This is about Marcus Luttrell’s personal involvement in Operation Redwing which was the deadliest operation to special operations personnel in history. It’s his personal account so please keep that in mind.
I feel like this book should come with a warning which would read something like this:
“The following people probably will not like this book:
- Liberals of any variation
- Conservatives with liberal leanings
- People who are not from Texas
- People who are offended by coarse language
- Anyone in the media
- People looking for a book that only covers Operation Redwing and are looking for an objective telling of the operation.
The following people have a decent chance of liking this book:
- Conservatives who have no liberal tendencies whatsoever
- People not offended by anything
- People somehow affiliated with the Military
- Anyone not in the media
- Anyone looking for a first-person subjective account of Operation Red Wing as well as the history of the soldier telling the narrative.”
This book is interesting to say the least. The book title suggested to me that I would read a first-person account of how he survived through Operation Red Wing. I should have guessed there would be some background reading before getting to that point but over half the book is finished before we even get to the mission.
Overall, I liked the book. He’s honest and forthright. And it’s definitely action packed. There is the usual “My branch of service is better than any other and they train us that way” mentality. This doesn’t bother me as I’ve grown accustomed to this throughout my reading and having my dad in the Marines means I was bound to be somewhat biased growing up. I just think if you are planning on reading this book, you should be warned.
However, he absolutely loathes what he calls the liberal media and you can see that throughout the entire book. For instance (spoiler alert!!!! Don’t read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled),
At the beginning of the mission, three goat-herders come upon our narrator’s group and the SEALs start to question them. They are trying to decide whether to let them pass or kill them because they cannot determine one way or the other if they are affiliated in any manner with the Taliban. Mikey, the group leader, says:
“”Well, let me tell you one more time. If we kill these guys we have to be straight about it. Report what we did. We can’t sneak around this. Just so you all understand, their bodies will be found, the Taliban will use it to the max. They’ll get it in the papers, and the U.S. liberal media will attack us without mercy.'”
I’m sorry but I’m having a hard time believing that if I were in this situation, that I would specifically call out my worry about the media. But to be fair, I wasn’t there and I can’t tell you how the military feel about the media so who really knows? I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of any media but even I started to get annoyed with his constant complaining about it. Although, I’m of the opinion that you should vent about it once and get over it. Stop harping on it if you aren’t going to or can’t change it.
I would have also liked it if he spent less time about his individual training to become a SEAL and more time on his relationships with the other guys in this group. He tells you about their background but I felt like they were more of a “I should probably throw something in here about their background” and not really about how they all came together. But again, this book isn’t about them, it’s about Marcus’ survival. But he did give credit to the people who trained him, saved him, protected him, and fought with him so I was glad about that.
I would give this book 3 stars but only because what I liked about it overshadowed what I didn’t like about it thus making it average.
I haven’t seen the movie yet either. Have you read the book and/or seen the movie? What are your thoughts?