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on October 27, 2017
gripping, well written--BUT--what the hell happened to the code of Omertà (keep your mouth shut). if our hero had been in the old mob ( the pre-witness protection mob), he'd be looking over his shoulder the rest of his life. i love combat and mob stories, but i can see that every word written focuses a light, no matter how dim or bright, on the subject (and i'd argue that it DOES reveal strategy and tactics). carlo gambino ran the rackets for decades, but you'd never have known it from seeing the little guy in a pork-pie hat and plain pants, on the street. same principle applies to this situation.

that said, i realize that it's human to want to say to the world, "look what i did," and i'd probably read another account by owen.
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on October 6, 2017
By far the best book I have ever read. After I finished it, I could feel the exhaustion (as if I served all 13 combat deployments with him). There is no movie, or other book that has come this close for me to make me feel as if I was actually apart of it. I am NOT a reader. In fact, I have HATED reading for as long as I could remember! But this book has changed that all for me. I have also gotten people who are in my circle who don't like reading or have little interest to read this book and every single person has come back and told me it was one of the most well told stories they have ever read.

Buy this book while you can! AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!
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on September 25, 2012
An excellent no BS account of a historical event and what it took for the hand picked team to get there. The book flows through events and prior training of the main character and he portrays his feelings on the significance of the titled mission. Though I am not a former Navy SEAL myself, I have been stationed at many of the bases described in the book during my career in the Navy and as a Army Contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the descriptions of these places are very clear in the book. However, though many the locations were described well, many key places or names of these places were left out, so I am not sure where the American government says there was classified information in this book. Most of what was described about the SEALS in this book is public knowledge and can be found through research. Once I started reading I could not put the book down and felt similar feelings the characters felt once the mission to take Osama down was completed. Unless one is an actual Navy SEAL or in Special Forces, no book can describe 100% of what it takes to be one and what feels like to be the best of the best, but this book touches on this from time to time.
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VINE VOICEon October 1, 2012
The book was interesting, both from a technological and human viewpoint. The tools of warfare have certainly become quite sophisticated, and I am sure they serve to help preserve the lives of the brave men and women who take on the job of protecting America. The dedication and devotion to duty of the men in this area of the military is admirable, but that it is, by necessity, so all-absorbing seems unfair to the young men involved, and to those who love them. And, make no mistake, this is a young man's game. These guys are in the prime of their youth as they train and train, hardening their bodies and their hearts to the job at hand. This is how it has always been with war. It is a destroyer in so many ways that one wishes the human race would move beyond it.

However, that is wishful thinking. War is a fact of life, and we who live in peace only do so because others make the choice to take on the burden of protecting us from those who would do us harm. This book is the story of one such group of men and the mission that put an end to one serious threat to our nation. The debate is, of course, over whether this story should be told or not. Does it compromise the safety of the men and women on the front lines around the world? I do not know. They are certainly in no worse danger because of me, but are they in increased jeopardy because this book was published.? Only time will tell the truth of that, but I do think it is worthwhile for Americans to realize the extent of the sacrifice these young men make for our well-being and the preservation of our way of life.

It isn't the best piece of writing I even encountered. It was clearly created in a rush in order to get it out there as quickly as possible, and I honestly hope the proceeds will benefit the wounded warriors of our nation. The most impressive, and certainly chilling, aspect of this book is the honor roll in the back of the book of those brave soldiers who have been killed in the war on terror since Osama Bin Laden started that war against Americans. I am humbled by their sacrifice.
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on September 16, 2012
No Easy Day is the story of Osama Bin Laden`s last few moments on this earth as seen through the eyes of a Navy Seal. This book tells of the preparation that an elite Seal team went through to make sure that this mission went out as flawlessly as possible. It's the step-by-step story of the compound from entry to exit, and the aftermath of the mission from the eyes of a Navy Seal. No Easy Day isn't only about this single assignment. Mark Owen has written a story about his time as a Seal, from the difficult testing to become an elite Seal Team Six member, through several missions, and up until his retirement.

