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The One That Got Away

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,667 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
The Bravo Two Zero mission conducted by the SAS behind Iraqi lines is the most famous story of courage and survival in modern warfare. Here Chris Ryan reveals for the first time the true aim of the mission. Dropped behind enemy lines, they set off on 20 mile trek across hostile terrain, each man heavily laden with equipment and weaponry. Struggling through unexpected sub-z ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 6th 1996 by Arrow (first published 1995)
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Jul 14, 2011 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the companion to Bravo Two-Zero this provides another point of view of the events that took place in Iraq during the first Iraq war. The major difference is that the author was one of the three which got separated from the other five members of the squad and was the only one to actually escape Iraq.

It is always worthwhile seeing the same events from different points of view, as all memories are coloured by perspective. The main difference in these two accounts is that Andy takes most of the r
Mar 11, 2012 graceymayy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book, it was fantastic. It gave me an in-sight view of what it was like for Chris Ryan. Kept me on the edge of my seat after each page.
Sep 12, 2012 Sachahaworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking at the cover of the edition I bought, I think you'd be forgiven if you initally judged Chris Ryan to be a bit egocentric, because it bears the tagline "The real hero of Bravo Two Zero". Being published two years after Andy McNab's account of his experience in the same mission I translated that as "Do you know how difficult it is to escape from Iraq when there's a war on? Those other guys just sat there and people hit them!". Whether or not Ryan himself was responsible for the final cover ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Jared rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Justin Grieco
Spoiler alert... I discuss specifics within the book.


Hm... deciding between a two and a three starrer for this one was tough. I ultimately decided for three stars because his account of stumbling through Iraq was interesting. His pub conversation style of story telling carries this type of story very well.
Still, just by his style and recollection, I know his type very well. While his story is amazing, it is just that. I am by no means calling him a
Mark Maguire
Jun 02, 2012 Mark Maguire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
This was an incredible book! I heard of the legend of Bravo Two Zero; I had watched numerous episodes of "Hunting Chris Ryan" on the Television, but until I had read this gripping book, I had no comprehension about the incredible mental, and physical challenges that the author had undergone during his record-breaking Escape and Evasion across Iraq to the relative "safety" of Syria. Indeed, some of the most memorable sections of the book occur during the authors' arrival in "friendly" territory. ...more
May 26, 2009 Dylan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To say Chris Ryan is not a egotist would be a lie, pictures in this book show him walking through fire in a sort of "Rambo" style.
To say he is a hero is also a lie, he starts the story talking about how his nerves cut out, and moments in his remarakable trak make you want to go "But how could you do that?"
But one thing that is not a lie....Chris Ryan is damn impressive, strong willed and can get the job done, and if not, he can salavge something from it.
This work, which made him fairly well know
Nov 24, 2013 Bea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
first book i read from Chris Ryan in moment he became my favorite author. and i would also recommend this one as first book to read from him. i know why author didn't dig that much in feelings and it was cleat even he tried to keep a distance and give a reader as much as possible objective story of his survival. i'm sure a never could write this way same story, but that's why i appreciate it more. only when you realize what's behind the word, you can fully understand. there is no way to doubt, y ...more
Steve Wilkinson
Jul 19, 2007 Steve Wilkinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of war / survival / non fiction
My favourite book of all time and one I have read on many occasions. The story of one guy and the only guy from the Bravo Two Zero SAS team dropped behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War to escape.

The story goes from the beginnings of him being called up for service to the team being dropped and concentrates on his hundreds of miles walk to survival. The encounters he has and the way in which he and obviously the SAS are taught to survive is incredible to read.
Dec 20, 2008 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the impression that I might find THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY a bit boring - after all, I'd already read one version of the story in Andy McNab's BRAVO TWO ZERO. However, Ryan's authoritative tone adds his own spin to the proceedings.

