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Summary

It is difficult to find another soldier's story to equal Captain Darrell Watt's in terms of time spent on the field of battle and challenges faced. Even by the lofty standards of the SAS and Special Forces, one has to look far to find anyone who can match his record of resilience and valor in the face of such daunting odds and with resources so paltry.

In the fight, he showed himself to be a military maestro. A bush-lore genius, blessed with uncanny instincts and an unbridled determination to close with the enemy, he had no peers as a combat-tracker (and there was plenty of competition). But the Rhodesian theater was a fluid and volatile one in which he performed in almost every imaginable fighting role.

After 12 years in the cauldron of war, his cause slipped from beneath him, and Rhodesia gave way to Zimbabwe. When the guns went quiet, Watt had won all his battles but lost the war. In this fascinating biography, we learn that in his twilight years, he is now concerned with saving wildlife on a continent where they are in continued danger and devoting himself to both the fauna and African people he cares so deeply about.

©2015 Hannes Wessels (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about A Handful of Hard Men

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, awful narration

I have listened to nearly 50 Audible titles over the last year and this is easily the worst narration I have heard. Hearing the story told in an American accent would be jarring in any circumstances but in this instance is made much worse by the narrator mangling and mispronouncing so many terms and names. If I wasn't so interested in the story, I would abandon listening. What a shame.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story - poorly narrated

I can’t even get past chapter 5!! I lived through this time as a child and was interested to hear this book but sadly the narration was so poor I couldn’t continue.
A number of words are lost as the narrator is unable to pronounce a number of words correctly this los MH the overall sense of where this story takes place.

A real shame of a great story poorly narrated

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Total rubbish don't waste your money!!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I can't imagine anyone would find this interesting.

What was most disappointing about Hannes Wessels’s story?

The Narration was shocking, my 8 year old could read better. This will send you to sleep.

What didn’t you like about Jack Chekijian’s performance?

It was rubbish, he should never work again. this might have been a good story but he killed it.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, it is becoming a lottery if I waste my credit or not. seriously considering stopping my Audible.

Any additional comments?

I'd like my credit back. Listen to it and you will know why.

17 people found this helpful

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Narrator style doesn't fit the story

A very nice book about some pretty hardcore soldiers doing what they had to do to defend their own country. It would hv been better if the book was spoken by someone with a more Afrikan accent. The narrator posh accent and slow way of reading doesn't fit this kind of book. The story told is about men who eat current SF soldiers for breakfast, not a love novel

3 people found this helpful

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I rarely write reviews but the narration is so bad

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If Jack Chekijian appeared to at least enjoy reading the story to an expectant audience this book may well have had a chance. I may purchase the Kindle version to see.

What was most disappointing about Hannes Wessels’s story?

I could not get into the story due to the lack of drama in the voice of Jack Chekijian.

What didn’t you like about Jack Chekijian’s performance?

Really sorry to be negative - everything

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It may well have done if I could get past Jack Chekijian’s performance. I will try the kindle version and see.

Any additional comments?

No

11 people found this helpful

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Probably the best small army in history

A great but ultimately sad story of a valiant nation up against the 'real politic' of the late 70s and early 80s. Political but not military defeat condemned a nation to 30 years and counting of repression and poverty. We should hang our heads in shame and respect those who fought so hard for their country.

2 people found this helpful

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Great book, poor narrator.

The story is fantastic and extremely educational if you don't know much about Rhodesia and the SAS as I didn't. However, this being the audio version the narrator is highly important and unfortunately let's this book down. The narrative is excellent but the narrator has managed to turn a spectacular story into something quite boring to listen to. That and his inability to pronounce certain words makes it's quite difficult to continue to listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Would put you to sleep

The narrators
Voice is so boring, I could not even finish this book. Do not listen to whilst driving or operating heavy machinery.

4 people found this helpful

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A handful of hard men

An story of bravery and courage. But a sad reflection on a cowardly British government.

1 person found this helpful

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Awful Narration

The narrator is totally miscast. Completely ruined a great book. I would ask for a refund he's so bad. I could not finish the book. but it's beautifully. written. credit to the author

1 person found this helpful

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  • rowca
  • 05-10-17

Fantastic Story- Title says it all... Hard Men

What a story! The book is not for the lighthearted. Tells the story from the perspective of the Rhodesian SAS, which some may find objectionable philosophically, and in deed. However, it also reveals the other side of the events-- the complicity of neighbors, the role of South Africa, Cuba, the Soviet Union and the UK/US/UN. Like the sinking of the Titanic we know the ending, but with a continuing vengeful twist not envisioned by the world players.

As the book progressed I grew accustomed to the narrator's slow reading and lack of inflection.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-06-21

Great story but poor choice in narrator

The narrator does an excellent job of reading this book. He has a clear voice, great pacing and you can tell he's a professional.

BUT he is an American narrating a book about Southern Africa, and I can't get over how many names and words were mispronounced throughout this book.

It seriously detracts from the authenticity of the piece when the narrator mispronounces so many of the names and words.

I am a South African, born and bred, and I can't understand why the company who hired the narrator didn't use a narrator who is FROM Southern Africa.

The book is great but as someone who grew up in the region and understands the culture and nuances of the history and people, I can say with certainty that the narration negatively impacts the authenticity of the book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • DAVIS J BEAM III
  • 21-07-18

The audiobook that I have read twice

This is the only audiobook that I have bought that I listened to and finished and then turned around and listened to again right afterwards, and I have listened to many audiobooks. The narrator was great and didn’t talk to fast. I really enjoyed the part about Luke in Mozambique. It is really a shame that there are no other audiobooks about the Rhodesian Bush War available because it was about the only “just war” that a country in the Anglosphere has fought since WW2, and it was sabotaged by the elites of London and DC . RHODESIANS NEVER DIE!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cubichefrommiami
  • 15-12-17

Exceptional story telling

Loved the book. It goes into very good detail which keeps you hooked. Sad story about how a country was sold out by the Brits, shame on Thatcher, kerrington and the rest of the vile Brits.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-08-17

A Handful of Great Stories

This was an excellent conglomeration of stories from the Rhodesian SAS. Narration, not so lively.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Loci
  • 28-01-18

Don't be deterred by the readers voice - a great book.

An incredible account of a less known conflict, however they couldn't have picked a less enthusiastic bloke with worse pronunciation to read it.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-01-21

Magnificent Book....Pathetic Naration

Absolutely Terrible Naration! So sad that this great book/story is ruined by a narator who can not correctly pronounce the names of these great men, the places and locations refered to or the common Southern African items and expressions. Disrespectful!!! The monotone and speech devoit of all passion and emotion ruins what could be a riveting book.

The writing, story, comments and facts are so well told and represented. It was great to relive memories out if my youth..... and inevitably to suffer the sadness and emotions of the tragic outcome of this brave and honorouble struggle.

Do not miss out on reading this incredible book but get the hard copy or Kindle version.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Afrikaner
  • 07-11-18

Thank you Hannes Wessels

This is a most remarkable tale of such casual heroism that very few people know about.

Its a tragic precursor of outcomes whenever the globalist agenda runs its course.

I wish I had read this book 30 years ago.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-17

Inspirational story of what can be achieved by individuals and small teams against the odds.

I would have preferred a less posturing performance however the story was astounding. Bravery, discipline, resilience and true love of country which does not necessitate hate of others. A story for us, our children and for all country leaders.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hyatt
  • 22-10-17

A story more people need to hear....

Outstanding narrative and very clear narrator. A compelling story from a perspective I was not fully aware of. Must read!

2 people found this helpful