- Product Review (submitted on June 1, 2012):
I was given this book by Christianaudio.com in exchange for my honest review. I have a great website about Adam you should go check out, which you will find in my review below.
I am really on the fence over this book. Personally I did not care for the book at all, and it took everything I had in me to finish it. In fact I had a deadline for this review back in May and sadly just couldn't make it on time.
The writing by this author was not very good at all. There was so much information given, sometimes just thrown in randomly, that my head would spin. This would be highly technical information and abbreviations only someone in the military would know or could relate to. (did we really need to know every one of these details to get the basic idea of the story?) If it was a print book I would have had to flip back numerous times just to set the story straight. However, I was listening to a digital recording so that proved to be not very easy. (You should never have to do this if a book is well written.) Many times the story would be rolling along and then in an instant change to something entirely different. Once they were at a funeral rattling off the many accomplishments of the deceased, I think it was Adams funeral actually, and the story stops abruptly mid sentence and goes into Kelly's dialogue. Another time Kelly was getting ready to meet Adams plane in Delaware, and all of a sudden she is in Virginia, or was it Arkansas, with her family. Somehow she got from Delaware to Arkansas with a brief stop in Virginia awfully fast and without any explanation. One minute they were at the funeral, the next they were staring at a vacant piece of land, and then building a house on it. There were so many other instances of this happening all throughout the book from the beginning forward, I couldn't keep track of them all. Characters were introduced at a rapid pace as well and then you would find them popping up later on in the story after completely forgetting about them.
I also got the feeling that Adam was a saint and no other human or SEAL could ever match his accomplishments. Every SEAL goes through the same training. They are the best of the best we are constantly told. So it would seem to me that his grand feats of skill and accomplishments are not unique to only him. But yet we are constantly told how great this man was, and there was no one else on earth like him. Well, that may be true, but there are many people who have accomplished huge things after being addicted to drugs. I felt this book minimizes the accomplishments of so many others who may have come just as far, if not farther. The book also minimizes everything his entire family and friends did for him, and makes them just side characters to "his" story. (yes, I know it IS his story, but the people in his life that affected him the most should not be minimized)
This story moves along very slowly while focusing on his usage of drugs. I quickly grew tired of hearing about the many times he returned to the drug after saying "It won't happen again". He was so determined and strong willed about everything in his life, but yet he couldn't handle the demons calling his name. For a person to be this strong willed and driven I find it hard to believe he would give in so easily. (yes, I know drugs can do that, but the book is pounding his greatness into our heads quite hard that it makes him sound like he should be able to lick the habit instantly)
By the last few chapters I was literally in tears. It is sad to hear how his death went down, and there is room to second guess whether what he did was necessary, or if his death could have perhaps been unavoidable. Was his decision to do what he did made too quickly? And how about all of the soldiers who attempted to save his life? Their story was played down, but they were true heroes too.
Finally, I would like to say that the narrator does a huge disservice to the characters. He speaks well most of the time, but when a female voice came in to play, he was terrible! He gives Adam's mother, sister, and wife a southern drawl like you would not believe. I knew this sounded terrible from the first moment he read their dialogue. I thought to myself "this cannot be how they really sound"! And sure enough, I found an awesome website with an interview video of his friends and family. His mother, sister, and wife DID NOT speak with a heavy southern drawl at all. In fact, they sounded perfectly normal with barely a hint of an Arkansas accent. He gave the women very quiet voices as well, almost a whisper at times. But the most bothersome was the way he read Kelly's thoughts and words. If you watch these video clips you will hear that she comes across much differently, and she would not have said the things in this book the way the narrator reads them. He just really had the female characters all wrong. I believe for Adam, on the other hand, he probably nailed it.
Please check out this website if amazon will let me print it here: http://burnpit.us/2011/09/patriot-profile-adam-brown or you can go to burn pit dot us and put Adam Brown in the search box. It's not one to miss.
Being a tough guy, military story, you can expect there to be some language, although coming from a Christian company it did catch me by surprise when I first heard it. There are quite a few "effing", F-you or somthing like that which are never spoken fully, but said just as I have written it. There are a few Sh!ts or B!tches (I can't remember which one it is now) which are spoken in full.
In the end I am left thinking this guy was the perfect guy, who was the perfect Christian, had the perfect life, the perfect wife, the perfect family, the perfect SEAL team, the perfect childhood, the perfect attitude, the perfect death, the perfect EVERYTHING. He can do no wrong. HE was perfect, and everything he did or touched was perfect. We can only begin to dream to be as worthy, but will fall disgracefully short, and that is how the book will make you feel. Unfortunately the book also makes him out to be a real jerk too.