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Audible Editor Reviews

Topgun Days: Dogfighting, Cheating Death, and Hollywood Glory as One of America's Best Fighter Jocks is a focused description of one man’s exhaustive climb to the pinnacle of his career as fighter pilot. This autobiography by Dave Baranek will prove enjoyable to those generally interested in military life as well as those who wish to live vicariously through an expert fighter pilot. Baranek explains the patience and discipline required to ascend the fighter pilot career ladder. He segues into his life as role model for Hollywood’s glamorized version of topguns. Assigned to create action footage for the Tom Cruise vehicle Top Gun, Baranek himself briefly becomes a pop phenomenon. Baranek’s pride and sincerity can be heard in narrator Jeremy Arthur’s entertaining recital.

Publisher's Summary

Dave Baranek (callsign "Bio") was one of 451 young men to receive his Wings of Gold in 1980 as a naval flight officer. Four years later, seasoned by intense training and deployments in the tense confrontations of the Cold War, he became the only one of that initial group to rise to become an instructor at the navy's elite Fighter Weapons School. As a Topgun instructor, Bio was responsible for teaching the navy's and Marine Corps' best fighter pilots how to be even better. He schooled them in the classroom and then went head-to-head with them in the skies.

Then, in August 1985, Bio was assigned to combine his day-to-day flight duties with participation in a Pentagon-blessed project to film action footage for a major Hollywood movie focusing on the lives, loves, heartbreaks, and triumphs of young fighter pilots: Top Gun. Bio soon found himself riding in limousines to attend gala premieres, and being singled out by giggling teenagers and awed schoolboys who recognized the name "Topgun" on his T-shirts. The audiobook ends with his reflections on his career as a skilled naval aviator and his enduring love of flight.

©2010 David Baranek (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Topgun Days

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Fantastic story

A well written book that conveys a fantastic story. The monotone narration does not do it justice.

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Enjoyable book on life in TOPGUN

I enjoyed this book on life as a naval flight officer. Easy listen. Entertaining stories.

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  • Randy
  • 2013-02-19

Top Gun or Topgun

I admit it, I’ve watch Top Gun the movie over and over. I love it. So when I had to a chance to read how it was put together I jumped at it. I had no reviews to help me (I really depend on reviews) so I felt a need to write a this review.

Bio (his call sign and it is in the credits I checked) our author tells us about how he learned to be a REO. A reo is the weapons officer in the back seat. Bio tells us about having to eject on a failed landing attempt. Bio relates how they study and study and study to fly those jets with such safety and menace.

Top Gun the school according to Bio didn’t have a trophy given to the winner of the class. Tony Scott took some liberties with that one.

I think the preparation for the flights, the preparation for the teaching of the classes our author lets us know that being in a fighter jet is for in shape young men and women that are well trained and dedicated.

When I listen to a book some go by real fast, and that usually means to me it was riveting. This book flew supersonic by me and of course, I did stream the movie this weekend to check the credits and see exactly what Bio was talking about.

If you liked the movie this book is for you.

3 people found this helpful

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  • B. Borden
  • 2022-01-03

Up close and personal Topgun!!

I would recommend any Topgun fan listen to Topgun Days. Dave “Bio” Baranek thoroughly covers his time at Topgun and provides amazing insight to the Topgun movie production. Lots of little nuggets of behind the scenes movie knowledge. Baranek also clearly walks the reader through the true Topgun experience!!

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  • John I
  • 2021-09-10

Inside look at flying for the movie!

Enjoyed this narration of F-14 flying. The best of the best! A top pilot's memoir of duty, opportunity, and flying at Miramar!

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  • Jonathan Delatte
  • 2021-08-05

Audio narration not the best but...

F-14 Tomcat! Anytime Baby! I loved Dave Bio's Baraneks' story! What a storied career! ✈🇺🇲⚓

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  • Mark L.
  • 2021-07-31

Outstanding

I thoroughly enjoyed this listening. I loved the information about the filming and production of the movie.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-07-18

Very interesting and enjoyable

Very interesting story and generally well told. occasionally repeating information and the way times are narrated wind me up.

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  • David R.
  • 2021-06-04

Well written and whole book was interesting

Bio experience's was an insight not many Enlisted personal or general public would ever get to live though his thoughts.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-04-12

A compelling look at Topgun.

Loved it. Well worth the time invested. The author speaks from experience and training as he describes his journey from an F-14 Tomcat RIO in the Fleet to his time as a Topgun student expanding skills. Later he becomes one of the elite Topgun instructors as he shares what it's like to be among the elite of Topgun.

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  • T. V. Mackey
  • 2021-03-17

Excellent inside look

This was on my wish list when I noticed Audible was promoting the story. It was particularly interesting to me as an aviation enthusiast. The author is a former student and instructor who gives the reader a good inside look at the program. For we civilian pilots and enthusiasts, it's probably pretty good high level look at the program. The narrative is not very technical, so even if the reader is drawn because of being a fan of the movie, it will still give a behind the scenes insight.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-03-16

Fantastic

I wasn't sure about the book when I bought it but it couldn't hurt to give a fair shot. I found that this is a fantastic book that doesn't just take you into what it was like to work on the movie but it takes you into what it's like to go to and instruct at Top Gun.