Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fearless: Book Review

Fearless or daredevil? The biography of Navy SEAL Adam Brown, Fearless is the story of a man without fear, who never stops, never hesitates. His story nearly gets derailed along the way, which becomes a major emphasis in this book.

Unfortunately, my biggest reaction to this book would be a minor rant about marketing. Fearless includes the rather lengthy subtitle “The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown.” This, with the cover of the book and the general emphasis on Adam Brown as a Navy SEAL, suggests that the book is a military story. 

Author Eric Blehm, however, starts off his prologue by attempting to set this story apart as something different in its genre. Blehm suggests that this is not about a story about “Tom Clancy fiction”—the battle-scenes and behind-the-scenes thriller usually associated with military stories. Fearless is a good story, reasonably told, with plenty of military flavor, but don’t expect much inside info on Navy SEALs or their operations.

Rather, expect a different sort of behind-the-scenes story—one which tells Adam Brown’s journey through love, addictions, restoration, failing, struggling, and determination.

Fearless is actually the story of an Arkansas boy, who grew up in a great family, messed up big, found redemption, found an awesome girl, became an incredible husband and father, and incidentally was driven by his determination to join the Navy SEALs, and then to become an elite operator even within that elite group. To accomplish this, Adam Brown moves past injuries and weaknesses that most people would consider career-changers.

I do have to add a small caveat—parts of the story include strong language and crudities, but nothing an adult or mature teen couldn’t handle. Much of the rest carries a tone of hero-worship even when Blehm tackles a less-than-heroic story. I also found some frustration in the fact that the stories are all third-hand accounts from family and friends, but you can probably get a better sense of the book from the prologue and first chapter available here.

You can also find out more about Fearless online here. It might not be the best told story of the year, and I doubt it would have been written given a different ending to the story. But it is a story of incredible courage, determination, and redemption.

[My thanks to Waterbook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a digital review copy of Fearless in exchange for my honest opinion of the book.]

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