Monday, January 14, 2013

No Easy Day by Mark Owen

This is the one and only success of my attempt at 'Nonfiction November', so needless to say I most likely won't be trying a challenge like that again. At this point, my challenge is writing a blog post when I finish a book :P

So, I picked up this book mostly because of all the hype about it being a front line story of the raid that resulted in Osama bin Laden's death. I was very pleased with this memoir and I give it 4 out of 5 stars for managing to entertain and inform me at the same time.

From the publisher:
For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment

No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen's life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history.

In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America's ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen's story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs' quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.

My thoughts:
I grew up a military brat, thanks to my father. At times, I was interested and tried learning as much as I could about warfare and the military, but for the most part it was just something my father did for a living and I was proud of him for it. After reading No Easy Day, my interest in the military has certainly been renewed. Owen does a great job keeping the reader on the edge of his seat through his Navy training, right up to bin Laden's final moments in the Middle East. He takes military jargon and makes it so easy for any reader to understand what is going on, and what different terms and equipment are. Not many authors can do that, and it was refreshing to read what could have been a difficult piece of nonfiction, and know what was going on and feel just a little bit smarter. Anyone who remembers or has learned about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 should pick up this book and learn more about the military/government operations that went into effect afterward. It's not often I say pick up a nonfiction, but this is a very important part of America's history and it's good to see an author pay homage to the troops' sacrifices and the work they've done to keep this country safe in such a fascinating informative way.

(See, I'm getting just a little better at catching up on my blog. Next up, Lois Lowry's The Giver trilogy. Haven't read the fourth one, Son, yet so that'll be reviewed later.)

- Justin :)

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