[Download] Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance By Christopher McDougall

Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance

By: Christopher McDougall
Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
Length: 13 hours
Release date: Apr 14, 2015
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (51 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

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The best-selling author of Born to Run now travels to the Mediterranean, where he discovers that the secrets of ancient Greek heroes are still alive and well on the island of Crete, and ready to be unleashed in the muscles and minds of casual athletes and aspiring heroes everywhere. 

After running an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyons of Mexico, Christopher McDougall finds his next great adventure on the razor-sharp mountains of Crete, where a band of Resistance fighters in World War II plotted the daring abduction of a German general from the heart of the Nazi occupation. How did a penniless artist, a young shepherd, and a playboy poet believe they could carry out such a remarkable feat of strength and endurance, smuggling the general past thousands of Nazi pursuers, with little more than their own wits and courage to guide them? 

McDougall makes his way to the island to find the answer and retrace their steps, experiencing firsthand the extreme physical challenges the Resistance fighters and their local allies faced. On Crete, the birthplace of the classical Greek heroism that spawned the likes of Herakles and Odysseus, McDougall discovers the tools of the hero-natural movement, extraordinary endurance, and efficient nutrition. All of these skills, McDougall learns, are still practiced in far-flung pockets throughout the world today.

More than a mystery of remarkable people and cunning schemes, Natural Born Heroes is a fascinating investigation into the lost art of the hero, taking us from the streets of London at midnight to the beaches of Brazil at dawn, from the mountains of Colorado to McDougall's own backyard in Pennsylvania, all places where modern-day athletes are honing ancient skills so they're ready for anything. 

Just as Born to Run inspired readers to get off the treadmill, out of their shoes, and into the natural world, Natural Born Heroes will inspire them to leave the gym and take their fitness routine to nature-to climb, swim, skip, throw, and jump their way to their own heroic feats.

From the Hardcover edition.
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70 Responses to “[Download] Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance By Christopher McDougall”

  1. Angel Swade

    great book highly educational and entertaining
    Nazi’s Greeks and parlour oh my. one of the best fitness and diet books I’ve read. good mix of history and current diet habits

  2. Swope Clarke

    Great narrator
    He was full of emotion and did all the voices. Sounded very authentic and keeps you engaged. Great story too!!

  3. Moon Rectenwald

    3 books in 1
    Would you consider the audio edition of Natural Born Heroes to be better than the print version?

  4. Ailene Cariker

    Loved this book!
    This book, like Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, is a great read full of stories, history, action, and science blended in a fascinating book. The narrator did a great job weaving the tale. One of my favorites!

  5. Petrina Janacek

    Very engaging story, but complicated
    Be prepared to constantly rewind, because the author mentions so many new characters I often found myself losing track of whats going on. But the way everything is tied together into the central narrative of hero and body is really interesting. Good read.

  6. Carolyn Sponaugle

    Awesome, but dragged on a bit
    I loved how Cris integrates health and lifestyle philosophy’s with history and story. Although I did find that it was hard to follow at times with too many characters, after a while I’d just stop paying attention then would have to go back.

  7. Valrie C.

    Decently Entertaining
    I bought this thinking it was more of the same goodness as born to run (which I love). It wasn’t quite the same, but was written/read in the same style. It was interesting enough to keep me engaged, but overall I did not find it as stimulating as born to run. If you are searching for a second “high” similar to the one you get from the run-centric born to run, look elsewhere. That said, it still kept my attention and has a unique perspective on the often visited subject of WWII. If you find the description enticing, I would recommend it.

  8. Francis Vallow

    Life changing
    I loved this book, and now I know people say they love just about anything but I truly love this book. This book is more than just a story it is a guide through parables on how to improve your health and life.

  9. Joseph

    Worth the listen
    Story jumps around more than I would like. Content is great though and I found it very inspiring.

  10. Sal Balduf

    Great blend of the science & history, good story
    I enjoyed this service book immensely. Heroes are fit and well fed. This book breaks apart what we think we know, replacing it with what was known before we had mass marketing and collusion between government and industries. The stuff legends came from contains truths that are as relevant today as they were hundreds and even thousands of years ago.

  11. Irvin R.

    Worth reading!
    Wonderful riveting story with lots of useful information that can be applied to gaining the most out of life.

  12. Wilburn Peguese

    One half too much
    Loved the parts about moving. Narrator’s fake accents and parts about WW2 felt squeezed in.

  13. Rosetta Jurczyk

    loved this story!
    I was hooked after the first chapter. Such an amazing true story and I loved how I could visualize what was happening.

  14. Christopher J. Simrak

    Captivating beyond my expectations!
    Before I was even close to finishing this book I was looking up the names and stories of these amazing heroes, looking up books on natural movement and even changing my eating habits.
    The research that went into Natural Born Heroes will have you questioning everything about your current perception on health, fitness, life and societies idea of a hero.

