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Just the facts, not big on self-reflection
on May 11, 2011
Other reviews are pretty accurate: just a handful of missions are described and the bulk of the book is spent on his time in Beirut where the author spends most of the time painting the environment rather than action.
The writing is not bad but the dispassionate tone, which I'm sure comes with the territory, makes it read more like a newspaper account rather than a personal history. He's not one to write much about his real feelings about events and while that's likely just how he is, it comes off as a shallow tale. e.g. We never hear how/why a slacker surfer dude suddenly turns around and signs up for the SEALs, it just happens.
The Beirut portion tells the tale of the daily grind in a tedious multinational clusterf***. Many reviews complain that this section drags and, while I won't disagree, I didn't find it to be so terrible. True there's not much action but it strikes a decent balance between describing the situation, detailing the tedium, and doling out stories of occasional engagement.
The conclusion, with his departure from the SEALs, is hastily wrapped up, again with scant self-reflection. It just ends.
Hence 3 stars: not terrible but not great.