This is Mark Owen's story, written in first person, and I found the account of his days as a Navy Seal fascinating. I purchased the book for a couple of reasons, mainly because of some morbid curiosity I had about Osama Bin Laden's death. I wanted to know if a big gun battle took place, if there were followers at the compound fanatically dedicated to protecting him. I wanted to know if he hid with his family, and what sort of defenses he had around his compound. I wanted to know all that and more, and I wanted to hear it from someone who was there. This book answers the important questions - the ones I was most concerned about.

This isn't just a story about the final minutes of Osama Bin Laden's life. It's the story of a Navy Seal, from a his perspective. It talks about earlier missions in Afghanistan, and a high profile job of rescuing a marine captain, Richard Phillips, from Somali pirates. He writes a bit about growing up in Alaska, and his obsession with becoming a Seal from a young age. On some Amazon reviews I've read people are complaining because the book isn't just about Osama Bin Laden, but I found the background intriguing, making the book as a whole more interesting because it shows what it took for Mark Owen to be a Seal. It showed the dedication required to be a Navy Seal, and if it weren't for that dedication and hard work the storming of Osama Bin Laden's compound might not have happened without a loss of life.

As far as the writing goes...well, the story could have probably been told with a bit more flair. That's not to say that it was full of spelling or grammatical errors - I'm sure I probably have more of those in this review than existed in all of Mark Owen's book. (I call my own errors "Easter Eggs" just so it sounds better.) No, the writing style was a bit dry at times, though every chapter held my attention fully, but I was always left wanting a bit more. For instance, he describes his team mates, but I never got a true sense of who they were. I did get a good sense of Mr. Owen himself, and he is a character that the reader is drawn to. He's a man who deserves the title of hero, though he seems humble in his writing. Mark Owen tells of simply doing his job with the help of brave men like himself.

I don't know about the eBook version, or the paperback copies, but the hardcover edition of No Easy Day has several pages of full color photographs of Afghanistan, and Mark's gear. As an added bonus there's detailed images of the Osama compound that lays out what took place during the mission.

So, if you're looking to learn how a member of Seal Team Six lives this book is for you. If you simply want to know the details of how Osama Bin Laden died then this book's for you too, but you're going to need to start reading around page 150. If you're looking for a political agenda then I believe you're looking in the wrong place. Mark notes a few personal opinions of President Obama, but nothing that isn't obvious, and pretty typical running for all politicians. If you're looking for secrets that the government doesn't want you to know then this book isn't for you. Mr. Owen doesn't mention strategies, weapons, or technology that we don't already know about, and that might be what I feel is missing at times. Maybe he was holding back so that the Seals will still have a surprise or two for the bad guys?

Was this the most exciting book I've read this year? Probably not, but considering that the majority of my reading is Fantasy and Science Fiction says a lot about it. I rarely read autobiographies, so the fact that I read though this one, and did it in just a couple of days, it quite a compliment. It even got me to visit Netflix and stream Black Hawk Down when I finished the story.