The tale of the escape sees Ryan being pursued by vehicles, drinking radioactive water and murdering sentries. It's all Boy's Own adventure stuff written with a survivalist edge. A great story well told.
This book is about a spy that goes behind enemy lines and gives information to his group. But somebody spots his group and has to go and rescue them. So this guy in this book does that. He goes to rescue them and he succeds in doing so. Then he gets the purple heart for his honor and bravery. I like this book because it was about war.
Andy B
Jan 31, 2012 Andy B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing like a true story and one that shows the sheer battle with the elements within a war zone can kill you more than the enemy. Chris Ryan shows great guile, sheer perseverance and pure will to survive in one of the most hostile places on the planet at the height of a war that really had no winners. Great read, you feel like your taking the journey with the author.
Dec 24, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book and amazing when you take into account that it is in fact a true story.

The guy deserves many many more medals than he got for such an amazing escape which helps create more mystery about the SAS and probably helps attract more intense hardened nut cases to its ranks.
Tina Crossley
Jan 21, 2014 Tina Crossley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally my bag, excitng and compulisve reading
Jan 02, 2014 Biscuitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-sale
If your reading Bravo Two Zero then you should read this, its another 1st person perspective of the same fateful mission.
Sep 16, 2013 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Micheal Tan
Shelves: war-non-fiction
Well done CR,deserve all the accolade.
Rich Gee
Nov 29, 2013 Rich Gee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing courage by an amazing soldier. Go SAS!
David Davies
May 07, 2014 David Davies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You will not find a better real life special forces book.
Ben Jackson
May 20, 2017 Ben Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is was a great companion book to Andy McNabs Bravo Two Zero. It actually makes a lot more sense when you read both books, giving you two entirely different points of view of the same events.

After having recently finished reading another of Chris's books, I'm glad to see he made it through such a harrowing experience.
Christian Breinholt
8 men, SAS special forces, are deployed in Iraq during the first war in Iraq. Their mission is a complete disaster because they were deployded with wrong information on radio frequencies to be used. Excuse me? That of course don't deminish the personal bravery and recilience.
Boss Target
Jun 20, 2013 Boss Target rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shortly after reading Andy McNab's engrossing and aptly titled book "Bravo Two Zero", I was impelled to read Chris Ryan's personal rendition of the ill fated British SAS patrol. Bravo Two Zero's mission was to infiltrate and exfiltrate behind enemy lines with a single objective: to eradicate scud missiles. It didn't go quite to plan...

Four of the men were captured and held captive, beaten, and starved by the Iraqi "Secret Police" and another three died; two of hypothermia and one in combat...not
Jun 06, 2015 Barakiel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I wasn't crazy about this book, it had a bitter, angry tone. I suppose he has a right to be upset, but it's not nice to read. I see some of the other reviewers on here say that he comes across as egotistical... I looked out for that as I read it, but didn't really feel that he was full of himself until the last few pages.

