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Book Review: “No Easy Day” is No Easy Read

According to The Book Lantern, a popular book review blog, a good book is is realistic, suspenseful, consistent, and relatable. No Easy Day: The First Hand Account of the Raid that Killed Osama Bin Laden, written by Mark Owen, a former Navy SEAL, is such a book. Written under a pseudonym and edited endlessly to avoid revealing Navy secrets, No Easy Day has quickly gained press not only for its subject matter but also for its enthralling, intelligent story.

The memoir begins with a surprisingly fast-paced account of the events leading up to the moment that Mark Owen’s helicopter touched down on Bin Laden’s compound. Then Owen freezes the moment and takes the reader back to day one of basic training. The action in this story moves swiftly, and there is never a dull moment as the reader is swept through every exercise, test, and raid that Owen undergoes with each pull of the trigger and drop of sweat outlined in meticulous detail. Despite its gruesome moments, the narration includes humor. Owen demonstrates flawlessly the camaraderie among SEALS by describing the wacky (Picture glitter-bombed pant legs.) and sometimes ludicrous practical jokes the men played on one another between deployments.

No Easy Day also delivers its fair share of harsh realities. Most disturbing is the dethatched way in which the SEALs seem to regard death and killing. One particularly poignant comment of Owen’s is when he describes the helicopter ride after killing Bin Laden, when he sat by the corpse’s feet while a buddy sat on the body’s chest, remarking somewhat apathetically that the helicopter was overcrowded.

On September 26, 2012, the Pentagon’s Defense Department released a statement informing Owen that he had violated a non-disclosure agreement by revealing unidentified classified information and warned him that “the government is considering all legal remedies” (Washington Post). Despite these alerts, however, the book is still for sale and may even be read by Defense Department employees.

A thrilling and informative read, Mark Owen’s No Easy Day shows readers the truth about Navy SEALs and what they go through every day. They strategize, think fast, and adapt, proving themselves to be not only realists but also true heroes.

Written by Sarah Fornshell’15


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