No Easy Day is the account of Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette (writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen) of Operation Neptune Spear, the assault that killed Osama bin Laden. This is the account upon which the films Zero Dark Thirty and SEAL Team Six were largely based. As with the other SEAL books that I’ve read (see Lone Survivor and American Sniper), most of this book focuses on the lead-up to the mission: pre-SEALs life, BUD/S training, and other missions. The movies have about as much detail, or even more, than Bissonnette’s account of killing “Geronimo.” However, more than the movies, this book gives the reader the feeling of being incredibly close to the action as Bissonnette was. Also like other SEAL books, there is an unnecessary amount of unintelligent commentary on politics surrounding the mission. Bissonnette criticizes or supports President Obama and the CIA as it suits him. In addition, while Bissonnette harps on secrecy and criticizes leaks about the mission, he spends a good deal of time justifying the biggest leak of all: his own book!
On a personal note, I’ve been on a SEAL kick lately and fantasizing about what it would be like to be a SEAL. I found encouragement in Bissonnette’s description of his parents, though:
My family had a sense of adventure not found in most people. When I was five years old, we moved to a small Eskimo village in the interior of Alaska. My parents were missionaries who met in college in California and found that their faith not only allowed them to spread Christianity but also appealed to their sense of adventure.
Though I’m not a SEAL, God has Natalie and me on our own adventure. Doing ministry and adventure are not mutually exclusive! (For more on this subject, see my Tibbels Tale series: Stuck in the Shire, An Unexpected Adventure, and The Great Treasure.)