  15. Felix Berkovitch

    I really liked this book!
    I would say that I loved Born To Run, and really liked this book. Actual readers may have had a different experience, but I listen to all of my books while running. My struggle was the transition points between history and present day…I found myself lost several times. That was my only issue. The author did a great job relating history to current day, and the narration was superb. And, I’m trying the Dr. Phil nutrition and workout guidelines as a result of reading this book. Thanks!

  16. Jay Loetz

    Amazingly educational and insightful
    Loved the mix of history, education, and investigation that this book dives into. I’m on listen #3 right now and have passed this along to many friends.

  17. Justin Gordon

    failed execution
    Story telling was a let down. Author unable to duplicate the story telling he demonstrated in Born to Run. The facts and some details were fun but the overall execution was a fail.

  18. Clint Y.

    Fascinating part of the story, and the reader’s performance – not my favorite
    There is a lot of fascinating material in this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The section on our fascial system was great. The section on natural movement and George Hebert I loved. A lot of the Maffatone content was interesting but really biased and started sounding self righteous. The actual story about kidnapping the general off Crete was certainly interesting, but really drawn out. I think what affected my opinion on this was that the reader of the service book was so dramatic at times. And the different accents that he used for different characters though they were probably very accurate, was very distracting. Often I found myself thinking about his voice and accent rather than what was actually being read. But the material in this book was worth it.

  19. Gino Dowers

    Great read!
    This is probably the best books I have read in a long time. Would make a great movie.

  20. Dominique Mikhail

    The Connection
    Would you listen to Natural Born Heroes again? Why?

  21. GCsteve

    Thought it would talk more about how
    Couldn’t finish the book. I get annoyed if the reader tries too many accents. I thought there would be more of how they accomplished certain things and what they ate ECT… like in born to run. the story jumping back and forth and the Greek myths got tedious. Also over dramatic with some of the stories.

  22. Rex Paoletto

    hated the style
    listening to this audiobook is very difficult because the author jumps around so much from decade to decade, and from subject to subject you just get lost and find yourself rewinding a lot. the performance was okay, however the reader gave everyone a German accent, even the Brazilians.

  23. Phil Selman

    Great Storytelling, But…
    I like Christopher McDougall’s work quite a bit. I’m a natural athlete and a minimalist (semi-barefoot) runner myself, and much of his writing resonates well with me. As a storyteller, McDougall is exceptionally talented, painting vivid pictures of people and cultures. The only issue there is that he likes to tell stories more than the truth. For instance, if you follow up on many of the “facts” he relates in Born to Run, you’ll discover a sea of half truths and pure fabrications, and much can be said about this book as well. That’s okay—the stories and the messages are great, possibly even better than the truth.

    Where he gets into trouble in Natural Born Heroes in when McDougall selves into nutrition. Put simply, he jumps into the camp of a fad diet supported by weak anecdotal evidence and rejects information backed by innumerable peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled, double-blind tests and epidemiology (as well as more/better anecdotal evidence). I’m not suggesting the author should have supported a different diet. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the the entire nutritional section of the book felt shoehorned in, and it would have been far better had he stuck to subjects he was qualified to write about, where inaccuracies aren’t unlikely to convince readers to make extraordinary health blunders.

    If you want to learn about nutrition, then get your information from evidence based sources. If you want a good story about remarkable people doing heroic deeds, then Natural Born Heroes is a must-read.

  24. Hal Deadwyler

    drags on at times but overall a good book
    this book was not as good as born to Run. Its a good book and had some useful health information, at times it reads a bit like a history book but is worth the read

  25. Ebony Heather

    Move. Move. Find your hero inside.
    A great true story mixed with important human endurance and knowledge of your potential . Just like Odysseus who survived his Odyssey, you too can discover the strength to continue your life’s journey. Read the follow up to Born To Run.

  26. Leigh Hardine

    Cool Story. Bad Science
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

  27. Johana Damoro

    Great follow up book
    His first book got me running. This one may very well save my bloody life.

  28. William Worthington

    once you start listening, you cant stop! great history lesson on a part of the war i knew nothing about, and further proof that ketosis and nutrition is paramount for performance.

  29. Bong Herke

    We can all be heroes
    I loved this book. It was very inspiring to see how our bodies are designed to be resilient and made me think about practical applications immediately. The narrator was great, using different voices and accents appropriately throughout the account. The only trouble I had early on was keeping up with which part of the narrative I was in, since the book is 2-3 intertwining stories. Once I got that sorted out, though, it was great.

