No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen

From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group--commonly known as SEAL Team Six--has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.

No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen's life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history.

In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America's ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen's story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs' quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11.

In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.


What always fascinates me when I read these types of books is the difference between what the participants and the politicians say about the same event(s). The raid conducted by the U.S. Military that killed Osama Bin Laden is a historically significant event. However, to the brave men and women who made it possible, it was just another "day at the office." They were given a job to do and they went out and did it. They weren't concerned with the historical or political implications. They were just trying to do their job and get back home safely.

I have read other reviews that criticize it's action-thriller approach to telling the story, but it didn't bother me. I didn't chose to read this book for a textbook account of the raid. I wanted to hear the "boots-on-the-ground" perspective, which is what this book gives. Was it a flawless literary work, no. But I don't think that was the point. In the end, I was left with a feeling of respect for these brave men. Not everyone has what it takes to become a SEAL and sacrifice the way they do. I enjoyed listening to this novel and would recommend the audiobook.  

2016 Reading Challenge: An autobiography 

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