone can find a part of themselves in this book. Please do not be put off thinking this is a book for guys, a book about the Military. The service was a big part of the life he describes, it is a part of the story, not the entire experience.
I was asked to "have a look" at this book, and in keeping with my statements on my personal page, I want anyone who reads this review to know that. This is the first time I have done this, as I believed people might not feel I was being objective. However, I was free to read or not read the book, to comment or not comment. I read the entire book, and I am pleased that I did.
This book has a different rhythm than most books I have read. I believe the reason is that there was not a Publisher questioning and commercializing what is an amazing story for a young man. This book reads like real life, the irony is that many times books are praised because "it made a person feel as though they were there". With an autobiography, very often there will be a second name that is involved to a degree in writing the book. Mike Yon wrote this book, and the following is a compliment, there are times the writing is offered with two many short thoughts that certainly could have been massaged to be more "elegant", but it would have killed the book.
A neat evolution takes place in this book. As Mike tells his story he matures as a writer as his life goes on. The epilogue hints at the writing skills he will refine, just as he developed all the other talents he has. His sometimes very painful childhood memories are presented just that way, painfully, candidly, the way a young man would think of them as they happened. Mike also looks back with the distance of years at the same events sharing his philosophy on parts of life with wisdom well in excess of his years.
Mike could have become a statistic, as a child he was put through hell in countless ways, he witnessed the behavior of a Stepmother that was sadistic, but at 18 he became a member of this Country's Elite Special Forces. He did not become a burden to anyone; he became an asset for us all.
At the moment of great personal triumph, circumstances landed him in jail facing a murder charge. All he had accomplished was virtually guaranteed to be destroyed. I believe it would have destroyed people with "normal childhoods" much less the hand he was dealt.
This is a brutally candid book that took a great deal of courage to write much less publish. He never "sold out" his story, and this book should not be confused with people who seem to enjoy sensationalizing their misery and that of others for a buck. The bestseller list at this moment contains one, and readers thankfully have trashed it.
The only reason I wish Mike had gone with a "Name" for a publisher is that this work would have gained a much larger audience. I know the story would have lost some of its intensity, but his decision to produce the book as he did is consistent with the person he is. His being faithful to his story was more important than the number of books he would sell.
This is a great read. It is at times painful, at other moments upsetting. In the end you will feel admiration for the man who gives so much credit to his Mother, and to his Grandparents. A woman named Viola helped, and her entrance into his life is described with some of the best humor I have read. She probably deserves her own book.
The ending of this book is imperfect just as real life is; the Author remained true to himself and his experiences. I felt very good with his final thoughts, like the book they were real. A positive ending, not a contrived, slick, happily ever after bit of nonsense.
I believe this Author has a great deal more to say, and I look forward to listening!
Seeing the fun and joy of the beginning of his life is like looking at my own at a certain age, you become one with the book. The very good descriptive way that he (Mike Yon of course) tells you his life, is amazing. The feelings coming through reading this book is tough, I had to lay the book down for a week.
The hell he went through after his first 7 years was amazing, the whole book is amazing if you ask me.
The book gives you faith, it makes you wanna fight. Parts of my life has been hard. I've had times when I thought seriously about suicide (planing it and all), then I thought it was weak and that I was a fighter so way would I do it? But then I was bouncing between those options becuz of the question "why live?". Now I can truthfully say that I won't help death dealing with me. This book gave me faith, strength and something that I really need and needed, a big brother. The brother I never had. Someone to look upto. Someone you in a way you wanna become, but in the end you don't. You realize the pain that is everywhere, in your life, and his life. Why try to get his when you can change yours? Lot's of questions like this came up but more about confidence. Now I can say "I won't give up!" "I will never give up, I will make it!". That is something I couldn't do before.
I think that everybody either needs help or some kinda encouragement. In my case encouragment. This book won't tell you you're the best and that he is a super-man-invincible-green-beret rather it will make you stand up and see how horrible life can be, and at the same time there is a away out. I guess it's not the same thing as making Special Forces training and it's not telling you what todo, it's showing you that you can make a good thing out of bad experience. That's my point of view.
A review can't justify this book, it will teach you, make you grow up, make you human, learn you not to give up. and a lot more.
Description of book: Astonishing.
Military have always been in the back of my head, now I know I wanna become a special forces soldier.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A definite read by a guy who did REAL embedding. Michael Yon has been in Iraq and Afghanistan with the troops dince 1992, not for a weekend!