How can I get my Delta Force/Navy Seal/Recon Marines fix, but in book form?
June 9, 2009 11:45 PM   Subscribe

Since one of my favourite shows, The Unit, is now canceled, please recommend some books with similar themes.

I'm looking for books with a focus on the operational/military side of things, not so much the "cloak and dagger" spook CIA stuff. Although spook elements aren't a deal breaker.

No Heroes: Inside the FBI's Secret Counter-Terror Force by Daniel Coulson and Sharon Shannon and
Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit by Eric Haney are two awesome Non-Fiction books I've read.

Also, the more realistic the better. I really like the explanation of tactics in the two non-fiction books I mentioned above.
I don't want James Bond type stories where one suave guy with a sidearm defeats military mastermind.

I've also read the older Tom Clancy books (Sum of All Fears, Clear and Present Danger, Red Storm Rising, etc). From what I remember, they were ok.

This sounds weird, but Call of Duty 4 is also a good take on what I'm looking for.

I also really liked Mamet's movie Spartan, so books in that vein would also be welcome.

I'm pretty open on the time period, or if it's "based on true events" or not.

Or even Sci-Fi. I just read The Forever War by Joe Haldeman at was awesome.

I'm really bummed The Unit is done with, so hopefully you guys know of some good stuff to keep me going!
posted by sideshow to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Didn't see that The Unit got cancelled...darn. I haven't read it yet, but "Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior" is on my summer reading list.
posted by :-) at 11:50 PM on June 9, 2009

You might like Lee Child's Jack Reacher series of books. About an ex-marine drummed out of the army and is now a highway drifter. He inevitably finds himself in situations where he relies on his army training to solve problems. He often hooks up with people from his former unit, so it isn't always 'one man against the world'. It's pretty mindless stuff.. but i think it has an air of authenticity that you might like.

also, if you liked 'The Forever War' then you might also like 'Old Man's War' by John Scalzi.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 1:12 AM on June 10, 2009

The One That Got Away by Chris Ryan might be your cup of tea. Ryan was part of an SAS-team that crashed in Iraq (1990, I believe) and was captured. He, as you might have guessed, got away. A few other of his teammates wrote books about their experiences too: Andy McNab for one, the sergeant of the team.

I absolutely loved 'Black Hawk Down' (Mark Bowden) for its insanely good reporting, and it's exactly what you're looking for. 'Guests of the Ayatollah' has similar scenes, but is a bit long winded when Bowden tries his hand at international diplomacy - the streets or the killing fields are really Bowden's strength, I believe.

While we're on Bowden, do yourself a favor and read 'Doctor Dealer' too, although it's not about rangers, or delta forces. But it's about an amiable dentist who happens to be the biggest cocaine dealer of the East Coast.
posted by NekulturnY at 2:35 AM on June 10, 2009

Generation Kill by Evan Wright is fairly fantastic for the grunt-level look into the First Reconnaisance Battle Marines going into Iraq in 2003.
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:39 AM on June 10, 2009

"The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228" by Couch will have you wondering about the training of a SEAL. (Non-fiction)

Years ago I enjoyed Crossfire by J.C. Pollock. Fiction and had teams going on missions. They were well-done but not to the depth of Clancy with the storylines. Interesting enough. I wondered how his other books were.
posted by fluffycreature at 9:35 AM on June 10, 2009

Yeah, I should I mentioned that I've read Black Hawk Down and found it to be outstanding.

I've also seen the Generation Kill mini-series on HBO. Highly recommended. Especially because it was done by the same guys who did The Wire. I'll pick up the book.
posted by sideshow at 10:23 AM on June 10, 2009

Came across this in the Post today-- about secret service training:
posted by :-) at 9:28 PM on July 31, 2009

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