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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 1, 2022
This is a great story about how teams work together to perform and achieve at higher levels than an individual can. Adam could not be who he became without his wife. She deserves a Silver Star for putting Adam on track. With Adam on track, he was able to raise the performance level of other team members by example, humility, or competition.
By rating this book low, I don't mean to take anything away from it. The person who recommended it to me admitted that it is his most favorite book of all time. I read it because of his deep feelings, but I'm not a fan of books about war. I do sincerely thank all who have served. I am also indebted to those who have given the greatest sacrifice of their lives to keep us free.
I enjoyed the story of Adam, and learning how much he overcame was incredible. However the book was written very poorly, it is dry and flavorless. They talk about how great Adam was but the stories of him are written in a way that are just not interesting to read about. Plus the constant need to talk about the family’s relationship with god felt like they were trying to convert me to their religion.
I REALLY liked American Sniper, and for some reason expected this book to be writing in a captivating interesting way like that one was, however I was disappointed. 5 stars for Adam himself and 0 stars to the actual book.
First I must point out that my 2/5-star rating is for the book--not the man whose story it tells. But regardless of how admirable Adam Brown was for what he overcame and what he achieved, Fearless is a comes across as if specifically for a Christian congregation. While Brown's military achievements were amazing, really only about half of the book involves them. The biggest problem with Fearless is that Brown and all the other people in the book come across as a one-dimensional archetypes, devoid of any personality traits other than those to which a good, God-fearing Christian should aspire. Brown is hard working, loyal, and selfless. Even Brown's struggles with drugs--what should have made him extremely complex--are distilled to a cheap sermon: once Brown gave himself to Jesus, drugs (mostly) stopped being a problem, freeing him to be an example for the rest of the flcok. Thus, we never get a real sense of the personal struggle Brown faced. Another example of the thin character development is Brown's wife. She is portrayed as stay-at-home mom that keeps the house spotless, her man's happiness the reason for her existence. The problem is that is ALL she is portrayed as. Being a great wife and mother is important, of course, but real people have more to them than that.
My low rating for this book is not because of its religious message. My rating is because of the flat character depictions. (For an example of a good mix of religion and war, I highly recommend Two Wars: One Hero's Fight on Two Fronts--Abroad and Within by Nate Self. It includes the religious/spiritual side of the warrior, using it to fill out the personality, rather than suppress it.)
But bottom line, if you are interested in this book for Christian inspiration, you might like it more than me. But if you're looking for military non-fiction that really gets to the personality and experience of military members, and develops the ideas more than a sermon, you may want to avoid.
If you are looking for a book on the inner workings of SEAL training, special ops or the process of earning the Trident, you are in the wrong place. In no way is that meant as a deterrent. This book is written well & gives a whole new angle on the "SEAL" story. It takes a while to get going but it basically takes you step by step through the subjects life with all the warts. It is a very moving & inspirational story of one man's drive, passion, tenacity & loyalty to almost everything & everyone he encounters. This, at times, comes at the cost of self preservation. I think the biggest thing I took away from it was that no matter your circumstance, background, upbringing, education, physical limitation(s) that we all have the ability to overcome. I gave it 3/5 stars because only a small portion of the book really gets into the operations side of SEAL & NSW which is why I bought it. Having said that, reading about this man's journey & the sacrifice our operatives & their families endure makes me so very proud to live in this great nation.
Also, I found offensive the story of the 500 shoes distributed to the kids because he felt sorry for them and it was beginning to snow. Does anyone ever stop and think hmmm, what about next year when they outgrow their shoes? Will they feel sadness because they had shoes that no longer fit? Would it have been better not to have known about this "comfort" to begin with? Could wearing shoes all winter actually hinder their ability for their feet to grow accustomed and form protection to the elements? I'm sure that this wasn't the case but the way it was presented in the book, is what came to mind first plus, it felt contrived in an attempt to prove what a good hearted guy he was. I just think his story could have been conveyed better. This was just so weak and he deserves better.
This was an easy read, but yet still captivating. Adam's story is one that really comes full circle and during that journey he hits rock bottom. The only real problem I had with this book is that the author went way out of his way to keep specifics generic and to try not to disclose any classified information. However, in that process a lot of detail was left out. If you read any of these stories about the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Meaning, this information that was omitted in this book is readily available in others. As a result, the lack of detail not only made this a short read, but ultimately detracted from Adam Brown's story. I have to say though, Adam's wife Kelley sounds like an amazingly strong and determined woman. Her story is worthy of its own book.
I was running short of reading material; I'm still trying to learn things in life, so I order non fiction books, mostly Pulitzer Prize or Nat'l Book Award winners. This time I searched for 5 star non fiction and "Fearless" popped up. It had virtually all 5 stars....I neglected to check which type of readers that were rating it. It is poorly written...and I mean POORLY.... and I found the subject to be a loser. The book title should be "Reckless" or "Foolish", or perhaps "Witless"....certainly not Fearless...the guy was obviously an adrenaline junkie...when that wasn't available, he turned to drugs and addiction. You'll love this book if you're an evangelical Christian, into redemption and still mailing checks to PTL. As for readers searching for a great read, a great author ... a well written book.... this is not the book for you....try something else. I found the book trite, juvenile and uninteresting.
Remember the scene from "Airplane", the movie, when Striker starts talking to the old lady sitting next to him? He starts out with when he was born, then the scene cuts away. When they come back to that scene, the lady has hung herself because Striker is still babbling and has only progressed up to about the second grade. The first 8 chapters are like that. Fortunately, the last 7 chapters rock. Adam Brown was a true patriot and a hero. God bless him and his family.