Saturday, October 15, 2011

One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick

This book has garnered some scathing reviews due to its unflinching look at how the military really works. Some reviewers have had some rather unflattering things to say about Mr. Fick. To those reviewers I would say: Don’t read this review. I found this book to be very interesting and I appreciated the author’s decision to tell it the way it is and not the way people think it should be.

I found One Bullet Away to be written in such a way that it didn’t come across as just a recounting of a time period in Mr. Fick’s life. While, yes, the book did recount Mr. Fick’s journey in the Marine Corps, the author’s writing managed to imbue that recounting with a life of it’s own that made it interesting and easy to read. The author used details and his own thoughts regarding each story he told to make it personal for the reader. Through his writing style, the reader could enter Mr. Fick’s world and see the things he wrote about for themselves.

I also found the brutal truth Mr. Fick used in telling his story to be refreshing. While I support our military, I am well aware that those who lead aren’t always the paragon of virtue they would have us believe them to be. I’m fine with that too -- so long as they are honest about it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often. Thus it was refreshing to read an account of Mr. Fick’s time with the Marines that told the story with unflinching honesty. It might not always be pretty, but at least it was real.

I will say this book is not a weekend book. I took the time to read the book over the course of about a week and was glad that I did. If you read this book too quickly you will lose the whole essence of the book. Take the time to read the book carefully; and before you make any rash judgments, take a moment to think about what is really being said by the author.

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