When Richard A Smith agreed to join one of the most secretive and elite branches of the U.S. Navy, he had no idea how much it would change his life. From the moment he signed the Navy contract, he was drawn into the shadowy world of the Silent Service... and it would never let him go.
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Very personal history - less about Sub Service
I held Richard Smith in the highest regard that he can talk about his feelings and remarkable development that he experienced during and after very stressful years of service. But I would like to give the potential reader a word of advise: the book is not so much about tense moments during dangerous missions during the Cold War as it is telling the very personal history of one man who endured the training and selection for the Silent Service. After the long and too much detailed introduction in the general life on submarines, the book tells the gripping biography of a man who tries to cope with his personal past. This is interesting, helpful and very personal. But it is not the narration of heroic missions deep under the sea - that is all classified.
My advice to the author would be to skip the elaborate details about food on a sub, about the personal details of his shipmates and some of the acronyms accompanying subs. I thought more than once to stop the audio book prematurely. It could be skipped in an edited future version. The overall story is worth reading and shouldn't be made so long and - sorry - boring with these details that don't have a real importance for the story.
To wrap it up, I just wondered at the very end of the book, if the strange story of the Rolex hasn't rung all alarm bells? It seems ominous to me that someone would send something so valuable as a reward for a service. Maybe the source was involved in clandestine operations as well? We'll never know - classified as well. ;)