very good book, I found my self googling things and putting faces with the story great Book
I teach business, economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. I love economics, politics, and philosophy. I hold an MA in Political Science and BA in English Literature.
First, to all of the men and women in uniform: THANK YOU!
I guess after Seal Team Six, there really was no other way to tackle this book than an almost clinical reporting of events. The Seal Team member in question offers shockingly little passion in his words and for the single event every American longed to experience. This really irked me and as his distaste for Obama begins to seep through to overflowing in the epilogue I find him to be less likable.
While it is impossible to not respect and honor this man's sacrifice for our country, as he begins to describe the mission as "just another" mission, shows his irritation at the people who treat him like he has done something special, and is completely oblivious to the cathartic national moment of "WE GOT HIM!", you come to feel that this guy is a jerk.
I can care less about his not remembering what the president said when he met him, or not liking Biden's corny jokes, but what does irritate me is that this event seems to have been experienced by a man who fails to see the enormity of its execution. How much blood and treasure was sacrificed not just by other Seal Teams, but by our armed forces to get to that moment? How many families were put through the torture of losing their loved ones because some caveman had a brain fart? How many people changed their lives or dedicated a decade of their life to this moment? I guess my generation just doesn't get it.
Neil Armstrong understood the moment he was in, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!".
I reluctantly recommend this book if you absolutely have to know what happened. If you prefer to have the fantasy that one of the men who pulled the trigger knew exactly where his place was in history, give this book a pass.
Ardent Audible listener with 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.
I love books !
The book not written at all
Books like this put SEALS at risk no matter what the prolog may say. This, I hope ex-SEAL, should have been court marshalled as having an opinion during war time is treason. Don't buy this. If I could get my money back I would. JUNK !!!!!
I am glad the truth had been told by one who was there! Having said that, I am aware Mr Owen said the book was written for honor; but I am of the opinion there are things even if honorable we
'The John Q Public Do Not Need to Know'. I realize that there were leaks that came from the Government and even the White House and that this has become a politically charged subject. I was born in the middle of WWII and back then they said 'Loose Lips Sink Ships' They certainly sank this SEAL Team 6. Now. that I have that out of the way, I thought the book was terrific, very well written and edited. And it diffinitely held my attention. The narrator was new to me but I thought he did an excellent read!. To Mr. Owen, Sir You have my well wishes and God go with you.
Just A Guy
I'm retired Air Force, and once had the privilege of working with a SEAL team on a training exercise. They really are incredible individuals. 'Mark Bowen' does a great job of introducing us to this very special culture.
Most of the book describes the selection and training process that the author experienced that lead up to his boarding the helicopter to fly in to Pakistan and attempt to capture or kill 'UBL'.
I had some security concerns about this book, because the author really did break the law by releasing it without government clearance. I'd be real curious as to how the Special Ops community is reacting to this at their family dinner tables.
There is once description of an operation in Afghanistan that I felt pushed the envelope of good operations security.
There was no mention of anything unusual about the helicopters used in the raid, although its clear from the crash scene photographs that at least that helicopter differed in important ways from the standard Army UH-60 Blackhawk. I'm glad the author stayed away from this aspect of the mission.
The details of the raid itself are pretty consistent with official accounts, but of course there is much more detail about individual actions and reactions. In general the account of the raid is told from a very personal point of view of one of the players.
The accounts of the author's post-raid experiences are very interesting. They will make some people uncomfortable, but I'm sure the author's accounts of these experiences are honestly related.
The author is careful to give credit to everyone who supported this mission, including the cooks in the chow haul, the guys who maintained their equipment, who drove their buses, and provided their supplies.
The author praises members of the other services and the civilian intelligence officers who contributed to the SEALs mission. He is fair and respectful to the chain of command.
The author is careful not to portray himself as some kind of one man Army.
It was excellent. Graham's reading sounded exactly like the voice of a 30-ish military professional. The overall production quality of this audio edition is excellent.
It was a captivating story, better than anything Hollywood could do.
SEALS and other special operators really are super heroes.
I learned so much about the life of a SEAL and the storyline kept me riveted. It is more about his overall career than just the UBL mission.
He does a really fab job of narrating.
No but I listened to it very quickly over a few days. While I had it playing my husband and sons often sat down to listen in as well because the story was just so interesting.