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Left of Boom

How a Young CIA Case Officer Penetrated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
Narrated by: Mike Dawson
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Summary

The explosive New York Times best seller!

On September 11, 2001, Doug Laux was a freshman in college, on the path to becoming a doctor. But with the fall of the Twin Towers came a turning point in his life. After graduating, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, determined to get himself to Afghanistan and into the center of the action. Through persistence and hard work, he was fast-tracked to a clandestine operations position overseas. Dropped into a remote region of Afghanistan, he received his baptism by fire.

Frustrated by bureaucratic red tape, a widespread lack of knowledge of the local customs and culture, and an attitude of complacency that hindered his ability to combat the local Taliban, Doug confounded his peers by dressing like a native and mastering the local dialect, making contacts, and building sources within several deadly terrorist networks. His new approach resulted in unprecedented successes, including uncovering the largest IED network in the world, responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers.

Meanwhile, Doug had to keep up false pretenses with his family, girlfriend, and friends - nobody could know what he did for a living - and deal with the emotional turbulence of constantly living a lie. His double life was building to an explosive resolution, with repercussions that would have far reaching consequences.

©2016 Douglas Laux (P)2016 Douglas Laux

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Worst audio production I've encountered

Utter nonsense avoid avoid avoid. Badly produced with a pointless and jarring time line and at times utterly nonsensical due to bad audio and censoring.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible.DO NOT WASTE YOUR CREDITS!!!!

Any additional comments?

You miss the majority of what is said through incredibly annoying cuts to classical music due to classification. I could only stick 20 mins of missing entire parts of a story, so much so that anything left in was irrelevant detail. If I could get my money back I would.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Left of boom

Very good book, interesting and knowledgeable.

Only problem is the music cut overs. I understand certain information has to be redacted but I feel the music is a bit much.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Csaba Turkosi
  • Csaba Turkosi
  • 29-12-16

Frustratingly [REDACTED]

In places it is more [REDACTED] music than story, to the point and it is [REDACTED] impossible to follow.
What's the point of writing a book that will be [REDACTED] to illegibility?

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nathan
  • Nathan
  • 26-08-16

Too Censerord to be Enjoyable

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

I don't know if I like this audiobook or not because I was too annoying by the censorship.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The narrator informs you that because this is a book about the CIA certain parts have been removed and replaced with classical music on the behest of the CIA. What the narrator neglects to tell you is that these removed sections account for about 20% of the entire book. It's annoying, immediately annoying.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator was fine.

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

Annoyance.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-07-16

Just so you know.

I've listened to other books that have redacted content. When one of those sections was reached by the narrator, an overview of the redacted content was addressed and the narration moved on. Here you are treated to music for the duration of the missing content. This is just a guess as I didn't time these sections or the bumper music between chapters or the twelve second dead space's following those, but my guess is that the reader is getting about eight hours of content. Loved the story. Tied several things together from other things I've read. This isn't about the content. It's about heavily padding the time. You (redacted) been warned!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ryan Winter
  • Ryan Winter
  • 31-08-16

Redacted

Fantastic narration by Mike Dawson! Story is good, but listening to a lot of redacted material can be tiresome.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-08-16

Great Story - Overly Redacted

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bossman. Bossman is wise and well spoken and is the sage archtype most people can find in their own organization. The guy who should be in charge of everything, but usually isn't.

Have you listened to any of Mike Dawson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

It was pretty good. He applied good effort for the Pashto, but got a few military words wrong. Overall, better than most I have heard.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I loved the story. I wanted to smash my phone in the middle of the book because there were so many parts that were redacted. It was silly.
The description of the SEALs (Scorpions) was pretty accurate. They are toolbags.

Any additional comments?

To cope with the redaction, apply the following:
Foreign country/border = Pakistan
Foreign Intelligence Agency = Pakistani ISI
Foreign financing = Saudi involvement

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stitch
  • 03-01-17

Unfinished

Parts are entertaining but this book is unfinished and leaves way to much blank. Even with the explication given about sensitive info. The comment about Tim Hortons being Canadas McDonald's left me puzzled!
Author's ego shines through, this book would get a better rating i am sure if they would have cleaned up some of the missing dialog or reworded it so it was admissible.

Entertaining but unfinished

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Troy
  • 31-12-16

too much redaction

very frustrating listen. while I understand the CIA needing to protect their interests, this book is not worth a credit

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-12-16

Redacted

Would have been nice to know that so much of this book had been redacted prior to purchasing. It's pretty annoying that every minute or so classical music is playing to fill in the words blanked out of the book.

2 of 2 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
Profile Image for Modesto Vasquez
  • Modesto Vasquez
  • 31-08-16

Outstanding!

Simply fascinating, personal, and flat out interesting. This is the first audiobook I've listened to with Dawson as the reader... He's perfect! Laterhosen

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jamie Fairchild
  • Jamie Fairchild
  • 07-09-16

Very Engaging

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Unusual inside story regarding CIA operations in Afghanistan. It's hard for the average citizen to imagine doing what this author did as a CIA operative. That's some pretty intense stuff for a young person to engage in and it's not surprising the emotional toll that it took when the author returned home. He does cover some of his personal life and I didn't mind at all (although the Afghan stuff was more interesting) because it personalized the author and what he was experiencing during his years as a spy. The effort it must take to lie to just about everyone around you to either keep secrets or protect family/friends must be very difficult. Like I said ... hard to imagine this life which is why the book was so good.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Left of Boom?

Hearing a first hand account of conversation between a CIA agent (author) and a Taliban informant.

Any additional comments?

Yes, there are redactions, but it's pretty simple to figure out what was going on despite the redactions. In some cases, it added to the intrigue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful