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Sea Stories

My Life in Special Operations
Written by: William H. McRaven
Narrated by: William H. McRaven
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
5 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Following the success of his number one New York Times best seller Make Your Bed, which has sold more than one million copies, Admiral William H. McRaven is back with amazing stories of bravery and heroism from his career as a Navy SEAL and commander of America's Special Operations Forces.

Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. 

Sea Stories begins in 1963 at a French officers' club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II - the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security nuclear sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages. 

Action-packed, humorous, and full of valuable life lessons like those exemplified in McRaven's best-selling book Make Your Bed, Sea Stories is a remarkable memoir from one of America's most accomplished leaders. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 William H. McRaven (P)2019 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Exquisitely simple...superb, smart, and succinct." (Forbes)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

A Good Story

I watched W H McRaven on Morning Joe a while back, when he announced his book. I liked his voice, felt he would tell a story that would probably mean something, I was right. Any young woman or man, that could see their life mean something should hear his stories. Any old ones who listen , will probably smile a bit, perhaps cry a little and most assuredly bow their head and give thanks to those that serve, I do!

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Excellent!

William H. McRaven is such an interesting person and being able to listen to his first-hand insight into such impactful world events is a truly unique and captivating experience. This will be one audio book I’ll be listening to again and more than likely again after that in the future. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Al
  • 2019-11-06

True stories, insight from an inside operative.

Having served in the military, makes this book that much more enjoyable. I believe once you have endured the break down of your mind and soul only to be built back in to a fighting machine, you believe in your fellow soldier and the camaraderie. Believe me when I tell you that I did not serve in the same capacity as Admiral McRaven nor did I ever go to war, but once you have entered the brotherhood, you understand and it all makes sense. I found the book and stories to be compelling and believe there has to be another book as this one book cannot completely cover this mans career. I knew of most of the stories from following them in the news and documentaries, but to hear them in first person terms was incredible. McRaven is a very humble individual who knows where his talents were best used. He gives credit where credit is due which is the sign of a true leader. Made going to work and driving home much more enjoyable. Highly recommended.

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Exceptional Book

An exceptional story from a man that has led an exceptional life. Read by the author. Highly recommended.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • N.
  • 2019-10-23

Behind-the-scenes look at high level military life

tl;dr - Sea Stories offers a higher vantage point view of special ops than most military memoirs and benefits greatly for it.

OVERALL - 4/5 ("It's Great")
If you're into military memoirs, particularly anything special operations related, this is a good book. There isn't a ton of "on the ground" action, but it provides a look behind the scenes that acts as a nice supplement to the numerous other books that do. 

McRaven comes across as a truthful, reliable narrator and I had no problem accepting his words at face value. This is not a book written by a politician. 

PERFORMANCE - 3/5 ("Pretty Good")
I am usually pretty wary of non-actors narrating their own books, but McRaven does an admiralble (get it!?) job here. He's not a natural born narrator, but he speaks with conviction and puts you into his mindset. 

STORY - 4/5 ("It's Great")
William McRaven has lead an extremely compelling and intriguing life. In books like these, the childhood days are often a part that must be trudged through to get to the real reason you bought the book. That isn't the case here. McRaven grabs you from the beginning and even his childhood stories had me fully invested and eager to hear more.

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann M Manning
  • 2019-06-19

Overall excellent

The only part of the book i didn't enjoy was the first chapter where the author discusses his childhood. While it was essential to set the book up, it was relatively uninteresting. (in my humble opinion)

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Frankie
  • 2019-06-02

Stories that touch your soul

True to its title, each chapter is a self-contained “sea story” that, for busy folks, can be “snacked” one chapter at a time or (as I did) all at once with the audio book READ BY ADM McCRAVEN. (Nothing beats a book read by the author!) In the he first two chapters, Adm McRaven teases the reader with dramatic stories of battle that...but no spoiler from me. You MUST read (or listen) it!
But the book is more than just stories. Adm McRaven link these stories to the values that define him—patriotism, religious faith, family, the deep friendships forged in combat. He favorably interprets the millennial generation in the context of his role as Navy seal commander and as chancellor of the University of TX System
The audio production is excellent. The beginning snd and of each chapter starts with the heroic, expansive music that I loved in the “Victory at Sea” TV series of the late 1950s about Navy ships and battles.
If you are a hero-worshipper, this book is for you!

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Paul Reynolds
  • 2019-05-24

Amazing & Totally Enthralling Book!

Admiral McRaven has written a tremendously engaging book that will have you hooked from the opening words to the ending credits. He has done a fantastic job at retelling his life stories in a way that makes you feel as though you you truly know him at the end of his book. You will feel a deep sense of pride as you listen to every one of his stories and in the end you will have a deep connection to him as a man and leader! Loved every minute of this book and it definitely left me wantimg so much more!

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 2019-08-05

Great behind scenes look at the special operations!

Only negative was felt like he went on too long on front end about growing up and kid activities. Once that was behind me I really enjoyed these high profile missions. Well put together with OBL take down for final mission. Captain Phillips was crazy and made into a movie. Good book and great man

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dean
  • 2019-07-17

Top notch storytelling and content!

Bill McRaven has a very conversational tone and tells great suspenseful stories. He paces it perfectly. By far my favorite performance and overall story line of any book on audible hands down.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill Hass
  • 2019-05-28

Great Listen

Compelling story given personally by an excellent storyteller about diverse experiences. Good from beginning to end

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Wil D
  • 2019-05-25

Great collection of Sea Stories

This sailor can really tell a story. From the very first chapter to the end,Bill McRaven writes a fascinating tapestry of his life. His stories about being a Seal Tram officer we’re a truly inspiring insight into Naval special forces. Thanks for sharing!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristina S
  • 2019-09-05

loved the stories

incredible stories! author/narrator was a bit dry (though what you'd expect from a senior military official) and the music between chapters made it all feel cheesy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Noe Renteria
  • 2019-08-18

Meh

It’s ok but I could t continue it was too slow and not interesting enough for me to invest more time in it .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful