Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Bullet Away: The Making of Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick

There's just no point in skirting the obvious truth here. Most men are not cut out to be an officer and a leader in a culture or warriors. Fewer still are cut out to write about it in book form. For these reasons I have to say the Nathaniel Fick ears a huge pile of respect from me, aside from his service to his country, simply for who he appears to be given the insights shared in this work and manner in which they are recounted.

One Bullet Away is the story of how someone, yearning for a more visceral experience in life than a corner office and subjugation of subordinates can provide, went about filling the gap he felt in his life. This book is a clear, highly intelligent and insightful work that shows what being a Marine officer is all about and things we could all probably carry forward into our lives that would make them better for us and others.

I won't spoil it but I can say, if you're looking for an action packed bit of shoot-um-up reading, this book is not for you. If you want to have a contemplative look at the challenges of leadership under high stress and to have an honest review of the impacts of war and sacrifice on a man, this is your book. As well written a book as I have read and it covers vast amounts of detail with becoming totally bogged down in it. It's a tightrope at best to try to walk.

  • Readability - 5 of 5 - It flows and the flows some more. Nate is an excellent author with a clearly polish style that will serve him well in politics.
  • Editing - 5 of 5 - It's well done. Execution as sharp as the corners on a Marine bunk.
  • Subject Matter - 5 of 5 - Only because I wanted to know about this. I have read enough about the sun bloating the bodies of enemy soldiers cooking in the sun and the shots that dropped them there. Without the very human stories of the men behind these events, they become Hollywood tripe and the real valor is lost. Not so here.
  • Did I like the story - 5 of 5 - Absolutely. This will not be true for everyone though proceed with caution if you are looking for detail accounts of assaults on or by the Taliban. Not that sort of book.
I have to say read this but I realize it is not for everyone. That's what I enjoy about as much as anything. The story was told because the author felt it needed to be. That's something pretty important in writing. I think it serves this work well... and Nate, if you are every in Columbus, drinks and steaks are on me sir.

No comments: