No Easy Day by Mark Owen

No Easy Day

Title: No Easy Day

Author: Mark Owen

Publisher: Dutton

Rating 4 of 5

No Easy Day is the story of Osama Bin Laden‘s last few moments on this earth as seen through the eyes of a Navy Seal. This book tells of the preparation that an elite Seal team went through to make sure that this mission went out as flawlessly as possible. It’s the step-by-step story of  the compound from entry to exit, and the aftermath of the mission from the eyes of a Navy Seal. No Easy Day isn’t only about this single assignment. Mark Owen has written a story about his time as a Seal, from the difficult testing to become an elite Seal Team Six member, through several missions, and up until his retirement.

This is Mark Owen’s story, written in first person, and I found the account of his days as a Navy Seal fascinating. I purchased the book for a couple of reasons, mainly because of some morbid curiosity I had about Osama Bin Laden’s death. I wanted to know if a big gun battle took place, if there were followers at the compound fanatically dedicated to protecting him. I wanted to know if he hid with his family, and what sort of defenses he had around his compound. I wanted to know all that and more, and I wanted to hear it from someone who was there. This book answers the important questions – the ones I was most concerned about.

This isn’t just a story about the final minutes of Osama Bin Laden’s life. It’s the story of a Navy Seal, from a his perspective. It talks about earlier missions in Afghanistan, and a high profile job of rescuing a marine captain, Richard Phillips, from Somali pirates. He writes a bit about growing up in Alaska, and his obsession with becoming a Seal from a young age. On some Amazon reviews I’ve read people are complaining because the book isn’t just about Osama Bin Laden, but I found the background intriguing, making the book as a whole more interesting because it shows what it took for Mark Owen to be a Seal. It showed the dedication required to be a Navy Seal, and if it weren’t for that dedication and hard work the storming of Osama Bin Laden’s compound might not have happened without a loss of life.

As far as the writing goes…well, the story could have probably been told with a bit more flair. That’s not to say that it was full of spelling or grammatical errors – I’m sure I probably have more of those in this review than existed in all of Mark Owen’s book. (I call my own errors “Easter Eggs” just so it sounds better.) No, the writing style was a bit dry at times, though every chapter held my attention fully, but I was always left wanting a bit more. For instance, he describes his team mates, but I never got a true sense of who they were. I did get a good sense of Mr. Owen himself, and he is a character that the reader is drawn to. He’s a man who deserves the title of hero, though he seems humble in his writing. Mark Owen tells of simply doing his job with the help of brave men like himself.

I don’t know about the eBook version, or the paperback copies, but the hardcover edition of No Easy Day has several pages of full color photographs of Afghanistan, and Mark’s gear. As an added bonus there’s detailed images of the Osama compound that lays out what took place during the mission.

So, if you’re looking to learn how a member of Seal Team Six lives this book is for you. If you simply want to know the details of how Osama Bin Laden died then this book’s for you too, but you’re going to need to start reading around page 150. If you’re looking for a political agenda then I believe you’re looking in the wrong place. Mark notes a few personal opinions of President Obama, but nothing that isn’t obvious, and pretty typical running for all politicians. If you’re looking for secrets that the government doesn’t want you to know then this book isn’t for you. Mr. Owen doesn’t mention strategies, weapons, or technology that we don’t already know about, and that might be what I feel is missing at times. Maybe he was holding back so that the Seals will still have a surprise or two for the bad guys?

Was this the most exciting book I’ve read this year? Probably not, but considering that the majority of my reading is Fantasy and Science Fiction says a lot about it. I rarely read autobiographies, so the fact that I read though this one, and did it in just a couple of days, is quite a compliment. It even got me to visit Netflix and stream Black Hawk Down when I finished the story.

So, if you haven’t read it yet then get a copy. It’s a pretty good read, and it answers a lot of questions about the final moments of the world’s most renowned terrorist. There’s a final plus side. According to Mr. Owen, most of the proceeds from the book will go to charities that help out Navy Seals and their families.

Clockwork Dwarf Clockwork Dwarf – Available at Amazon for the Kindle

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~ by bretjordan on September 16, 2012.

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