  30. Don Kegel

    Interesting, informative & intriguing.
    I will read this again. I loved how he wove his theme of natural heroes with WWII history, nutritional information and exercise theory. I’m sure he’s on the right track! Even more fascinating than Born to Run, which I highly recommend.

  31. Virgilio Mend

    not bad but was expecting more
    good book but was hoping to see more about the lessons learned from Cretan runners

  32. Boyd Markwell

    What disappointed you about Natural Born Heroes?

  33. Maria Kollross

    Not as good as Born to Run
    Born to Run is one of my favorite books. This one just isn’t as good. It isn’t bad, there is a lot of very interesting points in it. I’m just not as blown away as I was with Born to Run.

  34. Alexa Massar

    Interesting But Missing Punch
    This book seems to contradict what was written in Born to Run. I guess it presents another aspect in long term endurance in using fat instead of carbs for fuel. Overall, I think it’s a nice book to pickup in your spare time if you’ve read Born to Run. The narrative performance wasn’t as powerful as Born to Run.

  35. Jarred L.

    Amazing story
    Worth the listen..lots of info and a great story. Great follow up to Born to Run

  36. Consuelo Philibert

    Amazing story! Very inspiring!
    Loved listening to this. The stories get a little scattered but all are very interesting.

  37. Georgetta Griem

    A disappointment
    I LOVED Born to Run. This book, not so much. I’m 55% of the way through and it’s just SO boring. The story bounces all over the place, it doesn’t flow like BTR did, and the author takes forever to tie the stories back to the salient points he’s trying to make.

    Then the narrator. How do you pick a British guy with a bit of a lisp who is TERRIBLE at feigning other accents to narrate an audiobook? He’s one of the worst narrators of any audiobook I’ve ever listened to, and I’ve listened to a lot. Just a really bad choice for this material.

    My recommendation, get the book itself. If you dig the endless stories about WWII, enjoy. If you just want to get to the meat of the thing, you can then skim through the 90% of this book that is just pure fluff and go to the parts that ARE genuinely interesting.

  38. Wilfred M.

    Not the best narrator, but decent story
    Another great story by McDougall, although I really wish they used the same narrator who did Born to Run. Overall, Born to Run was a masterpiece and overshadows this book. It’s my second time listening and I still can’t get over the British narrator’s voice. It just drones on and I find it difficult to enjoy and focus on the story.

  39. Cheyenne Cones

    absolutely loved it.
    this is the third time I’ve listened to it and it keeps getting better each time. I love the way the story flows mixed with real world applications and the narrator is perfect.

  40. Davis Kenekham

    Good book but no born to run
    Good book that was fascinating but hard to pin down what it was that McDougal was striving to tell.

  41. Wilfredo Z.

    A great tale weaved two books together one on World War 2 and one the incredible human body and it’s natural abilities which can be regained. This is what I consider a continuation from Born to Run with more insightful amazing information. I consider this the second in the series of honed natural human ability books written by Chris McDougall I don’t know what he’s going to do to follow up with his third but I heard it’s more on animal human relationship instinct and drive. I can’t wait.

  42. Brandi Monford

    A great follow up to Born to Run.
    An amazing fantastic story filled science facts & knowledge. Highly recommend for every type runner out there.

  43. Vincent Jaramillo

    A story that touches on many aspects.
    This book is unlike any I’ve read/listened to before in that it’s almost a combination of survival education stories, human spirit, history lessons of forgotten biology, WWII, health & food and adventure of course. If you read and liked Deep Survival, The Wave, Sailing Around the World, What Doesn’t Kill Us, Unthinkable etc.. than there is a very strong chance you will get a lot out of this book.

  44. RiverGirl

    Hard to follow
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

  45. Wanita Hornoff

    Fascinating stories and a different view on fitness
    I very much enjoyed this book and the history behind one of the craziest plots to kidnap a German general.

    The quest for truth from McDougall is inspiring and the people he uncovers is eye opening. Everything we’ve been taught to believe as fact, it turns out might not be true.

    The diet and exercise promoted seems plausible, however I am skeptical of the diet and will need to research more. I’m currently following Dr. Furhman in Eat to Live, which counters the meat and dairy based diet that the author uncovers.

    I’ll have to do more research in this area, but I’m grateful for another perspective on runners who covered huge distances on near starvation diets. It really shows that we still, in the iPhone age, don’t understand enough about the human body and it’s true capabilities that have evolved over time.

    My only complaint with the book is the number of characters and the jumping between different people without transitions. It was very hard to keep people and names straight as an audio book, and I was unable to find a good plot or character summary. I’ll have to open my kindle version of the book for reference.

    Keep it up Christopher—I can’t wait for more books and adventures.

  46. Customer

    Really interesting how he weaved two stories into one. Was a bit slow in the beginning but really picked up later. I am working on my high protein diet now! ?