The fact that this is from a British perspective threw me. Even though I grew up with British English in our country, I am used to American television and literature. So MANY of
Sep 13, 2016 Dubysa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nebloga knyga, bet perskaičius "Kraują ant parašiuto diržų" - jau truputį plastmasinė - per daug čia rankos pridėję redaktoriai/stilistai, o gal ir karinių paslapčių segrėtojai. Na, įvykiai ne tokie seni kaip Vietnamo karas (pasakjojamą paie pirmąjį Irako karą - 1991), bet visvien. Autoriaus "aš" truputį mažiau - ne ta prasme, kad mažiau apie jį, bet - per sklandi kalba, mažiau natūralizmo ir autentikos, vieotomis matyti, jog kas praleista, ten patylėta. Gal ne autorius čia ir kaltas, bet tada n ...more
Hilmi Isa
Seperti Bravo Two Zero,buku ini juga merupakan sebuah buku memoir separa autobiografi. Namun demikian,pada sudut pandang orang yang berbeza,iaitu Chris Ryan yang juga merupakan salah seorang anggota di dalam patrol 8 orang yang dipanggil Bravo Two Zero (B2Z) ketika Perang Teluk 1991. Chris Ryan merupakan satu-satunya ahli yang terselamat daripada ditangkap dan berjaya melarikan diri ke Syria yang bersempadan dengan Iraq.
Saya tidak mahu mengulas mengenai sejarah pasukan kecil B2Z dan misi mereka
Wytzia Raspe
Sep 05, 2012 Wytzia Raspe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is in fact the tale of a long journey. A 290 km long walk in 7 nights out of Iraq into Syria and also the long mental journey described in the last chapter and in the long new introduction of what effects military life in general and such a traumatic event specific has on someone's personality. Those two things were exactly why I ordered it. Having been on the Iraqi border and defending refugees from that area for years myself and having listened to some of the stories someone told me ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I found out about this book when I started watching Strike Back which was incredible!
I found Chris Ryan’s story to be an amazing testament to human fortitude - mental and physical. His fitness level to be able to survive what he did was mind-boggling. I was enthralled by the mundane mechanics of preparing, how he came to be Chris Ryan.
Some people have commented that they found him to be casting blame, I found just the opposite. It seemed he was taking pains to not cast blame and be as fac
Feb 14, 2013 Elias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
English Wide Reader
The One That Got Away by Chris Ryan
The One That Got Away is a highly rated action packed adventure when a group of the SAS are sent on a mission in Iraq where everything goes wrong. The one thing that I loved the most out of reading this book is that I never wanted to miss or jump a couple of pages because it is interesting the whole way through. A real downer for me though was reading the blurb on the back of the book because it gave away a lot of information about the book
This I read a looooooong time ago. But just looking through here I saw that I never reviewed it. I can't speak highly enough for this book. I think I read it in about 48 hours, I carried it with me moving around the house it was so good! This should have a permanent place on military recommended reading lists.

It is about Chris Ryan, a British SAS Commando and his experience during the Gulf War. In short, his SAS team was stranded, and everyone on the team was captured or killed but him. He holds
Nov 17, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novel released from a veteran of the Iraqi War in the early 90s. Having read Andy McNabs Bravo Two Zero I thought it would be interesting to see things from a different view point. This book had a very similar style, clearly room for their egos to shine through. Essentially, Ryan is one of eight members of a Special Forces Patrol behind enemy lines in Iraq. Due to poor planning and equipment things start to go wrong and the patrol gets seperated, eventually leaving Ryan on his ...more
Joseph Tomlinson
I got my copy of this book from a book exchange in Townsville in '98. It was one of the many instigating factors for me to join the Army after high school in '05.

This is a unique, brilliant and thrilling story of true strength, courage and survival under enormous odds, particularly when compared to other accounts of the Special Air Services extraordinary tours of duty. I've read it 3 times over the years and it was written with such military precision and personal intuition, that new elements co
Aug 22, 2011 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chris-ryan
A very good read detailing the ill-fated bravo two zero mission from the perspective of the one team member not to be killed or captured. What chris ryan endured over his record breaking escape and evasion is inspirational, and he tells his story at a pace that makes it hard to put the book down. It could maybe have done with a bit more detail regarding the mission itself, which is the one negative when comparing to andy mcnab's 'bravo two zero'. But one thing that makes this account stand out i ...more
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  • Bravo Two Zero
  • The Real "Bravo Two Zero"
  • Soldier Five: The Real Truth About The Bravo Two Zero Mission
  • Sniper One: The Blistering True Story Of A British Battle Group Under Siege
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  • Eye of the Storm: Twenty-five Years in Action with the SAS
  • Delta Force: The Army's Elite Counterterrorist Unit
  • Operation Certain Death
  • Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan
Chris Ryan was born in 1961 in a village near Newcastle. In 1984 he joined the SAS. During his ten years in the Regiment, he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also Sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team.

During the Gulf War, Chris was the only member of an eight-man team to escape from Iraq, of which three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest esca
More about Chris Ryan...

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“.'If things get on top of you', my mum always used to say, 'have a good cry.'.” 11 likes
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