Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Review: 13 Hours

It turns out you can't access full reviews on Goodreads unless you make an account, so as of today I'll be sharing mine here as well! One of my goals this month was to read a new book from the library (yay, Overdrive!) and this was the one I chose. I've been on a bit of an autobiography/biography/memoir kick lately, so this fits neatly into that category as well.

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story is compelling and the main characters (who are actual people, so "characters" might not be the best designation...) are real-life heroes who are at once easy to relate to and elite combat experts. This *should* make for a gripping, edge-of-your-seat, can't put down-able read, but I did not find the story-TELLING here to be particularly captivating. During the first few chapters I chalked this up to the necessity of quickly introducing a sizable quantity of history, key people, and geopolitical facts to set the scene, which is a legitimate writing challenge. I expected the pace to pick up and the intensity to heighten as I kept reading, though, and in this way the book definitely fell short of my expectations. I applaud the authors for wanting to keep this account completely factual, non-embellished, and as accurate as humanly possible (an expressly stated goal with which they bookend the account), but unfortunately that ended up making this read more like a textbook than a modern tale of heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. My first thought after finishing this title was, "I'm pretty sure the movie was better." (Although I'm equally sure the movie would be way too violent and intense for me to watch.) 2.5 stars.

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