If newspaper journalists provide us with the "first draft of history," then "Mark Owen" (a pseudonym) has provided us with history's raw ingredients, the unadorned and unedited account of an important event. Owens doesn't reflect on the politics of the wars he fights or the philosophical implications of his job as a deadly 21st Century super-warrior. Much of the book is filled with the mundane details of his trade: the equipment he wears, his sleep cycle, the importance of emptying his bladder before a mission, the sit-ups and pull-ups he struggled to do to qualify for the SEAL program. He is not an introspective kind of guy and he doesn't describe his work in glamorous or romantic prose. But there are two things that make this book worthwhile. First, there are the Obama-era rules of engagement for the Afghan War which render SEAL and other military operations less effective then before in eliminating the enemy and which expose our own soldiers to much more personal risk then previously. Second, of course, is Owen's personal account of the Osama bin Laden raid. US government officials have questioned the accuracy of Owen's account of how the bin Laden killing went down, but for my money Owen's account rings true because it is more morally ambiguous and less glamorous then the official version and raises the question of whether bin Laden could have been captured and flown away without any real risk to the SEAL team. There's not much about politics here and it's clear that the CIA effort to locate and kill or capture bin Laden proceeded seriously and unabated from September 2001 onward and just happened to gel when it did in 2011. President Obama makes an appearance at the end of the book to watch the takedown by video in Washington and, of course, take credit for the raid which would have taken place when it did regardless of who won the 2008 presidential election. The narration is first rate. Recommended.
From the foreword throughout it seems manipulative and perhaps with the military mind in view with all the jargon.
Wow! This story was enthralling to me as the mother of a son who has just entered the armed services. The story is intense and had my heart in my mouth at times. I personally cannot imagine going into a building not knowing if there are people waiting inside to ambush and kill me. The bravery of these men and women takes my breath away if I dwell on what they do from day to day. The narration was very well done,in my opinion.
Anyone who would overlook the author's bias against senior military and governmental leaders.
The author overlooked the fact that without senior military leaders and elected officials the Seals would not be in existence and have the precise equipment they would need to do their job. In the military and in life in general we are all dependent on one another. We all do our share - including those who pay taxes to keep America strong. The author's disdain for the President and ranking military leaders ignored too many facts. I applaud the Seals' work - it was death defying, dedicated and necessary - but they had all of America behind them. They were not alone.
Good, clear and precise
The epilogue and derisive references to ranking military and governmental leaders
This book should not have been wrtten for at least five years or until the USA is out of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This would have been a truly excellent story had the author left out his political leanings. Actually ruined the book for me right at the ending.
Further research has determined much of the book is untrue, and that the author was out for revenge. I wish I had not put money in his pocket.
Before you buy this, research what his co-workers say about thisaccount
Who wouldn't want to know more about the Navy SEALS and bin Laden? Right? The story has so much promise.
Unfortunately, "No Easy Day" is the most boring, trivial, simplistic account of nothing. Go ahead. Waste your money and time to read/hear the same things you already heard from news accounts and Mark Owens' "60 Minutes" interview. There's nothing new here. And, the platitudes… Don't get me started.
Holter Graham did the best he could reading this novel.
I'm Stephen, Rebecca's husband.
Absolutely - in fact, I have already listened to some parts of the book many times trying to digest the details of those who are SEALS.
By the way, I am Stephen, not Rebecca.
"Mark Owen" told about some of the times in his life when he failed, and although he did not grow up knowing that he would someday capture the attention of the world, he continued to learn from his mistakes. He continued to humbly accept the criticisms that would work to strengthen him. He never gave up, and he triumphed when it really counted.
Also, this book gave us an amazing privilege: to hear a first-hand account of one of the most breath-taking moments of history.
We saw the events of this book through Mark's life. He has to be our favorite character, but we cannot forget those who guided Mark to become the man he needed to be.
I WANTED to listen to this book in one sitting, but it's healthier to take a few breaks.
I greatly admire the men and women who protect our country; I was one of them. I also love our country, the greatest on earth. It bothers me, though, that all of the world -America included - follows and promotes such a degree of godlessness. We cannot be surprised: Scripture tells us it would be this way. I am just homesick for the life to come when our Christ returns. Until then we can be grateful for the brave, the honest, the productive and the altruistic among us.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
I started out the year listening to the 9/11 Commission Report, which was extremely detailed and chilling. I was left wanting more, even though I, of course, "knew the ending".
Unlike the 9/11 Report, which was written by a committee in the third person, "No Easy Day" is a first hand narrative of the raid that killed 'UBL', in the preferred acronym of the Seal Team that conducted the operation. The author details his extensive training and previous mission experience, as well as that of some of his fellow Seals, to show how what to ordinary Americans appears to be an extraordinary feat was the product of years and years of training, working as a team, and practice. The raid that killed UBL was "No Easy Day", but the author makes it clear that other missions were much harder. In fact, the subsequent loss of secrecy and publicity was much harder on 'Mark Owen' than the actual mission.
This book does not discuss the morality of any side in the conflict, and it makes clear that even at the line level, military service members know there are more than two sides. 'Mark Owen' makes it clear that Seals kill - but also that they are careful to avoid injuring or killing non-combatants. However, combatants can and do include women and children.
'Mark Owen' shares the credit for the mission's success so generously that I was left wondering if he has endangered the lives of the other people involved in the mission, and their families - especially since actual identity is generally known. Since 'Mark Owen' often describes having very short term goals - such as making it to lunch - as a necessary mechanism to make it through difficult situations, and compartmentalizing missions and his life, his ability to be a good front line Seal may have made it impossible for him to see far enough into the future to anticipate the consequences of writing this book.
I have some criticism of the writing, and that is the use of acronyms, unexplained jargon, and the sometimes failure to explain some military weaponry and equipment. I served in the US Army from 1982 - 1986. For example, I know what an AK-47 is, what it sounds like, why they are common in the Middle East, but a reader new to this genre might have to Google that, which is disrputive. The AK-47 is easily explained in a sentance or two, without disrupting the flow. There were a few acronyms that threw me, either because they weren't explained, or they were explained much earlier in the book and I'd forgotten what they meant.
The narration was one of the best I've heard on Audible, and the audio editing was excellent.
I'm at the Audible Professional Level rating, and this is my first 5/5 rating.
First off, the narrator was great. It’s easy to believe his emphasis and intonations are the same as the author would have used himself. The author does create an engaging narrative about his experiences as a Navy Seal that is hard to put down.
The book starts with a teaser introduction to the helicopters arriving at the compound. It then digresses to the training and combat history of the author. Then only the last third of this short book is about the preparations, raid and the aftermath.
Unfortunately, this book does not add too many details about the raid than was already known generally. In the days after the raid I had read a few news articles and watched Obama’s speech on YouTube. But the book doesn’t really add too many details that I did not already know.
The main revelations and surprising nuggets are the details of how Osama’s Corpse was handled by the Seals. This is about the only aspect of the raid the author seems to have no qualms with reveling the shocking details. These details are what I suspect upset the pentagon the most. The only other new information that he provides about the raid is very terse and otherwise there is a distinct lack of details. It is easy to tell that the words where crafted very carefully not to reveal too much. The chapter detailing the encounter with Osama Bin Laden is the shortest in the book at only 6 minutes long.