So, if you haven't read it yet then get a copy. It's a pretty good read, and it answers a lot of questions about the final moments of the world's most renowned terrorist. There's a final plus side. According to Mr. Owen, most of the proceeds from the book will go to charities that help out Navy Seals and their families.
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on September 4, 2017
It is difficult to really discern the author's purpose in writing this book. Sometimes it sounds as if he is bragging, and yet others he sincerely sounds as if he wants to tell the true story of the raid. I have worked with a SEAL team. The most dangerous thing about them is they don't give up and believe they are invincible as a group. The interesting thing is that you get that message from their actions, not bragging. Hard for me to reconcile, but a fun and interesting read.
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on July 19, 2017
I liked the way it was written all except for the cussing. I know most people think everybody talks that way all the time, and I also understand that high stress situations cause it also. Every thing else was well written, understandable, and clear. I appreciate the authors humility and lack of arrogance. I am glad I read this book and understand how it really happened. I saw Mark Owen on TV (appearance altered) and was interested to learn more.
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on September 12, 2014
Nom de plume, Mark Owen, show's his perspective on what happened during the operation to take out UBL. He gives a small insight into what makes/comprises DEVGRU. He maintained OPSEC to a point but gave away some details that fellow SEALs found troubling. I understand why he wrote this book, but in as far as I know anything about SPEC OPS, DEVGRU, SEALs, all of which could fill a sewing thimble, I'd have to say I would've rather he not divulged anything regarding this operation. The book is an easy read, I casually read it in two days, gleaning any technical info that I found interesting. It brought to light how Desert One failed in Iran back in the 1970's and how over ten years of battle in the middle east has brought our SPEC OPS warriors to be the tip of the spear, even the much vaunted SAS has had to agree our SEALs and DEVGRU (being the organizations we know about) are bar none, the best in the world. More to the point, even our US SWAT teams that go out daily can't hold a candle to these warriors who would run a dozen or more ops ever single day/night at a level SWAT can only dream of. If you are to believe Sun Tzu, its best that SEALs cycle out of battle at some point as the tip of the spear becomes dulled. R&R isn't enough. My hope is that these warriors continue their service to our country, training up and coming SEALs to blunt the efforts who wish to kill us all in the most prejudicial way.
Thank you for your service, thank God we have SEALs, Rangers, Airborne (all the way), Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Force Recon, PJ's, and of course the Coast Guard which is in the middle east as well.
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on September 20, 2012
I read most of the comments about this book before buying and almost didn't buy the book. The reviews seemed to be all or nothing. Either people loved the book, or they were put off by it because of other motives. First off, I have read several other SF books and didn't really find this book to be much different from them. I realize that it takes a special type of person to be in SF and have always appreciated their sacrifices to do their job. What the SF community does in protecting the interests of our country is invaluable. So, with that being said, I didn't really find this book to be more bravado than any other book that I've read. Personally, I really liked the book and found it to be a good read and a very good story that I was extremely interested in. This story was 10-11 years in the making and I thought the author wrote from a very unique perspective of being involved in the Seal community from the time of 9/11 until the end of OBL.

Secondly, I had read and heard about all of the political cynicism that was supposedly in this book, but didn't find anything more or less than what I've read in any other book. There were certain comments or statements that were made that I really likened to how a lot of us would write about a previous boss we worked for that seemed to make our work life a little more difficult. Even then, I really didn't get a sense of this book being politically slanted one way or the other.

Third, there was a lot of talk about the amount of info that was released in the book that might compromise national security or compromise the inner-workings of SF operations. There wasn't anything more said in this book that again, I hadn't read about before in other books. Also, I had heard about more details of the operation through news services than what was presented in the book. Now for technical accuracy, I don't have a comment on that. There could've been certain details that were wrong or not and I wouldn't particularly know either way.

