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If you are buying this expecting some policy debate on AFPAK, Osama Bin Laden, or al-Qaida, this is probably not your book.
If, however, you are looking for a gripping, first-hand narrative of Operation Neptune Spear, written by one of the members of the SEAL team that was on the ground, this is the book for you. 'No Easy Day' isn't a perfect book and from a strickly literary standpoint it isn't as good as 'Black Hawk Down', etc., but it does provide a nice framwork for the lay-person to understand some of the on-the-ground details of the preparation and raid and men that got Osama Bin Laden.
As a friend to several members of the Night Stalkers, and the brother of a black hawk pilot who spent considerable time during the past 10 years flying special operations teams around Afghanistan, ANY book that can grab our nation's attention and focus it (even for a minute, but let's just hope it is longer) on those brave men who sacrifice so much to carry out our nation's interests day-after-day. deserves our attention.
One further reason to read this book. If the back and forth between Owen and the Pentagon is any indication, this might be one of the last memoirs of this Calibre from SEALs or Special Operations operators that we might see for awhile.
Holter Graham does a fine job of narrating this book and doesn't slow down the energy of the books narrative. My only real complaint, I wish it was a little bit longer.
87 of 104 people found this review helpful
No Easy Day is the first hand account from a Navy Seal from Seal Team 6 of the life of a Seal and the takedown of Osama Bin Laden. When I started reading this book I did not expect it to read like a Tom Clancy novel, but it does. It is a short book but it is told well and gives the reader a real sense of what it is like to be a seal every day, not just on May 1, 2011.
I expected to hear a tale of bravado in dealing with the legendary difficulties of seal training. There was necessarily some of this but what surprised me was the telling of Owen’s insecurity of whether he could make it combined with a strong confidence in his capabilities. Simple mistakes during training could wash out a prospective candidate. This is a well told personal story.
The other thing that I learned from No Easy Day was the number of missions that these teams carry out each year largely resulting from actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. At times these teams are in action every week to clear buildings and capture or kill bad guys. Each of these actions put the seal team members in life threatening situations that civilians can barely imagine. Owens describes in detail several larger operations, including a takedown of an “impenetrable” mountain enclave of Taliban fighters.
He describes the evolution of tactics from zip lining from a helicopter onto a building, “Flying to the X”, to landing a few kilometers away and marching with stealth to the target. Many of the tactics used by bad guys exploit the changing rules of engagement that the soldiers need to follow. For example, when confronted they would make sure their weapons were out of reach so the seals would not be allowed to shoot them. At one point, after reading of so many tactical “secrets” I did begin to wonder if the bad guys could take advantage of this information. On reflection, the bad guys already know all of these tactics and it is the civilian readers who are learning them in this book.
From my perspective this was not a political book. Although it is clear that many seals do not favor the Obama administration this is a minor part of the story. Releasing this book has of course raised many eyes as actions by seals are supposed to be kept secret. In the book the team members made jokes about who would play each other when the Takedown of Bin Laden movie is released. Perhaps Owen just wanted to make sure the script was accurate. Whatever the motives for writing this book were, the result is that the military now has the most powerful recruiting tool that can be produced.
This is a fast paced, well written, timely and interesting book and I give it a good read.
33 of 42 people found this review helpful
I really wasn't sure what this book would be like. After all we've heard a lot about the mission so I wondered how it was going to be stretched out into a full book. How wrong I was! This book is a fascinating into the world of the elite navy seals unit. The 'big' mission is only part of a really interesting book about the training, culture and sheer guts that the unit has.
I'm not a fan of military books normally, but I really enjoyed this one. It had me hooked from the start and kept me engaged right until the end.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I had heard about this book from a podcast on the BBC. It is a very good snapshot into the life of a special ops soldier.
I did not think it was particularly well written, but it is certainly an easy listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The writer imaginatively captures what it would be like to be in the Special Forces of the United States. It's very well written easy to follow and I would recommend this book to anyone. Our military serving all over the planet protecting our country fighting for their brothers and sisters are a special group of people and I urge everyone to do their part as the writer requests.