I read (listened) this book because I wanted to watch the movie. I do not like watching movies before reading books on which they are based. I am active duty military but this is not the type of book I normally read. I like to leave work at work so reading military novels, both fiction and non-fiction, is something I avoid. I thoroughly expected to not really like Lone Survivor. That said, I loved this book.
Lone Survivor was written by Marcus Luttrell but I suspect that the co-writer, Patrick Robinson, did most of the heavy lifting. The book opens with Luttrell recounting his trip around the country to visit the families of his fallen comrades. He talks about himself, why he chose to join the SEALs, and the arduous process of becoming a US Navy SEAL. The first half of the book reads as a memoir of Luttrell’s life up to the events surrounding Operation Red Wings. Details about the mission itself are very specific and the story is completely captivating. If this story was fiction, it would still be incredible but perhaps less believable. Luttrell discusses the events not just from his own perspective but also includes his family at home and his peers at the Forward Operating Base. The all-encompassing viewpoint really enhances the reader’s emotions.
There were things I did not love about the book too. Luttrell is a very religious man and I found his faith to be a little off-putting as I am not. It ALMOST distracted from the narrative and became more manifesto than story. I think it avoided that pitfall and I can forgive the author as this is his story, not mine. There are plenty of rumors that aspects of the story are embellished or not true. I don’t care. The story enthralled me and that is what I want when I read. I loved this story and could not ask for more.