Wednesday, October 17, 2007

book review

The book in question is LONE SURVIVOR by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson.
(I would have underlined the title but I don't know how.)

This is a GREAT story told in a decent book. Having read many first person accounts of combat I am familiar with how hard, if not impossible, they are to write well. While this book is the best of its type that I have read, its very format, mainly the viewpoint, limits how good it can be. In my experience books written from this perspective ALWAYS contain a certain amount of cheese, corn, and self-promotion that can't be avoided but nevertheless detracts from the story. None of this is Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's fault. Professional writers, publishers and editors should have done a better job of protecting him from his own cheese and corn, and he never should have been put in the unenviable position of trying to describe his own heroism. I believe every word of this book, and I dont think Petty Officer Luttrell either downplayed or exaggerated his own actions or those of his teammates. But the flawed format sometimes makes it seem that way. This is a story that deserves a Stephen Ambrose type historian/writer and I hope it gets one.

Despite my fumbling, amateurish criticism, I highly recommend the book.

P.S. I own a copy and if any of you cheap bastards who shall remain nameless (kingselfish,vicarofvanity) want, you may borrow it IF you ask nicely.

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