Reviews for Damn Few
by Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
The title sums up the percentage of SEAL applicants who actually join the operational teams after surviving the notoriously rigorous selection and training. The author, a former director of basic and advanced SEAL training, makes it clear that Rambo-types need not apply, unless they can match their physical prowess and weaponscraft with their ability to mesh everything they do with their teammates every second of the mission, and most of the rest of the time as well. This is a life-or-death matter and makes running the training almost as stressful as undergoing an actual operation something that this book makes clearer than ever before, even to the seasoned student of special-ops warriors.--Green, Roland Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Denver and journalist Henican (Home Team) take readers from Hell Week to the battlefield and back to base in this portrait of the grueling life of a Navy SEAL. Having led over 200 missions as a SEAL officer, Denver is acutely accustomed to the bizarre mix of lucidity and confusion that can descend on the minds of even highly trained soldiers in the midst of war. It's his job to make sure that heady blend doesn't come as a surprise when it matters most. Denver explains that joining "the greatest man club in the world" requires "talent, training, and instinct," and each of these is subjected to systematic honing in the leadup to induction. The program begins with a six-month marathon course of "medieval ferocity," during which 70%-80% of the class drop out. After that comes the infamous "round-the-clock relentlessness" of Hell Week, five 24-hour days of punishing physical challenges. The titular few that survive then enter into a kind of liberal arts program of war making-courses run the gamut from parachuting to computer hacking and language studies. The result: warriors "in every sense of the word." Interweaving tales of battle and reflections on what it means to be a professional killer, Denver crafts an awe-inspiring sketch of soldierly excellence. 16-page b&w photo insert. Agent: Peter H. McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.