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A Handful of Hard Men

The SAS and the Battle for Rhodesia
Narrated by: Jack Chekijian
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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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 members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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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 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

worst narrator

first chapter and i am struggling with the narrator. by far the worst i have heard. i would prefer to listen to my 8 year old read this and it take 10 days rather than listen to this fella read a book again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A handful of hard men

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful