Sunday, June 30, 2013

Page-Turners: Black Hawk Down

Adam C. Zern shares a few thoughts on a book he simply could not put down - Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden:

"I remember sitting in a movie theater, waiting to see Iron Man 2, and reading by the dim lights Mark Bowden's incredible chronicle Black Hawk Down.  At that moment I realized I couldn't remember the last time I had been so engrossed, so enthralled, and so invested in a book that I truly felt like I couldn't put it down.  I was surprised that Black Hawk Down would be the book, but it was a 'page-turner' in the truest sense of the word.

Bowden's adroit writing bounces between brutal and violent encounters in the streets of Mogadishu, endearing and humorous stories of the American soldiers involved, and stress-filled command rooms of military leaders attempting to make sense out of the chaos and bring their troops back safely.  The pace of Black Hawk Down is unrelenting but not oppressive.  Bowden does give the reader enough breaks so as to give the audience a chance to breath, but once you have done so you are dumped right back into the fray.  The harrowing experience of the American soldiers involved was so vividly told and brilliantly realized it's hard for me to point to many other non-fiction books as being any better.

A 'page-turner' is usually thought of within the context of fiction, but Black Hawk Down proves that non-fiction books can be just as compelling as the most elaborate fiction.  In fact, in so many ways, reality, expertly chronicled and expressed, can be far more fascinating than any fiction dreamed up by even the most talented writer.  A friend recently told me he was going to start reading Black Hawk Down.  My response was simple: 'Buckle up.'  It's a wild ride which you won't want to end."

Other topics of interest:
Boring Books: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Overrated: The Da Vinci Code

No comments:

Post a Comment