Ranger Confidential

  • by Andrea Lankford
  • Narrated by Julia Motyka
  • 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The real stories behind the scenery of America’s national parks.
For 12 years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes.
Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.
In this graphic and yet surprisingly funny account of her and others’ extraordinary careers, Lankford unveils a world in which park rangers struggle to maintain their idealism in the face of death, disillusionment, and the loss of a comrade killed while holding that thin green line between protecting the park from the people, the people from the park, and the people from each other. Ranger Confidential is the story behind the scenery of the nation’s crown jewels - Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Great Smokies, Denali. In these iconic landscapes, where nature and humanity constantly collide, scenery can be as cruel as it is redemptive.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I downloaded this since my Mom and I were going to be driving around the plains and seeing a few of the National Parks. I grew up doing this on the East and West Coasts; I have a lot of respect for the Parks Service and the Rangers because of this. There is no question that they do a difficult and, at times, dangerous job.

That being said:

Julia Motyka should be banned from reading books. Her narration made this book unlistenable.

The forward was the most self congratulating and cringeworthy drivel I have heard in a long time, if not ever. Right up to the horrifying "Hell yeah!". I just shuddered thinking about it again. We were looking for something relatively light to pass the time, not 100 ways to die in the Parks you're about to go visit. Oh, and in case you all didn't know, criminals take vacations too. I'm pretty sure they just call it 'hiding', Andrea.

This may be a great book that picks up once you get past the first few chapters, but Motyka made that option unavailable to us. If you like grating saccharin noise while you drive/walk/whatever, go for it. As for me, I am returning this ASAP.
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- Charlie

100 Ways We've Seen People Die in a National Park

What did you like best about Ranger Confidential? What did you like least?

I was hoping for SOME comic relief after reading the reviews. Instead I got many details about the deaths of people who made horrible decisions in beautiful and dangerous places. There were some happier stories but they were too few and far in between.

What could Andrea Lankford have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Less death and tragedy.

Have you listened to any of Julia Motyka’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I am not sure and I can't compare.

Was Ranger Confidential worth the listening time?

It was a series of stories that did reveal the dangers of our national parks. I am not sure if it was worth the time listening to that much death and carnage. It may have been, just wasn't the book I was hoping for. This may be more my mistake than the author's fault.

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- Erich William Kutschke

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-09-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios