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No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  43,517 ratings  ·  3,842 reviews
For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment

From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound,
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Dutton Books
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  43,517 ratings  ·  3,842 reviews

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Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of memoirs, current events, or even romance readers who enjoy reading about military heroes
Every now and then I like to take a break from reading romance, and since I do enjoy a good military romance, I thought I'd be interested in getting the low-down from a real military hero. No Easy Day is an autobiography/memoir from retired Navy SEAL Mark Owen (his alias) that largely deals with the operation to capture/kill Osama Bin Laden.

The author (in disguise) being interviewed on "60 Minutes"...
Every now and then I like to take a break from reading romance, and since I do enjoy a good military romance, I thought I'd be interested in getting the low-down from a real military hero. No Easy Day is an autobiography/memoir from retired Navy SEAL Mark Owen (his alias) that largely deals with the operation to capture/kill Osama Bin Laden.

The author (in disguise) being interviewed on "60 Minutes"...

The book was always interesting, and it grabs you from the first chapters as members of SEAL Team 6 are on their way to the Bin Laden compound in Pakistan, and the helicopter that they are in is about to crash into the wall surrounding the place. Will the mission that they've practiced and trained for for the past three weeks be doomed to fail? Well, we all know that doesn't happen, but what we don't know is that things did not exactly go smoothly...

Besides the details surrounding the mission to get Bin Laden and what led up to it, the author also talks about some other missions he was involved in (including a few that have been in the news that you might remember--the rescue of cargo ship Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates is one). While these weren't quite as exciting to read about as the Bin Laden mission, they do give you an understanding of what it's like to be a SEAL and just how much of their personal life they give up to serve their country. For these men, the job always comes first, their familes--second.

There's been lots of controversy surrounding this book-has the author given up any classified information? I don't know about that. It doesn't seem like what he's told will endanger any future missions or SEALs...What he has told that might anger some people (Bin Laden's family and followers) is how they treated Bin Laden's body after he was dead. Not that he didn't deserve this treatment (or more)--it just surprised me...(view spoiler)

The Bin Laden compound...

I was pleasantly surprised while reading this book how interesting I found it. I thought I was going to want to skip ahead to all the Bin Laden stuff, but I was never really tempted. The author gives a few details about his past growing up in Alaska (his parents were against him joining the Navy), but I would've enjoyed reading a bit more. He gets into how difficult it was to be selected to serve in SEAL team six, reveals some humorous details about the men he served with (the Staff of Power story was quite amusing, as was "who would play us in a movie"), but doesn't get into his personal life much. Does he have a wife? Girlfriend? Dog? What does he do with himself when not on a mission? To me it seemed his life was all about his job, deployment after deployment. I don't know what he's doing now that he's no longer a SEAL and doesn't have that adrenaline rush that he obviously thrives on. I would imagine it must be difficult for him to transition from SEAL to civilian...

Anyone who is at all curious about what happened that day when the world's #1 terrorist was killed and how he was finally tracked down, the details leading up to that mission, or what it's like to give up most of your personal life to devote yourself to serving your country, should read this book. It's never boring, moves at a quick pace, and is mostly fascinating. Highly recommended. 5 stars

P.S. Kindle readers: there are pictures at the end of the book--keep turning the pages.

*To see the author interviewed on "60 Minutes":

**Visit this site for some more spoilers (including pictures) about the book:
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
A quick, unimpressive read from a literary point of view. Nearly half the book covers events loosely or not related to the Usama bin Laden (UBL) mission.

If all you want is the account of the preparation for and execution of the raid on Bin Laden's compound, you can start roughly halfway through the book and not miss anything specifically pertinent. The narrative with regard to the raid that killed UBL, as a first-hand account of the events is enlightening in its contradictions to some of the ma
This is not a well-written book, nor is it even an exciting one, but it brings up several important questions.

The man's exploits are exciting and laudable, but the writing style does them little credit. Only the last few chapters go into any depth on the raid itself. The ghost writer did a rather substandard job at taking the author's stories and turning them into a readable book. There are some interesting technical bits near the beginning, but most of the rest is rather dry stuff. Mr. Owens'
Jeff Emanuel
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal-library
FEW BOOKS HAVE generated as much buzz in as short a time as No Easy Day by Mark Owen,* a former Navy SEAL who participated in the mission that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. While media have understandably focused on the bin Laden narrative, and the differences between it and the Obama administration's story of the raid, it's important to note something about this book at the outset: While Operation Neptune Spear (ONS), the bin Laden mission, is the hook (and a singularly effective one at ...more
Remittance Girl
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Navy Seal Buffs, People who Hate Obama
This is a review of the book, not of the author

I feel I have to title my review this way because although I'm very glad this event happened, and I have boundless admiration for the people who participated in the raid, including the author, I can't honestly say it was a great book.

To be fair to 'Mark Owen', his ghostwriter, Kevin Maurer, does bear some responsibility for taking a tired, pseudo-action-thriller approach to the story. The first half of the book is a very mediocre, drama
Robert Kloosterhuis
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Many may disagree with this book being written, with Matt Bissonnette breaking his oath of secrecy as a Seal and a member of the US Armed Forces. I am in no doubt that he has indeed done so. He has publicly stated, and does so in the book, that his reasons are first and foremost that he felt such an important mission should be documented and in the public domain. He knew he would catch a lot of flack for it. He decided to sacrifice his own honor for the public good - the good of reminding all of ...more
James Tivendale
"The only easy day was yesterday. Long live the brotherhood"

This book is written by Navy SEAL Mark Owen with assistance provided by Kevin Maurer. The action discussed is describing what is arguably one of the most influential events of the 21st century. The plan to find and assassinate the Western world's most despised real life tyrant: Osama Bin Laden!

The book is written in three sections. Mark's youth as a navy SEAL working his way through BUD/S training and then his pr
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I always enjoy a good book that shows some of the behind the scenes as they relate to historical or political events. In this book, the author known as Mark Owen paints a good picture of the life of a Navy SEAL that culminates in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The lead-up to its release surely pushed it to the top of the best seller's list, which is solely the fault of the DOD and the Pentagon. Let them have their freak out session and quit their bitching! It seems as though some within the US ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think this is an important book that needs to be read, the same way the Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell needs to be read. With that said, it started off a little rough for me. I felt like I was in a debriefing room, very cold and no depth. That changed at the 40% mark and his personality came through. I also think you can't say or type this isn't political. It's all political no matter the party in the White House.

I read this book not so much to read the 'facts' about the mission,
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I Know the controversy. I've also been on the fence about whether I wanted to read it, but curiosity won. What can I say? It was a short fence.

I was captivated by the story and didn't want to put it down. In fact, I had just made it to the point where they were about to hit the third floor of the compound when the pilot mentioned we were beginning our final descent and all electronic devices needed to be turned off. NOOOOOoOoOOoOoOoOoOo! Did I mention it was a three hour flight? Yeah. Captivate
Kate August
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After finishing the book, I can honestly say that there was nothing revealed in this book, that I haven't already seen on the History channel a dozen times. The person who revealed the details to the mission, was our own President and his band of merry minions. I know the SEALs have a code about not discussing their work, but I'm curious as to what the expiration date on that silence is. Many SEALs have told their stories in books and never garnered such negative reactions.
The book is very
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
“I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.”

I had mixed feelings about purchasing and reading this book. I saw ‘Mark’ interviewed, but I wanted to see why a Seal would write a book about a Seal mission. I thought there was a code among the Seals, so I googled and found this sentence included in the Seals code: “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.” My concern was about a Seal writing about a Seal mission.

Sep 04, 2012 added it
So I saw someone reading this on the train the other day, and we ended up talking about it, and the whole conversation reminded me I never did write a review for No Easy Day. D'oh! Well here it is. As always, I don't rate nonfiction, but in this case it's a cop out as much as my personal policy because I wholeheartedly agree with the criticisms of the book, but I also believe Mark Owen wrote this exactly the way he intended to, and in a way, it's like how do you criticize someone for writing exactly ...more
Marti Garlett
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm conflicted about this book. It was a fascinating book. I read it in a day. It was also a disturbing book. It's not just about the killing of Osama bin Laden, though that is written in graphic detail, way more than was necessary I thought but at least we know now why no pictures were released. It's really an autobiography of the author's decade as a SEAL. He capitalizes on the Bin Laden raid by using it in his title. There's a bit of arrogance that comes through, particularly in the epilogue. ...more
L.A. Starks
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Many will have already seen the movie but this book, from a member of the SEAL team that killed Osama Bin Laden is well worth the read for lessons about persistence, planning, teamwork, and operations. Highly recommended, especially for Orion and Action/Adventure groups.
jv poore
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The author tells his story quietly, in a strong, soft voice. He is humble, while maintaining confidence in his training, ability and team. His voice sounds too wise for years, but there is no wonder why.

I found this to be well-told and peppered with unexpected observations, such as exploding bombs looking similar to a Bloomin' Onion or comparing attacks to pickup basketball: shove, move, communicate.

There were tiny little nuggets that made me angry; such as the 2011 political CYA mo
Dave Schultz
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nook
very good read....the chapters about the raid on bin laden are off the charts. highly recommend
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“The only easy day was yesterday” – Navy SEAL motto

My father was in the Navy, and even though I knew the military influenced my home life, it wasn’t until reading this book that it became blaringly obvious just how much. My father left the military before I was born so I was a military brat without the military. Certain sayings and actions were common in my household and while I knew they came from the father, and from the Navy, I hadn’t stopped to really think about it before.

