First of all, if you are thinking about buying this book in hopes of learning the secrets of US Special Operations, the USN SEALs, or DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6)... stop right now and go look somewhere else. Regardless of the media's or government's assertions, there is NO classified information disclosed in 'No Easy Day'. Everything mentioned and/or described in the book is information that is in the public domain. All names (other than major public figures, ex: ADM McCraven) have been fictionalized. Descriptions of any unit designations, equipment, weapons, tactics, etc... are all publicly accessible. In my opinion, the uproar has only been caused by the administration's embarrassment over their own (multiple) accounts of this operation being shown to be false. That being said, Mark Owen at no time was disrespectful to the administration. There is NO partisan or political statement being made in the book, other than some minor griping about the speed in which decisions are made throughout the chain of command. This book does not deliver an indictment of the military's civilian leadership or command structure at all. In that area, it is remarkably neutral.
There has been SO much curiosity about Operation Neptune Spear and so many 'who and how' questions, that unless the book was completely horrible - it would be recommended by anyone who read it. However, 'No Easy Day' is well written and tells the story of the mission and the operators who carried it out, very well. Owen does a good job in describing his childhood in Alaska, his progression in the Navy from enlistment through BUD-S and 'Green Team', his teammates and their various and varied personalities, the preparations and execution of the mission itself, and its immediate aftermath.
There is a philosophy among the men of the special operations community that they are "silent warriors". Both from necessity and tradition. And, it is an honorable philosophy. No former operator would want to disclose ANYTHING that might endanger those that continue to work in the shadows. There are many among them who, no doubt, will carry on with the tradition of considering a teammate who speaks out as persona non grata... although there are many who have written books on various topics from their time in 'The Teams' without such harsh judgment. If there were something in this book that I could not have learned from a trip through searches of google, dvids, or the blogosphere, I might agree with them in condemning the author. However, in this book I've seen nothing actually new other than the step-by-step timeline of how the operation in Abbottabad happened.
While it's not the most well-written book I've ever read, it IS quite good. Even though the subject matter is interesting to the point of it being ridiculous, this is a true page turner. The narrator can at times be a bit monotone and distracting, however that didn't make me consider stopping at any time. Overall, Holter Graham did an 'average to good' job with a book that will, no doubt, set records. To put it another way... You will NOT regret buying the book OR the audiobook. I've read and listened to them both multiple times and highly recommend them.
The narration really added a lot to the delivery of the story. I prefer this to the print version.
I was particularly impressed with the insights into the life of Navy SEALS and the details of their day-to-day life. The account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden was just a bonus.
He sounds like a convincing SEAL and has good inflection.
As the author states, the target audience is middle school boys. Even so, I am the mother of a middle school son and daughter. All three of us enjoyed it. It is an interesting insight into the personality of a Navy Seal. Seals are not choir boys and not what the typical mother wants her son to become, but after listening to the audiobook, I have a renewed respect and appreciation for the Seals. The language and pranks described in the book are typical of what one could expect from a Navy Seal. Not the language or pranks I want my children to emulate, but, they are wise enough to make good choices. I recommend this book. It provides some important points for young people to consider as they mature to be wise adults. It a view in to the real world.
In regard to the controversy of the potentially classified information disclosed, the author's position and motivations are very well stated. Now, can we please move on?
A riveting account of what the Seals do and the training for getting Bin Laden. What a great story.
I loved how it was not just what "I" did-it was we!
Graham made it feel like I was on the mission too.
No, I listened to it carefully the first time. I rarely listen to a book more than once.
The final story about the raid on the compound.
I have not listened to any of his performances.
Various moments where he was in tense situations. In particular when he was being shot at through the door and the rounds hit the bolt cutters on his back.
Thank you for your service!
Powerful, Heroic, American
Trying to understand the simplicity and yet complexity behind the killing of Geronimo.
The "invasion" of Pakistan.....
A story that is uniquely and truly American
I loved this book! I wasn't sure I was going to like it because I am not usually into the violent, shoot-'em-up, action novels that play out like your typical "guy movie". However, I was fascinated by what I had heard in the media about the mission that killed Bin Ladin. The book was much more interesting than I had imagined. In fact, I couldn't stop listening. The author sets up the final mission by first recounting various other missions and training that lead up to the final mission which was critical information to really understand what they were up against, the training that prepared them for the mission and how they got there. It was fascinating to see what the life of a navy seal is like. It made me really appreciate the daily sacrifices that these men make for our country. The narrator did an excellent job. He made me feel like he was the navy seal giving me his first-hand account. I would highly recommend this book.
The story drew you into the actual event. As I listened to the gear this warrior was wearing I could picture it. The detail was great. As he is going up the stair well, gun drawn, my heart was beating fast and my palms were sweating. OUTSTANDING!
No Easy Day!! Perfect Title. Perfect Tag Line.
Excellent book. I raved so much about it that two of my friends and my brother got a subscription to audible.com just for this book.
The narration was dynamic.
He didn't just read the story... he brought you into the story with his nonverbals.
I've recommended this book to all of my friends
Mark Owen's life story
He has an excellent voice for narration.
The author should be commended for presenting this book to the public.