  47. I am Tabu

    not Born to Run…but pretty good.
    so this is not another life changer like Born to Run, but it is a cool book. The author does a good job blending two books, one on natural movement, and another about a badass named Party who captured one of Hitlers generals on the island of Crete. The reader is not the best for this book, almost works, but he just do want have the range (man, women, child, German, British, etc…)needed for this book. Makes me wonder how awesome this book could have been with the right reader…

  48. windsurfnerd

    a great tale
    a well-researched and well-told tale of wartime derring-do, punctuated by long-ish diversions into natural movement and banging/noakes’ diet.

  49. Elmer R.

    Rhyme and reason
    There is a rhyme and a reason for everything. there was a reason the Cretan’s were so successful back in the Greek god days. those stories might be exaggerated but they were based off people like in this book. this is a very good story, but did jump around a lot and was sometimes hard to follow. but still worth the money!

  50. Maggie Mccarley

    First class storytelling
    This story was equal parts thrilling history and inspiring motivation to get out and get moving.

  51. Jannie Chiumento

    Great story!
    Interesting and educational story! It complete changed my understanding of exercising and eating. I enjoyed every single chapter. Thanks for sharing this amazing story!

  52. Abram Strachn

    The story was captivating and original. Listened to it every free minute. The narration was great which always helps.

  53. Horace Camposano

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

  54. Michael B.

    Great Book
    Wonderful book. Had a difficult time not to listen to it 24/7. Looking forward to listening to another one of Christopher McDougall books. Natural Born Heroes is the second book of McDougall I have listen too.

  55. Matt

    Surprisingly Unique
    This book balances the story of an unlikely hero, and modern mans search for a connection to our ancestors. Functional fitness as a path to becoming a “useful” human.

  56. Phil Rabun

    Unfocused scattered narrative
    Unfocused book. The tangential and occansionally suspect advice on nutrition and fitness distracted my interest in the story

  57. Mellie Koenigsberg

    Pretty good but . . . .
    Would you try another book from Christopher McDougall and/or Nicholas Guy Smith?

  58. Takako Demelo

    Every human deserves to know…
    Any additional comments?

  59. JOSEPH

    Another hit!!!
    Not as good as Born to Run but just another wonderful illustration of endurance warriors. Definitely a delight to listen to!

  60. Alyson M. Stewart

    What a wonderful book
    I can’t recommend this enough. Captivating writing, stories and adventures. This will motivate you to get up and do something you’ve always meant to do. Plus the lesser known history lessons in here are great.

  61. Oswaldo Fringer

    After Born To Run, It’s Only “Good”
    What made the experience of listening to Natural Born Heroes the most enjoyable?

  62. Robin Dager

    2 GREAT Stories In One
    Another masterful job of disguising a health science into a great historical mystery. It builds and supports the need for our modern society to take a step back and reflect on if the convince, excess, and easy of our life is creating one worth living. Or, if there is so much more we could be if we went back to what we were. But more than the fitness and nutrition the message I took more than anything – Be Useful!

  63. Shyness is my El Guapo

    Bored me in spots, yet changed my life forever
    I found the story and narration of this book to be a little boring. However, in typical Chris McDougall style, there are nuggets of life changing information scattered throughout. The Omega 3 info helped me immensely. The introduction to Dr Maffetone has changed me profoundly. I have become a disciple of this man. I am in better shape than ever with a resting pulse of 45. My diet is light years better and nutrition is now a priority for me. I can see my abs again!

    So, was it entertaining? eh. Did it change my life forever? No doubt.

  64. Amira C.

    Just as fascinating as Born to Run!
    Great story line that bounced back and forth with equal fascination for every chapter. Every moment away from this book, I pondered on so many topics pertaining to the great heroes discussed.

  65. Barry Koning

    Standing ovation to the narrator! Also a captivating story with tons of revolutionary ideas on fitness, health, movement and the essence of heroism.

  66. Theron Hanenberger

    Great Book
    McDougall is the best storyteller period. Equally as good as Born to Run. Gotta read or listen to it.

  67. Alan B

    Incredible read!
    loved this book! Great history, great exercise philosophy, great everything. narrated well too. I had no idea that all this transpired during World War 2. This book has peaked my interest into more than one other subjects.

  68. Brain Birton

    Definitely not as good as Born to Run…
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

  69. dajcentex

    A fascinating combination of history and modern-day health fitness information. It’s really hard to turn this book off. And the history is fascinating and the information related to parkour and diet and how it ties into endurance sport was invaluable

  70. Josh Alford

    A good book with good information
    this book had the feeling that it didn’t know exactly what it wanted to be. a bit disjointed at times. Maybe haphazard. good fitness info and fairly enjoyable.

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