As a
Mike (the Paladin)
This is an excellent, informative book. The author makes it a point to tell us that it's not about him alone but about and dedicated to all the Special Ops men and women in the U.S. armed forces. The book bears that out.

From a back story that gives us a look at this specific SEAL's life the book leads us to the raid that brought about the end of the search for Osama Bin Laden.

I don't think you'll have much trouble reading this one. The story is an interesting one it draws you into the life of
Morgan McGuire
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book in one sitting. It is both short and hard to put down, which was an excellent choice on the part of the authors. While not great, the writing style is just passable enough to not get in the way too often (although I didn't really need to be told seven times that SEALs wear 60 lbs of gear--once was enough). But this is a book that you read because it is topical, historical, and eye opening, not because of the writing quality.

The book is also well structured to give as
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I learned some really interesting things in this covers the mission to kill Bin Laden in depth during the last third of the book. The first 2/3rds was good, I've just read many books detailing the same kind of training and missions. I'm still amazed at what these guys can pull off and the heroism they consistently embrace in the way they live their lives. Some funny things about dealing with the White House before and after the raid. At the end he says "Don't just live, but live for a ...more
Igor Ljubuncic
Wow, a fantastic book, way beyond my expectations.

I completed this book in two sittings, gulping down page after page of excellent combat action, crazy army stories, and riveting special forces day-in-life stuff.

This book is about Operation Neptune Spear, the mission to kill Usama Bin Laden (UBL), based on the decade-long intelligence work, which placed his whereabouts to a secluded house in Abbottabad, in Pakistan, close to the Pakistani Military Academy.

Neil Hepworth
Dec 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book is a mess.

First, though, like several other reviewers, I feel the need to point out that I’m reviewing the book, not the events nor the soldier.

I completely understand why this book was published. Just think of the editor who saw the notes for this book cross his desk: the personal memoir of a Navy SEAL who was literally in the room with Osama bin Laden’s freshly bullet-riddled body. I’m sure this book is gold. And yet, it is a fool’s gold, for nothing of substance
Bonnie E.
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
No Easy Day is no great book. But it does provide a first hand account of a mission which many of us would consider heroic and extremely dangerous and absolutely necessary. The dissonance created in reading this book is due to the incredible nature of the story in contrast to the dull writing style in which it is presented. But the story won out for me and I read the book in one sitting.

Much of the book is devoted to the author's accounts of his grueling training as a Navy SEAL, whic
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book is a bit of a letdown. It gives an insight into the life of a Navy SEAL and only a broad overview of the actual mission, which incidentally, happens to be the title of the book. Only a small portion of the book actually deals with the mission. After reading it, I feel that an account of the CIA Analyst who tracked Bin Laden down would make a more interesting read.
Sep 10, 2012 marked it as off-tbr-and-into-wpb
unabridged (approx. 7hrs)

by: Mark Owen
with: Kevin Maurer
read by: Holter Graham

blurb - For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moments.

From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama bin Laden's co
It was interesting to read how Osama Bin Laden reacted the last moments of his life. What a coward he was. I think I expected to be more intrigued by the story of what happened that day. Overall I did enjoy reading this Seal's story and his background on how he became a Navy Seal. Being a Navy Wife has made me appreciate out military personnel more and the sacrifices that they and their families make. God bless all of our military men & women & God bless America.
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
loved this book. couldn't hardly put it down.

If you've read and liked any of the Green Team books by Richard Marcinko, I'd highly recommend this one too.
Candace Salima
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 16 and Up
Like most Americans I had an insatiable curiosity about the men who took down Osama bin Laden. Unlike most Americans I didn’t actively seek the information because I knew how dangerous it would be for the men who put their lives on the line, day in and day out, to keep America safe. No Easy Day: The Autobriography of a Navy SEAL is the autobiography of Navy SEAL Team Six team (DEVGRU) team leader, Mark Owens (which is not his real name by the way). It is also a firsthand account of the mission t ...more
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
No Easy Day tells the tale of a Navy SEAL’s life. This particular author, who uses an alias in an ultimately futile attempt to hide his true identity, was a SEAL for about ten years. As part of his career, he participated in the mission that successfully killed Osama Bin Laden, codenamed Operation Neptune Spear.

After years of training and hundreds of missions, “Mark Owen” entered a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan along with 23 other SEALs, an interpreter, an explosives guy, and a co
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Mark Owen is the pseudonym of a former Navy SEAL.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
“There is no honor in sending men to die for something you won't even fight for yourself” 16 likes
“Don't just live, but live for a purpose bigger than yourself. Be an asset to your family, community, and country.” 10 likes
More quotes…