Bottom line, there are a lot of comments about this book being made that I just didn't see in the book. I read this book from the start looking to see if everything that was being said was indeed in the book and written the way it was being talked about. For me, this was just a good book about a very important event that I was interested and I liked the book. Is the book a 100% account of exactly what happened? I don't know. I do know that I don't take what I hear from news services or organizations as 100% accurate either and I certainly don't classify myself as a conspiracy theorist by any means. If you're interested in SF books, then read the book and draw your own conclusions.
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on April 11, 2014
2012 will be remembered as the year of Navy SEALs autobiogrpahies. In January there was "American Sniper," the story of Chris Kyle who is America's sniper with the most confirmed kill in military history. Then there is "Seal of God" about a West Coast SEAL who became a Christian. But no SEAL autobiography has been able to generate so much interests and controversy in a short amount of time as this book, the story from one of the SEALs in DEVGRU (more better known with it's old name, SEAL TEAM 6) that was involved in the Operation to get Osama Bin Laden. There's no need to rehearse every detail of that controversy (which is still ongoing and brewing) and surely by writing this book the author has taken a lot of risks. Even as I read other reviews, there is no doubt controversies continues even with how people read and appreciated it (or not appreciate it). I thought some of the reviews of the book tells more about the reviewer's background and values more than the book itself--no doubt my review will reflect a bit of who I am too, but I hope this review will also cause us to reflect more deeply about the last decade of warfare since 9/11, and about our society/culture and perhaps also the question of God and faith too even if you disagree with me.
I think to fully appreciate a book at times require one to ask how does it relate and fill a niche in relations to other books of the same subject or genre. So I suppose my review will keep that in consideration and from this angle, "No Easy Day" was definitely a different yet fascinating book. For starters, typically in SEALs biography, everyone gives an account of BUD/S (for the "lay" reader, we can call this SEAL boot camp of six months). This book does not, breaking the mold of the canon of SEALs autobiography. That's because the book goes deeper and further into another world that is rarely mentioned or understood among all the SEALs books out there--the world of DEVGRU, the Navy SEALs highly secretive counter-terrorist group. Sure there is Richard Marcinko's books, who was the founder of DEVGRU back in the 1980s when it was still known as SEAL TEAM 6. But there is little published in book form from an insider about the 21st Century, post 9/11 DEVGRU. The author describes in one of the early chapters of the book his unexpected physical try-out for DEVGRU, his acceptance into Green Squadron (the selection training in order to enter into DEVGRU's command) and his acceptance into the team. His description of the selection and elimination process in Green Squadron is fascinating such as how candidates are required to write down whom they think are the five best candidates and five weakest candidates.
Though the author has been deployed around a dozen times this last decade of warfare suprisingly the book does not go into all the blood and gore details of most of his operation prior to the mission to get Osama. You would expect more--but then no doubt that would take away from the main story about the Bin Laden Raid--not to mention that he had to do it all in 336 pages. Readers who have been in the military would have appreciated his account of OIF 1--and things going array in their first mission. It reminds the rest of us in the military that did not serve in a SOF capacity that Navy SEALs are humans also. His account of working with DELTA was also a great insight into the other TIER 1 unit, though I suppose one might get a fuller account with Dalton Fury's book. Going back to this book, the author also revealed his involvement in the Maersk Alabama hijacking rescue operation and his account of it indicate that this kind of operation was welcomed by the SEALs since it was a break from the routine of deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. What I found most intriguing in the author's account of this operation was the fact that he parachuted into the Ocean with a Navy communication guy attached to him who has never done a parachute jump before. One can imagine how frightening that is--and the thought, "No one back home is going to believe this..." I've seen some reviews that complained about all these back story leading up to the Bin Laden raid in the book--you can tell they are pure civilians with no grasp of operational history or biography. But for the readers who are willing to look long and reflect harder, the first half of the book should make you appreciate the incredible amount of sacrifice, skill and dedication of people like Mark Owens who worked so hard to be the best of the best in their job in order to protect us. The account of the amount of sleeping pills these guys take and the weird hours they operate during deployment (what the author calls "Vampire hours") should make us appreciate the toll it takes on these guys--and we are not even yet discussing about the lives and injury involved in what they do.
Of course, most of the book was devoted to the raid itself. I learn from this account that it was not any one of the existing four squadrons in DEVGRU take took part in the raid but rather a special gathering of different guys who have been around the block that was gathered. From the standpoint of a military biography with an operational history bent, I thought it was good (but not good to those reviewers who are looking for some existentialists need for "feelings" to be described). Here is where I could not put the book down. The description of him being on the helicopter that crash and the amazing description of him almost falling out since he was hanging out with his legs outside the crammed blackhawk. The amazing miracle of the helicopter handing on it's strongest point on the wall which ended up not causing the rotars to hit the dirt and chaos that would have followed. The raid itself was incredible. Here is where I suppose this review tells more about me than perhaps the author or the book itself. I couldn't help but to note all the things that went wrong or could have went wrong but turned out to have worked miraculously as something amazing enough to provoke in me an awareness of God's providence throughout the raid. It's a reminder that sometimes the bad guys do get their justice here on earth right now--and that skill isn't enough but the providence of God as well.
Just as interesting as the raid itself is the author's story of the raid afterwards. His account of Obama and Joe Biden is worth the read. To read of a real member of "Team Six" laughing at the silly things that has been said about them is quite entertaining; he even take on some misconception the ROUGE WARRIOR and the founder of SEAL TEAM 6 himself has said to the media, revealing that Richard Marcinko's comment about DEVGRU being the most arrogant SEALs might be a little out of touch with contemporary DEVGRU.
Overall this is a good book. It is a historical account of an important part of history--not just the Navy SEALs, the U.S. military, but to close a chapter for so many Americans who have lost loved one since that fateful day on 9/11 and from the two wars stemming from it. If you ever had shed tears on 9/11 or if you have lost people in this long war--I think this book ought to be on your shelf.
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