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Summary

You walk into a restaurant and get an immediate sense that you should leave. You are about to step onto an elevator with a stranger, and something stops you. You interview a potential new employee who has the résumé to do the job, but something tells you not to offer the position. These scenarios all represent "left of bang", the moments before something bad happens. But how many times have you talked yourself out of leaving the restaurant, getting off the elevator, or getting over your silly "gut" feeling about someone? Is there a way not just to listen to your inner protector more but to actually increase your sensitivity to threats before they happen?

Legendary marine general James Mattis asked the same question and issued a directive to operationalize the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter program. A comprehensive and no-nonsense approach to heightening each and every one of our gifts of fear, Left of Bang is the result.

©2014 Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley (P)2015 Tantor

What members say

Average customer ratings

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

great insight into human behaviour.

really good book, although some parts did lag a little, the content is very well put together, set out a lot like a training presentation, although very interesting content.

definitely one id recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing..

In our complex society this is essential reading for those who want to develop skills in awareness and assist in keeping our culture safe..

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Hutchinson
  • 29-04-16

Easier to follow when read

What does Danny Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Danny Campbell is an excellent narrator. I've listened to several other books he has narrated and I'm always impressed.

Any additional comments?

First let me say this, I've read and marked up both my physical copy and e-book of Left of Bang. In addition, I've completed the fantastic Basic and Advanced training course for the program. I decided to also grab the audiobook so that I could further my learning and listen to the concepts again and again as I drive. However, while listening to the audio I found it hard to follow along and stay engaged.

The main issue I have with the audio version is that the content of the book doesn't lend itself well to an audio format, through no fault of the highly skilled authors, or the talented narrator. The content is so rich, and requires such careful study, that simply listening to the audiobook leaves the listener with the sense they've missed something valuable.

That being said, do study this book, learn from it, apply the skills to enhance your safety.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Pseudo Nym
  • 21-04-17

skip first 25%

The first 25%, literally, is a commercial for this book. The rest is good.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • G. W. Funnell
  • 18-04-16

The how to spot unsafe conditions

I found it very good to know spot unsafe conditions . I was in Vietnam and I used some of the techque in combat. It saved my butt.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Scafidi
  • 14-04-17

Common Sense Presented as a Unique Concept

The book doesn't really cover anything useful to anyone who understands situational awareness. The government paid a group to train our Soldiers and Marines to actually pay attention and practice situational awareness. Any combat arms MOS already does this. The book discusses how we need to be aware of anomalies such as entering an area that's too quiet when it's normally bustling with activity. The remaining examples are mostly redundant examples of reading body language that anyone with any level of social skills already knows- detecting signs of nervousness or confidence, etc. I wish I could say that it's a surprise to think that the government paid some civilian agency for this training, but it's not. In my career, I've seen millions wasted on similar programs.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Fred
  • 25-08-16

Read this book

I own the paperback, kindle and now audio editions of this book and have read them all. Yes it's that good! Packed full o information on how to recognize and interpret patters of conflict.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • James K. Newport
  • 29-12-17

Another must read

I’ve gone through a plethora of books since I took CCW to a more serious level. I’m 58, found this book quite interesting & easy to enjoy. Verbal performance was also top notch.
Thanks guys!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Trudy Owens
  • 10-12-15

Left me wanting the training course!!!

You can't really learn self-defense from a book. But this book outlines quite a few things you can look for to be more aware of your surroundings, and more prepared to blow the whistle, protect yourself, or take down a bad guy.

There is lots of science here, from military studies of Marines as well as enemies, to the social sciences and on. It incorporates principles from various types of profiling, interrogation, surveillance, and even plain old corporate posturing. This is knitted together with anecdotes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the US to show how paying attention to specific signals can pick the bad guys out of a crowd. This course should be given to ALL our military personnel, not just a small percentage of those being deployed to dangerous places.

The best part is that it provides vocabulary to take you from "something just felt wrong," "he was acting hinky," and "it didn't look right" to being able to specifically pinpoint the aspects of situations or behaviors of people that pose a threat. It is more than just a body language book, but it has that too.

This is a good place to start if you are interested in self-protection. I don't know if there is anywhere outsides the Marines you can get the actual course, but right after my shooting practice, I want this!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • rosalyn s bishop
  • 19-09-17

12% Content

What disappointed you about Left of Bang?

Lacks Content & Very Repetitive

Would you ever listen to anything by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley again?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

No

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

disappointment

Any additional comments?

Try "Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life" its 100% better.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ulysses
  • 12-10-16

Excellent, quick listen that everyone MUST have.

This book breaks down the surroundings around you to be more aware and more prepared to identify a threat in an ever growing complex world. This book provides practical solutions for civilian, military, and first responder alike.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nye Walker
  • 21-02-18

Useful skills for human observation.

This is really a book about human behavior. It's useful to just about everyone that's interested in maintaining an awareness of their surroundings and knowing something just isn't right. It definitely takes practice, but this lays a solid groundwork.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful