No Easy Day - Mark Owen

I just finished reading No Easy Day - The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen.

Bottom line, I found it enjoyable and recommend it.  


Why did I read it?  Of course, like many Americans, I admire what the Navy Seals were able to do on that night. That kind of mission typifies everything that is admirable about the Seals.  Excruciatingly planned, mission-focused, and prepared for every contingency. I wanted to read a first hand account of the mission in all its horrifying detail; not some press or movie hyped up propaganda.  And from what I can tell, mission accomplished.

What did I like about it?  Those that know me, know I still miss the Navy . . . occasionally.  I suppose that after spending 4 years in school, then another 10 years or so in a squadron afterward, my brainwashing was complete.  No doubt, I do miss the unit camaraderie, the sense of purpose, and the feeling of serving something bigger than yourself.  This book has a lot of that.  And it brought back many memories of hanging with the meatheads in my squadron.  It explains, or at least describes, the warrior culture fairly well.  It's about accomplishments and results, not excuses; adapting to circumstances, not complaining about them  This is a message that is largely missing from our culture today.  And I am glad that some still follow that creed.

What didn't I like about it?  If you are looking for untold secrets of the operation or of special operations in general, this book will disappoint.  The author seemed to make a special effort to make everything a first hand account, and no secrets were revealed.  I knew most of the details of the operation before I read the book from other sources. This book didn't tell me anything new.  It just helped fill in the gaps.  It is also not a literary masterpiece.  It is well-written, but in a straightforward, no nonsense style.  There are not many big words and flowery language describing the author's feelings at any given time or what it is like to be in combat in Southwest Asia.  Instead, the story is very matter of fact, and the cadence measured and steady. I actually appreciate that style, but others may not.

This is the first book I have read in my "Going Dark" campaign.  I plan on taking a little time each day to shut off the computers, phones, and other electronic pacifiers in our lives and, instead, spend some time "in the dark," cut off from the electronic world, with only me and a book or a magazine.  I want to enjoy reading for readings sake again. So far, so good.  Next month, I plan on reading The Cloud Atlas, the book on which the new movie out now is based.  It is supposed to be excellent, and will be my first fiction read in a long time.  I tend to gravitate toward non-fiction.  Wish me luck . . and see you for a book review in another 30 days.